What explains the rise of investor-state arbitration? To the extent that investor-state arbitration had founding fathers, what were their motivations, what constraints did they have, what was their thinking?
Using documents from the American, British, German, and Swiss archives, this talk will revisit three moments: the initial vision for a standalone arbitration convention (the ICSID Convention), European governments’ decisions to add consent to arbitration into their investment treaties, and America’s late embrace of investor-state arbitration. Revisiting these moments with internal documents suggests a need to rethink conventional narratives about who and what drove the development of investor-state arbitration.
Taylor St John is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of St Andrews. She researches the history and politics of investment law. Her monograph, The Rise of Investor-State Arbitration: Politics, Law, and Unintended Consequences, was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. She is currently researching ISDS reform processes, and co-authors the EJIL Talk! blogs on the UNCITRAL negotiations with Professor Anthea Roberts. She was previously Postdoctoral Research Fellow, PluriCourts, University of Oslo and before that, Fellow in International Political Economy, London School of Economics. She received a DPhil and MSc from the University of Oxford.