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Water Services Disputes in International Arbitration: Reconsidering the Nexus of Investment Protection, Environment, and Human Rights by QIAN

Water Services Disputes in International Arbitration

By Xu Qian


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International Arbitration Law Library, Volume Number 53.

About this book:

Water Services Disputes in International Arbitration is a well-timed book which focuses on an economic area of substantial importance for the society as a whole—governance of water. Water is not only a vital human need but also extremely precious and valuable. It is a finite resource having “economic value,” facing tremendously increasing demands and challenges, and considerable legal issues (at both theoretical and empirical levels). The legal consequences of the multifaceted nature of water and sanitation services are investigated in this book. In this respect, it concentrates on an analysis of the international law (law in norms in the form of international treaties and their interpretation by international arbitral tribunals that have developed a case law over the years) which applies to cross-border (or foreign) investment made in water and sanitation services.

What’s in this book:

Being the first of its kind, this book aims to fill a significant gap in the existing literature and dwells on how to harmonize the economic and fundamental human interests arising from investment in water and sanitation services under the international investment regime. Among the many key issues, the author highlights the importance of the following:

  • legitimacy of a State’s alleged regulatory objectives, the suitability of the measures undertaken to achieve the objective, and whether there are less-restrictive means available;
  • legal framework and stability of the State;
  • applicable law, changes in law, and emergency circumstances;
  • economic issues such as water pricing;
  • profit-driven private companies’ reluctance to serve the poor;
  • investment tribunals’ generation of a “regulatory and jurisprudential regime” on water and sanitation services; and
  • determination of liability in relation to expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, and necessity.

The author, a leading expert in the intersection between international economic law and human rights, offers viable, sustainable, and reasonable legal solutions to the increasing number of investment disputes with water services. A detailed annex also presents cases decided before a variety of arbitral tribunals, as well as relevant World Trade Organization and International Court of Justice cases, and reviews critical literature in the field.

How this will help you:

This book, an in-depth and unique analysis, will be welcomed by not only the scholarly and student community but also trade and investment officials, policy makers, diplomats, economists, lawyers, think tanks, and business leaders interested in the subject areas of water governance and regulation, water economy, economic policy reforms and the evolution of the new types of regional trade agreements. It also suggests ways to enable States to better manage vital water services, even after privatization to foreign companies.


Last Updated 05/14/2020
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789403522036
SKU 10082803-0001
Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

General Introduction

Fragmentation of International Economic Law and Regime Interaction: Explaining the Governance of Water and Sanitation Services

From Regime Interaction to Dual Fragmentation: Conceptualizing the Water and Sanitation Services Regulation Framework

Cross-Regime Harmonization Through Proportionality Analysis: Methods of Review

Determining the Appropriate Standard of Review in Investment Disputes


Investment Cases Related to Water and Sewage Services


Table of Cases


See what our clients are saying:

… will likely be ‘must haves’ (sic) on the book shelf of any nongovernmental organization (NGO) or governmental department involved in the push for green reforms in investment arbitration, or for practitioners and scholars working or conducting research in the fields of IIL, investment arbitration or environmental law and transnational litigation. Both (sic) have my highest and sincerest recommendations.

Ylli Dautaj (Managing Partner of DER Legal) ICSID Review, 2021