CYIL vol. 12 (2021)
ondřej svoboda CYIL 12 (2021) in 2017 the third most sued in the world (as authors of the chapter recall) or what actions the Czech Republic adopted to react to the high number of disputes. The authors did not aspire to look for possible answers as they worked only with one scholarly article about the Czech position towards investment protection despite rich literature in Czech and English by Czech investment law experts. 4 Despite the effort to have a unified structure of the chapters in more or less general subdivision into: Introduction – Policy and legal landscape – Domestic legal framework – Analysis of case-law – Conclusion , differences are visible when comparing their content on a closer look. For instance, in the chapter devoted to Slovakia, the author examines in detail the Slovak Model BIT 2016 at five pages. In contrast, the authors of a chapter on the Czech Republic do not mention the Czech Model BIT from the same year at all although it is publicly available and a subject of debate. 5 Similarly, some authors discuss broadly the context and implications of the transfer of the competence over FDI to the EU, for example in chapters on Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania, while in other chapters this significant issue is overlooked, such as in texts discussing Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia. The final critical remark concerns the editor’s choice of the topic for an introductory unifying chapter. According to prof. Nagy “[d]ue to its immense practical importance, no volume on investment arbitration in Central Europe may avoid addressing the most significant recent development concerning the region: intra-EU BITs after the CJEU’s ruling in Achmea .” While one cannot dispute the practical importance of Achmea, the volume covers 4 CEE countries of 15 discussed in the volume that are not EU members and thus the Achmea decision is not applicable and relevant to them. It is therefore difficult to accept such statements in their entirety. The CEE countries, regardless of their membership in the EU, experienced a lot of ISDS cases related to the transition to free-market economy and lack of legal clarity at the time. Since the majority of them are active actors in investment policy-making, and active promoters of the EU reform approach and/or their own treaty models while engaged in the UNCITRAL Working Group III debates and the Energy Charter Treaty Modernisation Process, to frame the CCE region from this perspective on the basis of local insight would be all-inclusive and extremely interesting. Still, despite few missed opportunities and lack of ambition in some chapters, the critical points raised in this review do not diminish the generally high quality of the volume and its importance and timeliness as the most comprehensive study focused on international investment law and arbitration in the CEE region. In addition, the region has recently gained prominence for several reasons. First, the CEE countries are developing stronger investment links to China under 16+1 Initiative umbrella. Such development indeed raises a question 4 E.g. Balaš, V. Comment on Award on Jurisdiction in the Binder Case Appealed at Czech Courts, Czech Yearbook of Public and Private International Law , Vol. 2, 2011; Šturma, P. Budoucnost investiční arbitráže po rozsudku Achmea? [The future of investment arbitrage after Achmea‘s ruling?], Právnické listy , No. 2, 2018; Svoboda, O. Role Česka a Slovenska v rozvoji mezinárodního investičního práva: Naše slavné prohry? [The role of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the development of international investment law: Our famous losses ?,], In: Lantajová, D. (ed.), 1918–2018: Medzinárodné právo v dejinách Československa [1918–2018: International law in the history of Czechoslovakia], Bratislava: Slovenská spoločnosť pro medzinárodné právo pri SAV, 2019. 5 Svoboda, O., Kunstýř, J. The Curious Case of the Czech Model Bilateral Investment Treaty, Manchester Journal of International Economic Law , Vol. 17, No. 3, 2020.
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