A decolonised international law module, and the law curriculum in general, should be able to imagine the world beyond a simplistic notion of ‘the law says so’
While procedural reforms are important, substantive reform should be foregrounded. If substantive reforms cannot take place then African states should exit the ISDS scene.
We are excited about our forthcoming symposium which centres the voices of amazing scholars from the Global South on the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform. The written symposium will run from September 7th 2020.
To the extent that measures taken to combat Covid-19 intersect with existing trade and investment obligations for countries in the global south, and reveals the embedded tensions, we wonder whether regional governance can or should serve as a framework to create equitable and just South-South cooperation, especially in times of crises. Regional and sub-regional organisations, if operationalised effectively, have the capabilities to pool together the financial, human, and intellectual resources that will be needed to identify interventions and responses to measures that threaten the foundations of solidarity, self-reliance and equality underpinning South-South relations.
Under the imperialism approach transplanted commercial laws especially from countries receiving these laws from their colonial or other western metropolitan centers are viewed as aimed at securing the immediate and future commercial interests of the colonial/metropolitan empire and not the interests of the peoples of the receiving countries.
May 13, 2019
For the AfCFTA to succeed will require more than its regulatory framework; a supporting framework is also required and this is found in what Douglass North has termed “mental models”. Mental models are the necessary norms and beliefs of policy makers - their perceptions of the world around them.
Intellectual Property (IP) is one of the three items currently under negotiation in Phase II of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA negotiations include IP because of the continued relevance of the innovative and creative sectors to trade in goods and services across the globe. With a focus on Pharmaceutical Patents, Plant Variety Protection (PVP), Geographical Indications (GIs) and Traditional Knowledge, this post suggests that the primary purpose of the Protocol on IP in the AfCFTA should be to promote socio-economic development on the continent.
The AfCFTA has a broad objective of creating “a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments” and a potential to significantly impact international trade relations simultaneously at the continental and global levels. Yet, situated in the context of a challenging and protracted history of non-implementation of regional trade agreements, and a complex international and regional trade wars with divisive implications in contemporary multilateral trading system, there are reasons to be modest about the impact of the AfCFTA.