Investment treaty arbitration—an introduction
Produced in partnership with Joe Tirado, Partner of Garrigues UK LLP and Elisa Vicente, Senior Associate of J&A Garrigues, S.A.
Investment treaty arbitration—an introduction

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Joe Tirado, Partner of Garrigues UK LLP and Elisa Vicente, Senior Associate of J&A Garrigues, S.A. provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Investment treaty arbitration—an introduction
  • Investment treaties
  • Resolution of investment treaty disputes
  • Common issues in investment disputes

This Practice Note provides an introduction to investment treaty arbitration.

Broadly, an investment treaty arbitration involves the resolution of (most commonly) a foreign investor’s claim against a respondent state for alleged breaches of investor protections contained in an investment treaty concluded between either two states or a group of states pursuant to an arbitration agreement contained within the investor-state dispute settlement provisions of the relevant treaty. ‘Investment treaty arbitration’ is sometimes contrasted with ‘international commercial arbitration’, and both forms of arbitration are sometimes referred to under the umbrella term ‘international arbitration’, see Practice Note: International arbitration—an introduction to the key features of international arbitration for consideration of the meaning of ‘international commercial arbitration’.

Investment treaties

Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and multilateral investment treaties (MITs) are central to any consideration of investment treaty arbitration.

Bilateral investment treaties

A BIT is a treaty between two states by which each state agrees to afford rights and protections to investors from the other. Generally, a BIT will provide for the investor to have recourse to international arbitration if a dispute arises in respect of its investment. Bilateral Free Trade Agreements also often contain investor dispute resolution provisions.

More than 2950 BITs have been concluded worldwide and there are now more than 2360 BITs in operation. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) maintains