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Heather L. Bray

This chapter uses historical research as a way to understand and explain institutional change in international dispute settlement bodies over time. The chapter’s argument is that investment treaty arbitration, which is often conceptualized in the literature as a modern post-World War II development, is not a radical departure from earlier mechanisms for resolving international claims against states for mistreatment of foreign investors but rather is a natural continuation or evolution from earlier models such as international claims commissions. Using five criteria – the origin of the dispute, the status of the individual, the role of peace, the quantity and method for processing claims, and the composition of the decision makers – the chapter charts an evolutionary pathway between international claims commissions and investment treaty arbitration and show an organic transformation between these two dispute settlement models.