Once considered a fringe area of international law, the central importance of international investment law has been demonstrated over the last decade by the exponential growth in the volume of foreign direct investment, Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), and arbitration of investment-related disputes. Covering all aspects of investment arbitration and the protection foreign investment, our research in this area extends to historiographical approaches in international investment law and the interplay between international investment law, international economic law, and the law of international development.

Highlights from our work in this area:

International Investment Law and History

Historiographical approaches in international investment law scholarship are becoming ever more important. Co-edited by our Director Professor Christian Tams, this insightful book combines perspectives from a range of expert international law scholars who explore ways in which using a broad variety of methods in historical research can lead to a better understanding of international investment law.


International Investment Law and History critically evaluates the use of historical analysis in international investment law. It examines the various roles that historical arguments play in interpreting investment treaties, resolving investor-state disputes, and justifying or criticizing the current system of investment protection.


This book is the first in-depth study on the methodological challenges and benefits of historical approaches in international investment law. As such, it is a vital tool for scholars and practitioners in the field who wish to understand ways in which to use historical research and analysis to improve and redefine international investment law.


Editors: Schill, S. W., Tams, C. J. and Hofmann, R.

Publisher: Edward Elgar

Series: Frankfurt investment and economic law series

Publication date: 2018

ISBN 9781786439956

International Investment Law and the Global Financial Architecture

The global crises of the early 21st century have tested the international financial architecture. In seeking to ensure stability, governments have regulated financial and capital markets. This in turn has implicated international investment law, which investors have invoked as a shield against debt restructuring, bail-ins or bail-outs. Co-edited by Centre Director Christian Tams, this book explores whether investment law should protect against such regulatory measures, including where these have the support of multilateral institutions. It considers where the line should be drawn between legitimate regulation and undue interference with investor rights and, equally importantly, who draws it.


Across the diverse chapters herein, expert international scholars assess the key challenges facing decision makers, analyse arbitral and treaty practice and evaluate ways towards a balanced system of investment protection in the financial sector. In doing so, they offer a detailed analysis of the interaction between investment protection and financial regulation in fields such as sovereign debt restructuring and bank rescue measures.


Combining high-level analysis with a detailed assessment of controversial legal issues, this book will provide guidance for both academics and legal practitioners working in international economic law, international arbitration, investment law, international banking, and financial law.


Editors: Tams, C. J., Schill, S. W. and Hofmann, R.

Publisher: Edward Elgar

Series: Frankfurt investment and economic law series

Publication date: 2017

ISBN 9781785368875

Judging International Judges: A Comparative Examination of the Disqualification of Arbitrators in International Investment Law

Much has been written in recent times on the selection, identity, and disqualification of arbitrators in investment arbitration, this is an area of investigation that is particularly salient at present both within international investment law and more broadly. As such this timely work arrives at a point in time when at the International Court of Justice, the United Kingdom finds itself without representation on the bench for the first time since the creation of the Permanent Court, and the Court itself has moved to curb extrajudicial activities. At the World Trade Organization, appointments to the Appellate Body are being blocked by the United States. Meanwhile, criticisms of the way in which investment arbitrators are appointed and challenged (including the issues of ‘double-hatting’ and the ‘revolving door’ of counsel and arbitrators) steadily continue to be voiced. The common issue, of course, are the rules that govern the appointment and challenge of those individuals who are responsible for deciding cases in the context of the various different international dispute settlement fora.


As multilateral talks in the context of UNCITAL move to the next stage, seemingly with a broad consensus of states to consider multilateral reform of investment arbitration, a large range of issues now seem open to debate with regard to what type of reform we might want to see. In this project, staff member Dr James G. Devaney examines one of these issues, namely the selection of international investment arbitrators. The project was awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Small Research Grant in 2017.


Project Output:

Devaney, James, Selecting Investment Arbitrators: Reconciling Party Autonomy and the International Rule of Law, KFG Working Paper Series, No. 33, Berlin Potsdam Research Group “The International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?”, Berlin, May 2019.

Available on SSRN: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3388903

ISSN 2509-3770 (Internet)

ISSN 2509-3762 (Print)