Past Event

N. Jansen Calamita - After the Treaty is Signed: Do States Internalise Investment Treaty Commitments in Their Decision Making?

April 3, 2023
12:10 PM - 1:10 PM
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Jerome Greene Hall, Room 102B

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the Columbia International Arbitration Association (CIAA) welcomed N. Jansen Calamita for a talk on his new book (with Ayelet Berman), Investment Treaties and the Rule of Law Promise: The Internalisation of International Commitments in Asia (CUP 2022). He presented the main issues discussed in his book; Kabir Duggal led an interview/discussion, followed by a Q&A with guests.

Investment treaties are said to improve the rule of law in the states which enter into them. Fearing claims, governments will internalise international investment obligations into their decision-making processes, resulting in positive spill-over effects on the rule of law. Such claims, however, have never been backed by empirical research. In Investment Treaties and the Rule of Law Promise, N. Jansen Calamita and Ayelet Berman unpack (and debunk) the assertion that investment treaties improve the rule of law through an empirical study of the internalisation of investment treaties in eight Asian states. In so doing, they establish a new framework and typology for identifying institutional processes of internalisation that is applicable beyond simply investment treaties. Moreover, based upon the book’s case studies, they provide insights into the factors that influence whether states do or do not internalise international obligations in their decision making. Ultimately, Calamita and Berman’s findings debunk assertions about the positive rule of law effect of investment treaties. At the same time, however, their findings of limited evidence of the internalisation of investment treaty obligations in government decision making also raises difficult questions for those who suggest that investment treaties lead to systemic regulatory chill.

N Jansen Calamita is Head of Investment Law & Policy, Centre for International Law, and Research Associate Professor (CIL), Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. Prior to entering academia, he served in the Office of the Legal Adviser in the US Department of State and in the UNCITRAL Secretariat. Jansen has published widely on topics related to international investment law and public international law. His most recent publications include Investment Treaties and the Rule of Law Promise (Cambridge University Press 2022) and ASEAN and the Reform of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (Elgar 2022). In addition to his academic work, Jansen continues to advise governments and international organizations on matters relating to international investment law and dispute avoidance.

Kabir Duggal is Senior International Arbitration Advisor, Arnold & Porter, New York; Lecturer-in-Law, Columbia Law School; Senior Fellow. Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment; and adjunct professor at Fordham Law School. He focuses his practice on international investment arbitration, international commercial arbitration and public international law matters, serving as arbitrator, mediator, and counsel. He also frequently serves as an expert on international arbitration and public international law matters. He is also a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion issues and frequently writes and speaks on these issues.

Promotional partner:

The Centre for International Law (CIL), National University of Singapore