pp 1-25 | Cite as

A Paradigm Shift? Arbitration and Court-Like Mechanisms in Investors’ Disputes

  • Shai DothanEmail author
  • Joanna Lam
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series


Recently, several court-like mechanisms have been considered as a substitute for investor-state arbitration. Suggestions for creating such mechanisms have been around for a long time, but new trade agreements may make court-like mechanisms for investors’ disputes a reality. This paper starts by asking whether the shift from arbitration to court-like mechanism is likely to happen and how deep is the change to dispute resolution going to be. The advantages and disadvantages of replacing ad-hoc arbitrators with court-like mechanisms are examined. Courts are more centralized than arbitrators, which gives them the ability to act in a coherent way and consider long-term consequences. However, centralization may imply a greater risk of capture by special interests and could lead to more radical legal developments than the stable system of diverse arbitration. Furthermore, compromise solutions that create numerous competing court-like mechanisms instead of a universal court may escalate the fragmentation of international law.



This research is funded by the Danish National Research Foundation Grant no. DNRF105 and conducted under the auspices of iCourts, the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre of Excellence for International Courts.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Copenhagen Faculty of LawCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Koźmiński UniversityWarsawPoland

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