Indian Journal of International Law

, Volume 56, Issue 3–4, pp 349–378 | Cite as

The persistent dissenter in international law: reading Professor Sornarajah

  • Francesco Montanaro


Professor M. Sornarajah is the trailblazer of a critical approach that attempts to square the circle of international law. The Sornarajah school of thought challenges existing doctrines to argue that the regime of international law is biased in favour of investors. Sornarajah’s critical views notably predate the spread of international investment agreements and the multiplication of arbitral awards. In the main, he has critiqued customary international law on the protection of alien property as well as the internationalization of concessions contracts in the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various capital exporting nations. Sornarajah argues that it is the direction of the flow of capital that determines a publicist’s arguments. Wearing multiple hats—a professor, an arbitrator and a counsel—Sornarajah doctrinally proves that law-making by publicists in contravention to the NIEO, an undemocratic process, settles the law in favour of investors irrespective of their location.


Internationalization of contracts BIT Investment law State contracts Sovereignty Capital exporting countries NIEO 

Copyright information

© The Indian Society of International Law 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bocconi UniversityMilanItaly
  2. 2.Panthéon-Assas UniversityParisFrance

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