Memos and Briefing Notes

Agricultural Investments: A Primer for Host Government Lawyers and Local Lawyers in Private Practice

Attracting investment in agriculture has been a key policy goal of governments in the global south. Development partners have supported these policies. But what do governments hope to achieve by attracting investment in the agricultural sector? Why are companies interested in investing? What is in it for local communities? And what is the role of… read more

CCSI Submissions to UNCITRAL ISDS Reform Process

To contribute to UNCITRAL’s work on how to reform international investment treaties, CCSI, together with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), submitted four documents outlining potential reform options and considerations.

Briefing for Civil Society Organizations – Understanding Commercial Eucalyptus Plantations: How Do They Work and What Are Their Environmental Impacts?

If a company wants to use a community’s land for eucalyptus plantations, the community should think carefully about whether this is a good idea. Civil society organizations that support communities can use this briefing to help communities understand the potential environmental impacts the community should be aware of. The briefing explains plantation forestry and the… read more

CCSI Submits Written Views to US Department of State Regarding UNCITRAL’s Working Group III

In connection with the US Department of State’s Annual Advisory Committee on Private International law meeting in May 2019, CCSI submitted written views (available here) regarding UNCITRAL’s Working Group III on ISDS reform. CCSI’s comments highlighted specific areas of CCSI’s research as it relates to the US Government and its work within the Working Group…. read more

Primer: International Investment Treaties and Investor-State Dispute Settlement

A printable version of this primer is also available here. [Updated as of May 31, 2019] What Are International Investment Agreements (IIAs)? IIAs are bilateral or multilateral treaties that commit state-parties to afford specific standards of conduct to foreign investors from the other state-parties. These treaties grant foreign investors certain benefits, including recourse to Investor-State… read more

Briefing for Grass-Roots Organizations – Bridging the Information Gap: How Access to Land Contracts Can Serve Community Rights

Land contracts (also known as investor-state contracts, or concession agreements) show what commitments a forestry, farming or renewable energy company has made and what the government has said the company can do on the land. These promises define the positive and harmful effects the company’s project could have on community members’ livelihoods and human rights,… read more

Towards G20 Guiding Principles on Investment Facilitation for Sustainable Development

Prepared for the T20 Task Force on Trade, Investment and Globalization, as an input into the 26-27 May 2019 G20 Summit chaired by Japan, this brief notes that there is growing support behind an international framework to facilitate investment for sustainable development. It suggests that the G20 consider adopting Guiding Principles on Investment Facilitation for Sustainable… read more

Business and Human Rights Arbitration

The Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration, initiated by the Business and Human Rights Arbitration Working Group, aims to create an international private judicial dispute resolution avenue available to parties involved in business and human rights issues, thereby helping to address the significant remedy gap faced by victims of business-related abuses. With the… read more

Sustainable Investing: What’s on the Horizon

Sustainable investing, otherwise know as Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, has become a significant part of the investment management industry since 2006. There is an increasing acceptance of the investment merits of investing with ESG considerations across large parts of the investment industry. The next era of ESG investing will witness an increase in… read more

Inconsistency’s Many Forms in Investor-State Dispute Settlement and Implications for Reform

UNCITRAL has a vital role to play in exploring problems with and potential reform of ISDS, and in considering how to ensure its work better promotes, and does not undermine, rule of law, other domestic and international commitments and policies, and the globally agreed Agenda 2030. As the process moves forward, it is essential for… read more