Most Favoured Nation Treatment

  • Claire Crépet DaigremontEmail author
Part of the Studies in European Economic Law and Regulation book series (SEELR, volume 15)


The most favoured nation (MFN) clause has a very long history. It has been included quite conspicuously in almost all bilateral investment treaties. Controversies emerged over the last few years regarding the international investment law regime, in particular the right of States to regulate for public interest, investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and the scope of MFN treatment. The result of these debates is the appearance of new formulations of provisions in Investment Chapters of free trade agreements (FTAs). The CETA’s MFN investment clause gives an example of this aim to reform international investment law. The MFN treatment formulation contained in Article 8.7 CETA is not innovative in itself. It resembles typical North American MFN formulations. The innovation rather derives from the exceptions that have been introduced by the EU and Canada. The CETA thus reflects an interesting evolution of the MFN treatment, showing an improvement of this important clause in international investment law rather than its deterioration.


Most favoured nation (MFN) treatment Non-discrimination Treaty practices Reforms Exceptions Reservations Limitations Public interests Substantive rights Procedural rights Like circumstances 


  1. Acconci P (2008) Most-favoured-nation treatment. In: Muchlinski P, Ortino F, Schreuer C (eds) The Oxford handbook of international investment law. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 363–406Google Scholar
  2. Banifatemi Y (2009) The emerging jurisprudence on the most-favoured-nation treatment in investment arbitration. In: Bjorklund A, Laird I, Ripinsky S (eds) Investment treaty law: current issues III. BIICL, London, pp 241–273Google Scholar
  3. Ben Hamida W (2008) MFN and procedural rights: solutions from WTO experience? In: Grierson Weiler TJ (ed) Investment treaty arbitration and international law, vol 1. JurisNet, New York, pp 231–246Google Scholar
  4. Cazala J (2012) La dénonciation de la convention de Washington établissant le CIRDI. AFDI:551–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cazala J (2017) La défiance étatique à l’égard de l’arbitrage investisseur-Etat exprimée dans quelques projets et instruments conventionnels récents. Journal du droit international 144(1):81–98Google Scholar
  6. Crépet Daigremont C (2015) La clause de la nation la plus favorisée. Pedone, ParisGoogle Scholar
  7. Faya Rodriguez A (2008) The most-favored-nation clause in international investment agreements – A tool for treaty shopping? J Int Arbitr 25:89–102Google Scholar
  8. Freyer DH, Herlihy D (2005) Most-favored-nation treatment and dispute settlement in investment arbitration: just how “favored” is “most-favored”? ICSID Rev:58–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hanessian G, Duggal K (2015) The 2015 Indian model BIT: is this change the world wishes to see? ICSID Rev 30(3):729–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Institute of International Law (2013) Legal aspects of recourse to arbitration by an investor against the authorities of the host state under inter-state treaties. Tokyo Session. Report of Andrea GiardinaGoogle Scholar
  11. Nikièma SH (2017) The most-favoured-nation clause in investment treaties. IISD Best Practices SeriesGoogle Scholar
  12. Nolde B (1924) Droit et technique des traits de commerce. RCADI 1924-II:291–460Google Scholar
  13. Nolde B (1932) La clause de la nation la plus favorisée et les tariffs préférentiels. RCADI 1932-I:1–130Google Scholar
  14. Rubins N (2008) MFN clauses, procedural rights, and a return to treaty text. In: Grierson Weiler TJ (ed) Investment treaty arbitration and international law, vol 1. JurisNet, New York, pp 213–229Google Scholar
  15. Stern B (2005) ICSID arbitration and the State’s increasingly remote consent: à propos the Maffezini case. In: Charnovitz S, Steger D, Den Bossche PV (eds) Law in the service of human dignity: essays in honour of Florentino Feliciano. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 246–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Titi C (2016) Most-favoured-nation treatment: survival clauses and reform of international investment law. J Int Arbitr 33(5):425–440Google Scholar
  17. Tzanakopoulos A (2014) National treatment and MFN in the (invisible) EU Model BIT. J World Invest Trade 15:484–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Uchkunova I, Temnikov O (2015) Toss out the baby and put the water to bed: on MFN clauses and the significance of treaty interpretation. ICSID Rev 30(2):414–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. UNCTAD (2000) Bilateral investment treaties 1959–1999. United Nations, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  20. UNCTAD (2004) International investment agreements: key issues I. United Nations, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  21. UNCTAD (2007) Bilateral investment treaties 1995–2006, trends in investment rulemaking. United Nations, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  22. UNCTAD (2010) Most-favoured-nation treatment. UNCTAD series on Issues in international investment agreements II. United Nations, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. UNCTAD (2016) Taking Stocks of IIA Reforms: IIA Issues Note, n° 1, March 2016Google Scholar
  24. Ustor E (1969) First report on the most-favoured-nation clause. Yearb Int Law Comm II:157–186Google Scholar
  25. Ustor E (1975) Sixth report on the most-favoured-nation clause. Yearb Int Law Comm II:1–26Google Scholar
  26. Wordsworth S, Brown C (2015) A re-run of Siemens, Wintershall and Hochtief on most-favoured-nation cases: Daimler Financial Services AG v Argentine Republic. ICSID Rev 30(2):365–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2), Faculté de droitParisFrance

Personalised recommendations