This thesis explores the issue of perceived bias in the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. It conceptualizes the political and procedural critique of the ISDS system. It focuses on the hybrid nature of the system perceived as being a form of public law adjudication while empowering the interests of private corporations over states’ sovereignty. Moreover, it addresses the procedural critique of the system represented in the problem of party appointment and the moral hazard of arbitrators. It provides an empirical analysis of case law to show how the interpretation of the rule of law differs according to the ideologies of arbitrators. Following, it analyzes the reform proposals to establish a multilateral investment court in order to curb the illegitimacy problems of the ITA system and concludes that such a proposal does not provide an adequate solution to these issues.


Law Department

Degree Name

LLM in International and Comparative Law

Graduation Date

Fall 1-10-2019

Submission Date

January 2019

First Advisor

Sayed, Hani

Committee Member 1

Skouteris, Thomas

Committee Member 2

Hussien, Dalia


90 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


My master program was funded by the Youssef Jameel GAPP Public Leadership Fellowship Program.