Book Review: Aikaterini Florou, Contractual Renegotiations and International Investment Arbitration: A Relational Contract Theory Interpretation of Investment Treaties
Published 9 December 2021
In Aiketerini Florou’s monograph, Contractual Renegotiations and International Investment Arbitration, she provides an impressive theoretical contribution to the practice of international investment law by exploring the issue of contractual renegotiation of concession contracts. Its basis in both law and economics enriches the approach, enabling a perspective that strips away legal assumptions and allows a focus on “governance design”. Her analysis benefits by focusing on a relevant sector of investments during the era of sustainable development, namely energy contracts, and examines fair and equitable treatment as exemplary of structural imbalances, its relevance applied at the stage of dispute resolution. The book promises a “focus on failures in the legal reasoning of arbitral tribunals that have impeded them from realizing their full potential as an independent and de-politicized dispute-resolution mechanism.” She sets up this task by starting somewhere that most lawyers will not begin: economic analysis. To that end, she provides a “legal-realist approach to treaty interpretation drawing from the school of transaction cost economics.”
The book is a timely and innovative addition to the scholarship on international investment law and an interesting perspective from which to observe the changing approach to investment protection. The interactions with concession agreements in investment protection are increasingly important as an element of energy law. This subject matter is well-chosen for its ability to reveal the instability in the system; there are significant changes as a result of laws on renewable energy and changing environmental regulations. However, it also represents an essential element of the public interest element to foreign investments. These elements of the system impact those investment relationships.
Contractual Renegotiations and International Investment Arbitration, Aikaterini Florou, ISBN 978-90-04-40746-6, 250 pp, Brill | Nijhoff