Appropriate comparator in national treatment under international investment law
: relevance of GATT/WTO, EU and international human rights jurisprudences

  • Norfadhilah Mohamad Ali

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The minimalist state of the national treatment provision in the investment treaties has provided limited guidance for the tribunals for interpretation. As a result, there were inconsistencies in the interpretation of national treatment, in particular the question of likeness. This thesis aims to develop the doctrinal understanding of the determination of appropriate comparator guided by the underlying philosophies, historical evolution and relevant investment decisions. The methods applied in this thesis are doctrinal and comparative studies of international investment law and the compared jurisprudences. A major part of this thesis is dedicated to examine the comparison and relevance of the GATT/WTO, EU and international human rights law in the interpretation of discrimination based on nationality. The interpretative methods applied by the respective jurisprudences in determining likeness and related questions of legitimate regulatory measures are examined to see whether there are lessons that could be learnt in the interpretation of national treatment in investment law. The finding of this thesis confirms that there is potentially a range of insightful guidance from the jurisprudences under comparison which could provide a structured understanding of national treatment in international investment law. The observations put forth highlight the underlying philosophies and values of the national treatment principle in protecting the investors and addressing the host states’ regulatory needs. It reflects the contemporaneous development in international investment law and provides a positive response to public administrative principles benefited by way of international comparative administration law.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SponsorsMinistry of Higher Education, Malaysia & Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
    SupervisorAbba Kolo (Supervisor)


    • National treatment
    • International investment law
    • Non-discrimination
    • Likeness
    • Relevant comparator

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