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Toward Uniformly Accepted Principles for Interpreting MFN Clauses: Striking a Balance Between Sovereignty and the Protection of Investors by PIRACHA

Toward Uniformly Accepted Principles for Interpreting MFN Clauses: Striking a Balance

By Nudrat Ejaz Piracha


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About this book:

Toward Uniformly Accepted Principles for Interpreting MFN Clauses is a visionary book that provides a definitive overview of the complex ambiguities surrounding interpretation and application of most-favored-nation clauses (MFNCs). Albeit customarily, international jurisprudence and tribunals tend to safeguard the host State’s sovereignty at the expense of foreign investor protection. The author of this in-depth research elucidates that such an approach is not warranted under international law rules on the treaties’ interpretation. Based on the history of MFNCs and applicable treaty and customary international law, this novel book furnishes a set of principles that would guide international courts and tribunals when interpreting MFNCs.

What’s in this book:

This compendium of all publicly available international cases relating to MFNCs sheds light on the various legal interpretive theories that have arisen. In the process, the author’s groundbreaking insights:

  • shatter commonly held misconceptions about the investor-State regime and the misguided belief that States are at a disadvantage in the investor-State dispute settlement system;
  • challenge the conception that interpretation and application of MFNCs by investment tribunals give rise to a claim of infringement of State sovereignty; and 
  • put to the test the widely held conception that international tribunals’ interpretation of MFNCs has led to an incoherent, inconsistent, and unpredictable international arbitration regime.

The book’s substantive analysis centers on the debate about misapplication of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and other interpretive theories by tribunals. It also examines jurisdictional and critical issues involving MFNCs. 

How this will help you:

This book emphasizes the functional benefits of greater uniformity in investor-State jurisprudence and its research-based promotion of consistency and coherence and will prove invaluable to investors, State policymakers, relevant international organizations, arbitrators and other practitioners, academics, and all parties advocating reform in the investor-State dispute settlement regime.


Last Updated 06/10/2021
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789403532738
SKU 10089751-0001
Table of Contents



List of Tables

List of Figures



Chapter 1 History of Development of MFNCs and Background of MFN Issues

Chapter 2 Underlying Theories for Interpreting MFNCs 

Chapter 3 International Law Commission and MFNCs

Chapter 4 Interpretation of MFNC

Chapter 5 Misapplication of Interpretive Principles and Cannons of Interpretation Arising out of International Law Sources Other than the VCLT    

Chapter 6 Application of MFNCs to Jurisdictional Issues

Chapter 7 Interpretation and Application of MFNCs in Relation to Substantive Provisions