This paper examines indirect expropriation in international investment agreements and compares current foreign investments protection with property protection in the XIXth century USA, when the US Supreme Court adhered to an abstract and de-physicalized conception of property later contested by legal realists. Its central claim is that investor state arbitration poses a serious and underestimated challenge to state sovereignty, granting arbitrators a ‘proto-constitutional’ power of judicial review on regulatory powers, including the legislative one. Moreover, the indeterminacy of indirect expropriation leads to a potential transformation of property rights protection that could eventually give transnational enterprises a new ‘right to an unchanging world’, as the US Supreme Court did more than a century ago, albeit this time on a global scale.
About the author
Associate Professor at the Law Department of the University of Bari ‘Aldo Moro’
© 2017 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston