The past two decades epitomised the emergence of international investment arbitration as one of the most dynamic areas of legal practice. Given the considerable number of published arbitral awards and legal writings, and the underlying public international law principles, acquiring a firm understanding of international investment law and arbitration has become harder for students, practitioners and others. There is a place for a book which reproduces within a single, portable volume selected extracts from arbitral decisions, other documents and legal writings accompanied by concise, up-to-date and reliable commentary on both the law and procedure of international investment arbitration. Questions of procedure and practice have become bound up with the application of substantive international law protections, raising important questions of technical international law. There is also the need for the subject to be explained in academic institutions in a way which reflects its historical development, conceptual basis and intellectual contribution to the peaceful settlement of disputes. It is this combination of aims which this book seeks to advance.
A further justification is that the field is in a renewed state of flux. It appeared to us that there is scope for a book which aims to convey the effect of these broader developments, not least on the latest innovations in treaty design and language. However, we have also been wary of exaggerating the current backlash against investment treaties and arbitration. While this book is alive to the gathering forces of change, for now one need look no further than the facts of daily legal practice and the largely unaltered aims of the subject.
The present book draws upon the experience derived from teaching the subject in three different jurisdictions. No work can be faultless. It is especially true of a first edition and we hope to benefit from the comments of our peers about the ways in which this first attempt might be improved. In terms of the allocation of writing responsibility, Lim was tasked with Chapters 1, 4, 8, 11, 14, 17, 18 and 19; Ho with Chapters 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13 and 16; and Paparinskis with Chapters 5, 12 and 15. We have tried to state the law and its surrounding developments as they appeared to us in May 2017.