Hagia Sophia at ICSID? The Limits of Sovereign Discretion

Glinavos, I. 2022. Hagia Sophia at ICSID? The Limits of Sovereign Discretion. in: European Yearbook of International Economic Law 2021 Springer.

Chapter titleHagia Sophia at ICSID? The Limits of Sovereign Discretion
AuthorsGlinavos, I.
Abstract

The paper focuses on an underdeveloped area of jurisprudence in international economic law, that of the remit of sovereign discretion on cultural and religious grounds when it intersects with investor protections under international law. This aspect of public policy that relates to culture and religion contains issues frequently left unexplored by investment tribunal jurisprudence. An investigation on the limits of sovereign discretion on issues of religion and culture is the next frontier in debates on investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). . The paper explores options in investment arbitration for foreign investors affected by changes brought about by sovereign decisions based on religious and cultural grounds, shedding light in this politically and emotionally charged corner of international economic law. This investigation therefore revisits the jurisprudence of international investment tribunals on expropriation, the meaning of fair and equitable treatment, exclusions from protection based on public policy, or on grounds of national security. The paper initiates this discussion by investigating the possibility that the Switzerland-Turkey Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) of 1988 may offer bases for compensation to SICPA, the – until recently – operator of the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul, a world heritage site of global religious and cultural significance trans-formed again into an operational place of worship in 2020.

KeywordsHagia Sophia, ISDS, ICSID, SICPA, Investment Claims, Erdogan, UNESCO, culture and religion
Book titleEuropean Yearbook of International Economic Law 2021
Year2022
PublisherSpringer
ISSN2364-8392
Web address (URL)https://www.springer.com/series/8165

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