Essay On Unequal Treaties and Modernity Through The Example Of Bilateral Investment Treaties

Nitish Monebhurrun


Unequal treaties and its theory have long been inhumed by the evolution of modern international law. Reciprocity is now the principle in the quest of balancing rights and obligations of States party to a bilateral agreement. Despite this accepted configuration, a particular type of now expanding agreement – the bilateral investment treaty –, has sometimes been criticised in reason of the disequilibrium which mark its substance. Some of these agreements may, at first sight, raise the equality conundrum; others have been denounced for similar reasons. By excavating the buried and perhaps forgotten theory of unequal treaties, this article explains the normality of the disequilibrium and inequality characterising international agreements and legal practices, and does this through the lenses of bilateral investment treaties used as an illustration.

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