investment treaties

The role of investment treaties in investment liberalisation

Investment treaties grant international legal rights to foreign investors. Historically, investment treaties focused exclusively on the protection of existing investments from adverse government action – for example, by requiring a host state to pay compensation if it expropriates a foreign investment. However, modern investment treaties also contain investment liberalisation provisions that govern the admission and establishment of new foreign investment. Investment liberalisation provisions limit states’ ability to restrict or place conditions on new foreign investments.

Anthea Roberts masterclass: the investment treaty system - claims and controversies

Since the 1990s, an investment treaty system has emerged that is based on thousands of bilateral investment treaties and free trade agreements and hundreds of investor-state arbitrations.

While investment treaties used to be an obscure part of the international legal framework, they are now taking on a more prominent role given the focus on mega-regional agreements like the TPP, TTIP and RCEP.


Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet