Convergence of international trade and investment law in practice : how should investor-state arbitral tribunals engage with trade norms?
Title: Convergence of international trade and investment law in practice : how should investor-state arbitral tribunals engage with trade norms?
Author: CHEVRY, Jonathan
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2015
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
This thesis aims to provide an analytical framework to which investor-State arbitral tribunals can refer in cases where international trade law is invoked. The starting point of the present study is the trend in commentary on international trade and investment law, which makes the argument that international trade and investment law should be reconciled due to the clear "convergence" between (some of) their constitutive elements. This convergence argument is not misguided: there are similarities between the underlying principles of global trade and investment and, as such, a better coordination of these principles would be helpful for several reasons. Such reasons include legal certainty, reduction of transaction costs, better coherence in the operation of international agreements that now combine both trade and investment provisions, to name a few. However, no matter how reconcilable or converging the two disciplines may be, their enforcement mechanisms are structurally different and are likely to remain so even if the reforms towards a modernization of the investment dispute settlement (currently discussed at the EU policy level) are eventually implemented in the near future. In light of this last point, it is possible to claim that integration between trade law and investment law will only have limited or even negative effects if the trade and investment adjudicators continue to exercise their functions in an isolated manner, without taking cognizance of (i) the norms contained in the other discipline and (ii) the other adjudicator's scope of authority. Effective convergence of trade and investment entails a two-way process pursuant to which one adjudicator can use (i.e. take into account, refer to, apply, interpret and enforce) the law of the other and vice-versa. The thesis envisages one of the two dimensions of this process, namely the use of trade law by the investment adjudicator. Looking into the details of the convergence argument, the role of investment dispute settlement mechanism and the use of trade norms over the past two decades by litigants and arbitrators, the present study identifies both the legal techniques and obstacles these actors shall apply or go beyond in order to use trade norms in the most appropriate way and, more importantly, benefit from this use.
Defence date: 7 December 2015; Examining Board: Professor Petros C. Mavroidis, EUI/Columbia Law School (Supervisor); Professor George A. Bermann, Columbia Law School; Professor Francesco Francioni, EUI; Janet M. Whittaker, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.; 2016 winner of the Antonio Cassese Prize for the Best Thesis in International Law.
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