Local Communities

The Law of Global Value Chains as Transmission Nodes for Global Inequality

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the current patterns of production and consumption, exemplified by GVCs and the global trade and investment order in which they operate. These fragilities have resulted in the aforementioned social, economic and financial crises but what they represent most of all, is a crisis of responsibility in which powerful actors, state and private, that have been the main beneficiaries of GVCs, have failed to discharge their ethical and normative obligations to those most vulnerable within their production and supply chains. To this end, a new approach is sorely needed to address the vulnerabilities of a global economy built on fragile GVC governance that serves as new nodes of global inequality and precarity.

Assessing the Relationship between the Nigerian Companies Act and Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria

The current attention to sustainability challenges in Nigeria presents a good opportunity for policy makers to review the extant company legislation in Nigeria and incorporate CSR provisions suitable to the nation’s cultural and economic context. The aim of CSR regulation is to use the market economy to finance and achieve sustainable development. The purpose of the company should be redefined to serve all the constituents, not only the community, but also employees, customers and investors.

Commercial Law Reform in the Age of Integration: Of Stakeholders, Futility of Boundary-Marking and Strategies

The interconnectedness of commercial and other mundane human transactions has never been more reified than it is since the advent of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). However, it bears observing that ICTs have helped in harnessing virtually every human and non-human endeavour into their commercial ramifications

Public interest captured by foreign investment: the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia

Coal extraction is a lucrative industry in Colombia for the transnational corporations operating in the country. One of the most aggressive projects against local communities today is the Cerrejon coal mine in la Guajira, which has been a site for large-scale coal extraction since 1970. In 1976 the Colombian government signed a contract with Intercor (a subsidiary of Exxon) to explore, exploit and commercialize the Northern Zone. Under this agreement, both the exploitation and commercialization of coal would have a duration of 23 years, from which both the mine and the railroad, the port, the buildings, other properties, contracts and fixed assets that are necessary for the development of the business would return to Carbocol, a state-owned enterprise.

International Law Started with the Haitian Revolution

The newly-formed International Economic Law Collective has already brought something new to how we understand economic thought in international law. Compared to other groups in international law, the Collective is distinct because it places the concept of equality as both an analytical focal point in the work its members produce and as a main feature of how the group organizes itself.

Commentary on the UNIDROIT Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts

Food security is at the very core of human existence. Agriculture is thus a critical part of sustainable development. It is estimated that Agriculture contributes about 33% of the world’s gross-domestic product. A significant number of countries with the most arable land belong to the categorization of low to middle income nations, while a significant number of the high-income nations are dependent on food imports from the former. As a result, domestic and foreign agricultural land investment contracts are common as countries seek to achieve food security. The UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide to Agricultural Land Investment Contracts (ALIC) is thus a welcome framework for ensuring that these investments contribute to the sustainable development goals. On the overall, the legal guide provides comprehensive instrument that effectively highlights the critical components of such agricultural land contracts and is thus commendable.

Access to Justice for Local Communities in Investor-state Arbitration

Access to justice for victims of business and human rights in the ISA will be an strong index to measure the realization of the sustainable development goal on access to justice. Goal 16 specifically provides that states should promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all. Reforming the ISA to ensure equal access between states, investors, and local communities will be an important step in this direction.

Land Deals, Contracts and Human Rights: Some Reflections

The Guide should better take into account that land deals and their potential negative impacts go beyond contract law, and require a more consistent incorporation of human rights and environmental law. Even though strengthening legal frameworks and standards at national and international level might be outside of the Guide’s scope, it needs to be clear about the institutional and legal context that is required to protect and guarantee human rights, as well as the importance of cooperation between states, including needed regulations in commercial and administrative law at national and international levels.

The Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts: Moving foreign investment governance in the right direction

The UNIDROIT-FAO-IFAD Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts (The Guide) is a tool to promote responsible agricultural foreign investment. Many international organisations insist that more private investment is needed to meet the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Agricultural foreign investment, particularly, is central to a world with no poverty (SDG 1) and no hunger (SDG 2) (The Guide 2019, 10, 13), but the link between foreign investment and these goals should not be taken for granted. Foreign investment can probably promote these and other SDGs; however, it also creates costs and risks.