Neo colonialism as described by Ian Taylor is as valid then as it is now, but there are alternatives beyond the modern paradigm and we have to run the risk of decolonizing the academy, people are changing and fighting from other ways of life, but our academies? can you hear them? Indigenous peoples, community organizations, peasants and nature are speaking to us. The question is what language and what knowledge we will use to listen and speak them.
If we are to take decolonization of international legal studies seriously, the production of literature, the history of International Law and especially methods of analysis must be destabilized
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.
In the opinion of this contribution, African States must be more radical in their approach to investment treaty and ISDS reforms. First, they must retain the role of domestic courts in the resolution of investment disputes in line with their national constitutions. Second, where the case for an international dispute settlement mechanism is made, they must consider a state-state trade and investment dispute settlement bodies at the regional and continental levels for all transnational business disputes. Appeals from domestic courts could lie before regional appellate bodies and from a regional appellate to a continental dispute settlement body. This should provide assurance to investors and other business entities that their disputes can and must be resolved within the African continent.
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 Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA is far more than just a trade agreement. It embodies long-held aspirations for an integrated Africa which, in the words of Ghana’s first Prime Minister and President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, would be better equipped to “tackle hopefully every emergency, every enemy and every complexity.” As one of the flagship projects of the AU’s Agenda 2063, the free trade initiative is envisioned as a pathway to an African renaissance in both economic and cultural terms. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the AfCFTA could integrate 55 African Union (AU) member states in a market of about 1.2 billion people with an estimated gross domestic product of US $ 2.5 trillion. Moreover, the area is expected to reflect the continent’s “common identity by celebrating our history and our vibrant culture.”
The coronavirus reminds us of our shared humanity, but at the same time its fallout has increased our economic inequalities. It affects and infects people, regardless of class, socio-economic status, gender, and race. At the same time, however, it reinforces inequalities among people and nations by forcing developing countries into the arms of richer nations in the West.
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.
Third world approaches to international law (TWAIL) is part of the critical branch of international legal scholarship and an intellectual and political movement. It is not easy to engage with TWAIL because of its heterogeneity. TWAIL serves as a kind of umbrella category that includes different theoretical and often conflicting ideological traditions. However, at the cost of oversimplification, it may be argued that TWAIL represents an endeavour to comprehend the history, structure, and process of international law from the perspective of third world countries that includes both third world governments and third world people
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.