COP26 ended with a palpable sense of despair as industrialised states failed once again to deliver on long-standing commitments to finance adaptation and mitigation efforts in the Global South. As attempts to reach accord floundered, private capital materialised as the most likely source of this vital funding. Whilst their dire situation may leave post-colonial states with no option but to accept this investment, its continued entrenchment in the economies and polities of the Global South can only serve to perpetuate the centuries-long cycle of subordination, dependence, and debt.
There is the potential to create regional or sub-regional frameworks, which through agreements can handle claims against companies within their territories. This may strengthen local regional capacity, alleviate the allegations of complicity of the state and exemplify the cooperative spirit embodied in more recent collaborative African action. It would demonstrate an attempt at African solutions which are not dependent on home states. Nevertheless, it may not be enough to counter the lack of legally binding responsibility grounded in international law, as it would not be able to bring parent companies, who reside outside the African jurisdiction, within its scope.
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.