Centre for the Study of European Contract Law

Unpacking the Trope of Expansionist Arbitrators in International Investment Law

27June2017 13:00 - 14:00


Sovereignty is an interesting concept, capable of being assigned potentially very different meanings. In this lecture, Todd Weiler provides for an analysis of the concept in relation to investment treaty arbitration.


Sovereignty is an interesting concept, capable of being assigned potentially very different meanings, depending upon the discipline, intended use, and ideological background of the speaker. As a legal construct, sovereignty is simply a means of locating rule-making authority, and which has been located in the State. State are capable of exercising their authority in concert, agreeing on binding norms and a means for their enforcement. Today, as a social construct sovereignty has been bound up with a statist theory of society that ignores - and, indeed, contradicts - the legal construct of sovereignty.

Today, both the opponents and ostensible reformers of the investor-State model have construed sovereignty in a manner immeshed in statist ideology, in the case of opponents, advocating against, and in the case of so-called reformers, “improvements” to, investment protection treaties. Most of the changes they seek are fundamentally inimical to the principles of classical, economic liberalism, which informed the development of the mechanism over the second half of the Twentieth Century. Nobody seems to have recognised the fact of this fundamental, ideological dichotomy and acknowledging it might lead to a better understanding in the future.

The speaker

Todd Weiler is a Canadian lawyer who specializes in the field of investment treaty arbitration. He has been involved in dozens of arbitrations and investment disputes, serving either as counsel, consultant, expert or arbitrator. Dr. Weiler has two decades of experience working with different teams of lawyers and experts, tailored to suit the needs of each individual case.


The event is open to the public. Registration is not necessary.

Faculty of Law, A 1.01

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