“What Are We Doing in Europe Then?” Latin-American Lawyers and the Post-Colonial Construction of the Investment Protection Regime.

Using as an analytical framework the old polemic between Carlos Calvo and Juan Bautista Alberdi in the 1860s, this presentation will explore the current role of Latin-American lawyers in the construction of the investment protection regime. In particular, the presentation will explore the colonial traits in the work of these lawyers, as it can be found in four intertwined areas of their practice: (1) Decision-making as arbitrators, (2) Drafting of BITs and other investment-protection instruments as policy advisors, (3) Writing of articles and commentaries as scholars, and (4) Advocating for investors or States in investor-State arbitrations as lawyers. The presentation will explore as well the possibility of alternative directions for Latin-American lawyers willing to engage in these areas of practice.