State Control Over Interpretation of Investment Treaties

During negotiations of international investment agreements (IIAs) is when states do much of the work writing the treaty rules that will bind them. But even after the treaties are signed and ratified, countries retain important powers to further shape the interpretation and application of those agreements in practice. If states are able to exercise these powers effectively, the treaties may be more likely to advance states’ policy goals. If, however, states are not able to exercise these powers, the interpretation and application of their agreements can proceed in unintended, and even undesirable directions; and it may be difficult if not impossible to steer the law back on course.  

CCSI researches tools that states can and do to help influence how IIAs are interpreted and applied. We also examine limitations to the use and effectiveness of these tools, and explore possible reforms to IIAs and dispute settlement that can give states a greater role in influencing their treaties’ interpretation. 

Relevant work includes: