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Preserving Flexibility in IIAs

The Use of Reservations

image of Preserving Flexibility in IIAs
Reservations in International Investment Agreements are a key technique for balancing flexibility of national authorities with international commitments in the field of investment, especially for developing countries. This paper studies the use of such reservations at two levels. First, it assesses the various means that signatories have at their disposal when attempting to preserve flexibility and regulatory autonomy. Second, it explores the revealed preferences for flexibility emerging from the reservation lists of eight International Investment Agreements employing a negative list approach to scheduling non-conforming measures.

English

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Executive summary

Reservations in international investment agreements (IIAs) are a key technique for balancing flexibility of national authorities with international obligations in the field of investment, especially for developing countries. This paper studies the use of such reservations at two levels. First, it assesses the various means that IIA contracting parties have at their disposal when attempting to preserve flexibility and regulatory autonomy, be it for sectors deemed important from a longer-term developmental perspective or for sectors where particular regulatory or policy sensitivities arise. Second, it explores the revealed preferences for flexibility emerging from the reservation lists of eight IIAs employing a negative list approach to scheduling non-conforming measures.

English

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