JURIDIKUM
zeitschrift für kritik | recht | gesellschaft

ISSN 1019-5394 (Print)
ISSN 2309-7477 (Online)
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https://elibrary.verlagoesterreich.at/journal/juridikum/2013/3

Buchbesprechung zu Ulrike Spangenberg, Mittelbare Diskriminierung im Einkommensteuerrecht, Deutschland, Baden-Baden, Nomos Verlag 2013, 268 S, 64,– €, ISBN 978-3-8329-7813-6

Das Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Menschenrechte hat eine Schriftenreihe zu den Forderungen des Refugee Protest Camp, zu den Forderungen der Geflüchteten und ihrer Unterstützerinnen ins Leben gerufen: Als menschenrechtliche Argumentationsgrundlage und Aufforderung an Politikerinnen, in Verhandlungen mit den Protestierenden zu einer Verbesserung der Situation von Flüchtlingen in Österreich und Europa beizutragen. Das juridikum unterstützt diese Initiative und freut sich, ausgewählte Beiträge aus der Schriftenreihe veröffentlichen zu können.

The treaty-based investment law regime is based on the most powerful system of international adjudication in modern history. See generally Van Harten, Investment Treaty Arbitration and Public Law (2007); Van Harten, Sovereign Choices and Sovereign Constraints: Judicial Restraint in Investment Treaty Arbitration (2013). In essence, the regime re-allocates power from states to transnational companies and from domestic courts to a private arbitration industry based in Washington, New York, London, Paris, The Hague, and Stockholm. I speak in particular of the roles in international arbitration of large law firms in these centres and of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its International Court of Arbitration, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC). It remains a recent development in international adjudication, having been put into widespread use only from the mid-1990s. Further, the arbitrators have wielded their power assertively through both expansive legal interpretations and the economic size of their awards. Not coincidentally, there is growing apprehension about the regime and pressure for reform. The aim of this article is to canvass debates about the regime and identify elements of investment treaties and investor-state arbitration that give cause for concern. The discussion is presented as a series of responses to justifications often advanced for the system in academic or trade literature or in public commentary. See for example the work of Charles N Brower, Jan Paulsson, Thomas Wälde, Daniel M Price, Todd Weiler, Ian A Laird, Charles H Brower II, Susan D Franck, and Stephan Schill. Some of these proponents take the position that the investment treaty system is virtually ideally suited to the resolution of investor-state disputes while others suggest that the system calls for modest reforms that do not jeopardize the system overall. For present purposes, I do not distinguish between these modes of justification of the present system. The responses criticize these justifications from an internal perspective by accepting underlying premises of judicial independence and the rule of law. It is accepted that these premises may themselves be subjected to rigorous critique, if not in the present article. More broadly, the purpose is not to arrive at comprehensive answers to the questions raised in the article but rather to explain why prominent justifications for the regime are groundless or, at least, open to considerable doubt.

„Der Staat, auf Freiheitsgewähr verpflichtet, kann nicht nur einmal eine liberale Rahmenordnung erlassen und sich dann zurückziehen und die daraus hervorgehende Entwicklung in distanzierter Neutralität beobachten und als eine Art Nachtwächterstaat sich selbst überlassen.“ Böckenförde, Wissenschaft, Politik, Verfassungsgericht (2011) 59.