The book (International Investment Law: National, Regional and Global Perspectives) examines the principles and practices of international investment law in the light of international law. The book is situated within the prevailing dynamics of international investment law and policy that are underpinned by competing interests of the host States and foreign investors.
Over the past few decades, the term ‘resource curse’ has entered the policy domain and has been used to describe how countries in Africa, and the Global South more generally, which are endowed with natural wealth, are unable to develop and cannot avoid declining into violent conflict. In the collective imaginary, wars in different African countries, such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Liberia have been associated with brutal conflict waged by rebels driven by the lust for 'blood diamonds.'
Exploring the contentious relationship between trade and labour, my recently published co-authored book looks at the impact of the EU’s ‘new generation’ Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) on workers. Drawing upon extensive original research, which includes over 200 interviews with key actors across the EU and its trading partners, the book considers the effectiveness of the trade-labour linkage in an era of global value chains (GVCs).
This symposium addresses issues such as the low tax to GDP ratio in developing states, the broken social contract in these countries and the reforms needed to repair the social contract. The convener, in accepting the invitation of Afronomicslaw to host the tax symposium, called upon tax practitioners, academics, policy experts, philosophers, administrators, to offer insights on the relationship between taxation and the social contract
The current international, regional and national architecture of Intellectual Property law confers privileges to foreign transitional interest blocks in order to profit from patents by extending, trademarks, copyrights and so on for longer periods of time. This legal enclave diminishes the possibility of developing technologies, including diagnostics, medicines, vaccines and other medical supplies vital to treating patients infected by COVID-19 and it hampers efforts to distribute them in a timely manner to all the countries currently affected by the pandemic. However, the creative elements of a new global system are emerging now, one characterized by coordination between WIPO, WTO and WHO.
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.
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.
The past three decades have seen a growing scholarship on international law addressing legal and policy discussions on investment, trade, financial services and regulation, intellectual property right, tax, energy, competition law and even the environment. Despite this growth in the teaching and scholarly research of IEL, there remains question over the plurality and diversity of methodologies, voices and viewpoints in the discipline.
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.
In short, the SDGs and its interesting set of targets are a fertile ground not only to reimagine past UN led decade themed goals and their implications for (sustainable) development, but, to also situate them in contemporary discourse of the activities of nations, transnational corporations and other non-state actors. As part of the 2019 Purdy Crawford Workshop, the contributions to the symposium on “Sustainable Development Goals, Trade, Investment, and Inequality” critically examine these goals from the vantage point of each contributor’s scholarly expertise.