Yet another recent review/comment of my 2005 book International Investment, Political Risk, and Dispute Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide, by Holly A. Lakatos, Director of Public Services, Chicago-Kent College of Law Library, from the March 1, 2006 Legal Information Alert. The blurb used by the publisher is:
An important resource for anyone who is trying to understand the uncertain balance between the needs of sovereign governments, the interests of investors, and international law constraints… This book is an excellent reference work and should be included in any library that claims to have a ‘good’ international business collection.
The full review is appended below (PDF version):
International Investment, Political Risk, and Dispute Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide. (Book review)
Publication: Legal Information Alert
Publication Date: 03/01/2006
Author: Lakatos, Holly A.
International Investment, Political Risk, and Dispute Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide. Noah Rubins & N. Stephan Kinsella. 2005. Oceana Publications, Inc. Hardcover. 769p. ISBN: 0-379-21522-5. $150.
[Note: This is an updated and expanded version of Protecting Foreign Investment Under International Law: Legal Aspects of Political Risk, Paul Comeaux & N. Stephan Kinsella (Dobbs Ferry, New York: Oceana Publications, 1997), ISBN: 0-379-21371-0448.]
Today’s business lawyers need to have an awareness of political risk along with a firm foundation in international law in order to advise clients engaged in direct investments within developing nations. There is an uncertain balance among the needs of sovereign governments, the interests of investors, and international law constraints and anyone participating in such ventures must take this into consideration. International Investment, Political Risk, and Dispute Resolution is an important resource for anyone who is trying to understand that uncertain balance.
Divided into three parts, the authors of this guide provide methods by which attorneys may proactively minimize the exposure and effects of political risk at every step of the investment life cycle. They cover the issues from pre-investment management to the conciliation of investment disputes.
In part 1, the authors broadly divide political risk into seven different categories (expropriation, nationalization, and confiscation; regulatory interference; currency risk; civil disturbance; breach of state contracts; corruption; and trade restrictions) and discusses strategies for the “Assessment and Pre-investment Management of Political Risk.” Part 2 is intended to establish. “The International Framework of Investment Protection and Political Risk,” and here the authors trace the history and development of the customary international law of expropriation and investment protection. In part 3, they concentrate on “Dispute Resolution and Political Risk” and outline the arbitration procedure including how to establish arbitral jurisdiction.
The appendixes are substantial and include sample agreements, treaties, country risk reports, and a list of online resources. A Table of Authorities contains a valuable supplemental reading list of books and articles on the topic. Both the table of contents and the index are well thought-out and provide helpful access points to the information to be found in this book.
In the introduction, the authors claim that the book was written for a wide audience and that it will appeal to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. I cannot imagine any non-lawyer finding this book useful, especially since it does not contain a glossary. In addition, it is formatted as if it were a really, really long law review article with substantial footnotes on every page. Practicing attorneys, however, should find this guide accessible and easy to use. Law students will also find this guide useful as a supplement to any international business course.
The differences between the previous version and this one are substantial enough to warrant purchasing this new work. Though most of the same topics are covered, the new version covers them in much more depth. As an introduction to the topic, this book is an excellent reference work and should be included in any library that claims to have a “good” international business collection.
Holly A. Lakatos, Director of Public Services,
Illinois Institute of Technololgy,
Chicago-Kent College of Law Library
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