Foreign investors have sought compensation for billions of dollars under the protection provisions granted by bilateral investment treaties (BITs) in recent years. If developing countries used to be the almost exclusive target of these investor-state disputes, their peers in the West have also become increasingly exposed to the vague nature of BIT protections, with legal firms even testing the waters to bring claims against the United Kingdom for Brexit and its consequences on foreign investors.

Lauge Poulsen, senior lecturer in International Political Economy at the University College London (UCL) and co-author of the book “The Political Economy of the Investment Treaty Regime”, discusses with podcast host Jacopo Dettoni about the nature of these treaties, their reach and secrecy.


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