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The George Washington University

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


Utilizing both empirical studies of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regimes and the accounts of both public and private practitioners of these processes, this study aims to inform public policymakers, multinational corporation leadership, and academic researchers on some of the key issues to consider when developing a multilateral friendly ISDS regime. By analyzing the procedural and functional details of both traditional arbitration (via the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) and investment dispute courts (via those proposed in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the EU Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), this study brings to light some of the most salient critiques of each system relating to accessibility, transparency, and effectiveness. Consideration of legislative texts, policy and economic analyses, and four interviews with practitioners and researchers suggests that although the predominant ISDS arbitration system is deeply flawed, it is the most recognized and accessible format for dispute resolution in a multilateral setting.


International Business | International Economics | International Law | International Relations | International Trade Law | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation


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