International Investment Agreements

UNCTAD and IIED Webinar: International Investment Agreements and Climate Action

UNCTAD and IIED are organising a webinar on international investment agreements and climate action on 4 February 2022. This event will bring together experts and stakeholders from government, international organisations, civil society and academia to discuss the reform of the international investment agreements (IIAs) regime for climate change goals.

Repurposing International Investment Agreements to Advance Sustainable Development in Nigeria

This blog reflects on recent efforts for international investment agreements (IIAs) to extend human rights and sustainable development obligations to foreign investors. Prior to the recent adoption of the Nigeria-Morocco BIT in 2016, human rights language and foreign investor obligations were notably absent in Nigeria’s IIAs. This discrepancy - between attempts to attract foreign investment through IIAs and the failure to link these investments to socio-economic priorities in Nigeria – has led to palpable tensions within Nigeria’s dominant economic sector, oil production, but recent international law developments suggest a slow shift is happening.

Review of International Investment Law: National, Regional and Global Perspectives by Collins C. Ajibo (Nijmegen, The Netherlands: 2020)

The book provides useful knowledge of aspects of IIL and clearly contributes to the field. It seems to map the field in a way that can generate interest in undertaking a more detailed and rigorous examination of some issues raised in the application of rules and principles of IIL in a variety of settings. Invariably some issues have been covered in more depth than others. In addition to the consideration of regional instruments, there are some comparative references between countries such as Nigeria, United Kingdom and the United States. To understand the book’s mission and contributions, it is important to explore the contents of its chapters.

Accountability within GVCs as part of post COVID-19 transformative agenda

Global value chains (GVCs), as a dominant form of capitalism today, have been a vehicle for entrenching the concentration of economic resources and power in the hands of multinational corporations. While COVID-19 compounded health and economic crisis, reports emerged that suppliers in the garment industry value chains have been facing mounting challenges as a result of unreasonable demands from big clients, mainly corporations in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Solución de controversias inversor-Estado en tiempos de covid-19: un acercamiento desde la teoría de la vulnerabilidad

Tension between investment protection and right to regulate has not been resolved yet and it is even more dangerous when States take measures in order to target health, social and economic effects of the covid-19 pandemic. Facing investor-State dispute resolution reform, an approach from Martha Fineman's vulnerability theory is imperative. Placing human being (vulnerable subject) as the center of the analysis, right to regulate protection should be a pre-stage for building resilience from social institutions. Therefore, States would not be at risk of compromising their budgets in international arbitration or experiencing “regulatory chill

Vulnerability and Resilience in the Investment Context in the Age of COVID-19: A Caribbean Perspective

While investment is not per se a current focus of our TVI, this present article discusses vulnerability concerns in an investment context utilising Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States as the point of departure. It concludes by discussing the ways these countries have sought and could seek to build resilience.

Human Rights Compatibility of Trade in WASH Services in the African Continental Free Trade Area

The main goal of the international HRWS is to prioritise universal access to safe, affordable, accessible, adequate water and sanitation, including hygiene services. The human rights framework also has procedural requirements to ensure non-discrimination, public participation, transparency and accountability and the extraterritorial obligation to do no harm in the governance of WASH services. Water is understood as having diverse characteristics being simultaneously an economic, social, cultural, political and ecological good. This multiplicity of framings complicates the localization and mainstreaming of the HRWS in relevant institutions at various levels of governance, from the international to the local.

COVID-19, Preventative Measures and the Investment Treaty Regime

States could rely on secondary rules on State responsibility to defend preventative measures relating to COVID-19, yet their successful invocation depends on satisfying several conditions set out in the ILC’s Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, a discussion of which is beyond the scope of this post. Meanwhile, the applicability of the doctrine of margin of appreciation, developed by the European Court of Human Rights, to the claims arising under BITs has been accepted, justifying why investment tribunals should pay deference to governmental judgments of national requirements in the protection of public health when the “discretionary exercise of sovereign power, [is] not made irrationally and not exercised in bad faith”

Using International Investment Agreements to Address Access to Justice for Victims of Human Rights Violations Associated with Transnational Resource Extraction

Access to justice for victims of business-related human rights violations, including harm caused by transnational resource extraction projects, remains a pressing global concern. A 2018 study by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) notes that such victims “continue to struggle to achieve effective remedies for the harm they have suffered”. This is despite the development and widespread endorsement by states and businesses of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.