INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW AND SOFT LAW
Edited by Andrea K. Bjorklund and August Reinisch
Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 978 1 78100 321 3
ERUDITE INTERNATIONAL DEBATE ON A TIMELY TOPIC
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
As the learned authors have expressed it, this book, published recently by Elgar has brought together a group of nine distinguished contributors from some of the world's top universities and academic institutions to discuss 'the intersection of soft law and the law of international investment'.
Author Andrea Bjorklund, for example, is Professor of Law at the University of California at Davis and visiting professor at McGill University's School of Law in Montreal.
August Reinisch is Professor International and European Law at the University of Vienna and lectures at the Bologna Center of Johns Hopkins University. Their fellow contributors hail variously from Dundee in Scotland to Jerusalem, to Wittenberg in Germany.
We have here, therefore, an international perspective on the topic. The various contributors we have referred to were members of a study group that had concluded its work with the publication of the 'Oxford Handbook on International Investment Law' which addressed major issues relating to both substantive and procedural investment law.
As explained by several of the contributors, including Moshe Hirsch, who writes the second chapter, soft law rules are not legally binding and it is up to the discretion of legal decision-makers as to whether or not such rules can be applied to a particular dispute. His chapter in particular briefly discusses, among other topics, the interactions between 'soft law' (non-binding instruments) and the recognized sources of investment law.
The views of this group of international experts do shed interesting light on such matters as GATT/WTO and certain fields in particular, namely commercial law, environmental law, as well as investment law. Fundamentally, the various chapters attempt to answer the general question of whether investment law can, or should be 'codified', with special reference to such issues as most favoured nation treatment and also, expropriation.
Extensively footnoted throughout, with a detailed index at the back, the book covers an exceptionally wide range of issues in the process of examining the topic of investment law and soft law.
If you're involved in investment law, or government investment treaty negotiations, or arbitration proceedings -- or if you have an interest in international law and legal theory, you would do well to acquire this erudite and timely work of reference.