Most of DSTs significant propositions are based on several grounds, including the goal of having businesses and corporations, especially multinational corporations (MNCs) pay their due share on taxes, taxing profits derived from consumers activities in their territory, or adapting traditional regulations and systems of international taxation to guide and inform new forms of unsettling business models that can be conducted virtually. This is following the debate that digital firms are undertaxed.
International Human Rights
The African Society of International Law (AfSIL) held its 9th Annual Conference on Africa and COVID-19 virtually, on 30 October 2020. AfSIL aims inter alia to promote international law on the continent and to contribute to the development of an international law that expresses the point of view of African States and specialists. The Conference was sponsored by law firms Foley Hoag LLP, Shikana Law Group and Asafo & Co.
At the heart of African decolonization was radical political thinking about international non-domination, and the vision of an international legal, political and economic order that secured this anti-imperialism through global redistribution. This idea of the world, that involved radical reinterpretation of the principle of self-determination, united the political thinking of the tallest leaders of Africa – Azikiwe, Nkrumah, Nyerere, and others.
The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Gl-ESCR) is a non- governmental organisation that believes transformative change to end endemic problems of social and economic injustice is possible through a human rights lens.
The dire situation caused by COVID-19 has led governments to explore options for various alternatives to control its spread. Alongside other measures, states across the globe, including some African nations, are introducing contact-tracing through mobile/smartphone apps. This is particularly so in South Korea, Taiwan, China and Singapore East and Southeast Asian countries. Europe and the US are also considering the alternative.
This symposium presents two interesting memoirs of African students who have participated in these moots and have chosen paths of graduate studies that are related to international economic law and development studies. Mr Mishael Wambua a student at Strathmore University Law and last year winner and best oralist at the John H. Jackson writes about his experience and advice to future mooters. Ms Purity Maritim a former participant of the same moot and now a masters student at the Graduate Institute in Geneva also writes about her experiences and what she learnt from the moot. The other two contributions are from Mr Christian Campbell the Assistant Director FDI moot and Tsotang Tsietsi lecturer and moot coach from the National University of Lesotho. These two contributions present two interesting perspectives on the many directions that moot court competitions can take for Africa in the near future.
In this brief post, I want to make sense of Prabhash Ranjan’s brief critique of TWAIL perspectives on international investment law. My main aim is not to mount a defense of TWAIL project(s) on investment law because that might be done more eloquently by others. Instead, I want to make some brief comments about the political valence of, and the assumptions behind, the reservations that Professor Ranjan articulated in this post, and which also appear in his recent book on India and Bilateral Investment Treaties.
I argue that it is time to explore the possibilities of a substantial reform, which should include: the renegotiation of the current 3,200 IIA; to stop signing treaties with arbitral clauses and extremely favourable conditions for investors; the promotion of an effective sovereignty States over the space that they should regulate; and the approval of binding obligations for companies. The failure to address substantive issues in ISDS, and to only focus on procedural aspects of reform, will lead to the consolidation and re-legitimatisation of this system, under the guise of “modernizing” it.
As social movements and civil society continues to seek support within international law in their claims for justice, the reflection on the absence of international corporate accountability mechanisms is an open field for human rights discourse dispute.
Human rights principles and standards are strongly reflected in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. However, for victims of human rights violations at the hands of transnational corporations the question of redress remains daunting. Access to justice challenges faced by such victims before domestic courts have placed this issue at the forefront of international discourse. Accordingly, one of the ‘pillars’ on which the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) are founded is the “need for rights and obligations to be matched to appropriate and effective remedies when breached”, including state-based judicial, state-based non-judicial, and non-state–based remedies.