The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.


Three Manifestations of Transparency in International Investment Law: A Story of Sources, Stakeholders and Structures

Esmé Shirlow



The notion of transparency manifests in three contexts in international investment law. It manifests first at the point of norm creation, regulating the public availability of information about the norms included in investment treaties and the capacity for interested stakeholders to view or participate in the creation of those norms. Transparency secondly features in the content of substantive investment obligations. In this incarnation, transparency norms empower foreign investors to bring proceedings against States for failures of transparency in State dealings with investors. Finally, transparency features as a procedural requirement for investment arbitration proceedings. Here, transparency refers to the extent to which individual dispute settlement proceedings are publicly accessible or documents produced in those proceedings made publicly available. The precise features of transparency in each of these contexts differ, as do the stakeholders which stand to benefit from transparency. Studying these three distinct manifestations of transparency offers insights into the development of international investment law and the sources, stakeholders and structures which shape it. This article considers each manifestation of transparency in turn (Section I), before considering what they reveal about the nature and structure of international investment law and arbitration (Section II).



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