India’s new model investment treaty: fit for purpose?

Jarrod Hepburn, Ridhi Kabra

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In December 2015, India released a new model bilateral investment treaty. The development of such models typically serves four purposes: facilitating negotiations with partner states; constituting state practice which may contribute to the formation of customary international law; providing interpretive guidance to tribunals; and promoting uniformity in international law. However, despite some innovative provisions, the new Indian model displays a lack of drafting clarity in some respects, and a degree of redundancy in other respects. These deficiencies make it doubtful whether the model can achieve any of its purposes. India appears to remain committed to (a reformed version of) the investment treaty system, not least on behalf of the burgeoning numbers of outward Indian investors. The model’s failings are therefore all the more acute, and pose challenges for India’s ambitions to play a greater role in the system, while also potentially representing a missed opportunity for India’s broader role in the “Asian century”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-114
Number of pages20
JournalIndian Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2017


  • Arbitration
  • general international law
  • bilateral investment treaties
  • counterclaims
  • expropriation
  • exhaustion of local remedies
  • frivolous claims
  • treaty conflict
  • domestic law


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