Investor Obligations

The Revised Draft of a Treaty on Business and Human Rights: Ground-breaking improvements and brighter prospects

This past July, the chairperson of a working group tasked with negotiating an international treaty on business and human rights circulated an updated draft text for consideration in the fifth round of negotiations, to be held October 14–18, 2019 in Geneva. This document features a series of innovations, including extending the scope of the treaty beyond transnational organizations to include all business enterprises, along with bringing much needed clarity on how this treaty might interact with the wide range of trade and investment agreements already in place. Carlos Lopez describes these innovations in detail, showing their changes relative to the “zero draft” and outlining how they may affect upcoming negotiations.

@CarlosLopezGVA
@ICJ_org

Enhancing Environmental Protection in International Investment Law Through the Integration of International Civil Liability Principles

Investor–state arbitration has repeatedly proven ineffective in addressing environmental damages that host states suffer as a result of investment activities. This piece examines what lessons can be learned from international civil liability conventions, which are specifically designed to ensure victims’ compensation in cases of environmental harm. The author then explores which principles from these conventions could be adapted for use in investment treaties.

Protecting Social Rights Using the Amicus Curiae Procedure in Investment Arbitration: A smokescreen against third parties?

Arguments submitted by an amicus curiae (a “friend of the court”) have become increasingly common in investment arbitration. Many of these arguments deal with internationally recognized social rights, such as the right to water or food. This piece considers the restrictive conditions on amici curiae admission, the frequent reference to social rights issues in amici briefs, and the challenges in presenting these social rights arguments. The author advances possible actions that amici and states can take to make their social rights arguments more effective in an investment law context.

Corporate Social Responsibility Clauses in Investment Treaties

CSR refers to rules and practices companies follow voluntarily to limit the negative social, environmental and other externalities caused by their activities. There is a trend to incorporate CSR standards in investment treaties. Could CSR clauses be useful in consolidating enforceable investor obligations and serving as a basis for state counterclaims?

ITN  |  October 18, 2018

Parkerings v. Lithuania

Parkerings–Compagniet AS v. Republic of Lithuania, ICSID Case No. ARB/05/8 (Originally published in 2011 in International Investment Law and Sustainable Development: Key cases from 2000–2010; republished on this website on October 18, 2018. Read more here.) Award available at https://www.italaw.com/cases/812 Keywords Broad dispute resolution provision, cultural measures, due diligence, environmental measures, exhaustion of remedies, expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, good […]

ITN  |  October 18, 2018

Phoenix v. Czech Republic

Phoenix Action Ltd. v. Czech Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/06/5 (Originally published in 2011 in International Investment Law and Sustainable Development: Key cases from 2000–2010; republished on this website on October 18, 2018. Read more here.) Award available at https://www.italaw.com/cases/850 Keywords Abuse of process, definition of “investment,” good faith, investor obligations, jurisdiction, “Salini” test Key dates Request for Arbitration: […]

ITN  |  October 18, 2018

Siemens v. Argentina

Siemens A.G. v. Republic of Argentina, ICSID Case No. ARB/02/8 (Originally published in 2011 in International Investment Law and Sustainable Development: Key cases from 2000–2010; republished on this website on October 18, 2018. Read more here.) Decision, award and other documents available at https://www.italaw.com/cases/1026 Keywords Corruption, damages, expropriation, interpretation, investor obligations, margin of appreciation, most favoured nation, proportionality, […]

ITN  |  October 18, 2018

World Duty Free v. Kenya

World Duty Free Co. Ltd. v. Republic of Kenya, ICSID Case No. ARB/00/7 (Originally published in 2011 in International Investment Law and Sustainable Development: Key cases from 2000–2010; republished on this website on October 18, 2018. Read more here.) Award available at https://www.italaw.com/cases/3280 Keywords Corruption, interpretation, investor obligations, transparency Key dates Request for Arbitration: 7 July 2000 Constitution […]

ITN  |  October 18, 2018

Burlington v. Ecuador

Burlington Resources Inc. v. Republic of Ecuador, ICSID Case No. ARB/08/5 (Published in 2018 in International Investment Law and Sustainable Development: Key cases from the 2010s and on this website on October 18, 2018. Read more here.) Decisions and Award are available at https://www.italaw.com/cases/181 Keywords Taxation, investor obligations, environmental counterclaim Key Dates Request for Arbitration: April […]

The Journey of a Binding Treaty on Human Rights: Three Years Out and Where Is It Heading?

Meaningful and effective remedies need to be provided to those injured by business-related human rights abuses. An intergovernmental working group at the United Nations is working to bridge gaps among stakeholders and negotiate a binding instrument on transnational corporations and other businesses with respect to human rights.

UNCTAD’s 2017 High-level IIA Conference: Moving Forward on Addressing Older-Generation International Investment Agreements

Over 300 experts gathered in Geneva to take stock of the sustainable development-oriented reform of the investment treaty regime and discuss policy options for modernizing the existing stock of older-generation treaties. Participants recognized that multilateral collaboration would be key to addressing the complex IIA regime.

Can Foreign Investors Be Held Liable for Human Rights Violations? International Human Rights Law and Beyond

Host states have had the challenge to protect their citizens from human rights violations caused by multinationals. This paper explains the bases of states’ obligations under international human rights law and how foreign investors may be held responsible.

UNCTAD’s International Investment Agreements Conference 2016: Taking IIA Reform to the Next Level

As part of the World Investment Forum (WIF) 2016,[1] negotiators of international investment agreements (IIAs) and various stakeholders convened at the High-Level IIA Conference on July 19, 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. Some 50 country delegates, parliamentarians, officials of international organizations and civil society representatives discussed the first phase of IIA reform and how to move […]

News  |  December 12, 2016

Brazil and India initial bilateral investment treaty (BIT); text yet to be published 

During the 10th Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators, held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from November 7 to 10, representatives from Brazil and India announced that they had recently initialled a bilateral investment agreement (BIT).

News  |  August 10, 2016

India takes steps to reform its investment policy framework after approving new model BIT

India has started to send official notices to terminate bilateral investment treaties (BITs) to 57 partner countries with which it has BITs that have already expired or will expire in the near future. Moreover, to the 25 countries with which India has BITs with initial durations expiring from July 2017 onward, India has started to propose signing joint […]

An interview with Lauge Poulsen, author of Bounded Rationality and Economic Diplomacy

The popularity of BITs in large parts of the developing world was due to a failure to appreciate their bite. Why would so many governments sign up to some of the most potent instruments in international economic law without even caring to check what the treaties meant?

News  |  February 29, 2016

Ecuador’s audit on investment treaties: CAITISA reports leaked

Three reports by CAITISA, Ecuador’s citizen audit commission on bilateral investment treaties (BITs), were leaked by online newspaper Diagonal on January 24, 2016.

Experts at UNCTAD Meeting Give Shape to IIA Reform Options

More than 300 experts and delegates from member states, international organizations, NGOs, the private sector and academia attended the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Meeting on the Transformation of the International Investment Agreement (IIA) Regime from February 25 to 27, 2015 in Geneva. Working in breakout and plenary sessions, the experts explored […]

ITN  |  July 12, 2011

News in Brief

Canada and Dow Chemical settle claim over pesticide ban A controversial NAFTA investment dispute between Dow AgroSciences and the government of Canada was settled this May. The settlement agreement involves no money exchanging hands, and the Province of Quebec will continue to restrict the use the lawn pesticides – the measure that prompted Dow to […]