Tania Singla from National Law University, Delhi, writes about the nature of Bilateral Investment Treaties and the challenges that come with them.


Little more than two decades ago, investment treaties and investment treaty arbitration were virtually unknown to anyone beyond the circles of those who were involved in treaty negotiations. But in the last few years, Bilateral Investment Treaties have been creating ripples across international arbitration landscapes and are considered conducive to a perception of domestic regime as supportive of foreign investments. Investment Treaty Arbitration has risen along with the spike in BITs and has spawned a new body of jurisprudence almost entirely on its own. The swift pace of growth in the two has also resulted in a gradually growing disillusionment with the framework on part of States. This paper will commence with a discussion regarding the nature of BITs and proceed to analyze the issues that make BITs a thorny path for States. The paper will then conduct an analysis of the challenges inherent in the ITA framework juxtaposed with the model of international commercial arbitration. The experience of India in the realm of investment treaty arbitration has been explored followed by the conclusion and recommendations of the author.