Memos and Briefing Notes

Comment on US Trade and Investment Agreements Submitted to USTR

CCSI, in response to the United States Trade Representative’s request for public comment to inform its performance review of US trade and investment agreements, submitted Comments that focused on the impact that investment protection provisions, enforceable through investor-state dispute settlement, have on rights-compliant, inclusive sustainable development within the United States and abroad.

Submission Regarding Amendments to the ICSID Arbitration Rules

In March 2017, CCSI submitted comments to the ICSID Secretariat regarding proposed revisions to ICSID’s arbitration rules. CCSI’s submission provided illustrative suggestions for amendments regarding the following issues: recognizing and safeguarding of the rights and interests of non-parties; improving transparency of the dispute resolution process; promoting transparency of ownership over investments; preventing actual and apparent… read more

The Settlement of Investment Disputes: A Discussion of Democratic Accountability and the Public Interest

In this briefing note, CCSI considers the threats to principles of good governance, including government accountability, respect for the rule of law, transparency, and respect for citizens’ rights and interests under domestic law and international human rights norms, that are posed by the settlement of treaty-based investor-state disputes. The authors also consider the exacerbated threats… read more

Briefing Note: A Collaborative Approach to Human Rights Impact Assessments

This briefing note, co-authored with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, outlines a new approach to conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of business operations or projects, which brings together project-affected people, the company, and other stakeholders to jointly design and implement an assessment. The aim of this… read more

Public Consultation on a Multilateral Reform of Investment Dispute Settlement

In March 2017 CCSI made a submission to the European Commission (EC) in response to its “Public consultation on a multilateral reform of investment dispute settlement.” CCSI’s submission consisted of a response to the form questionnaire created by the EC and a supplementary “Position Paper” to explain in greater depth CCSI’s views on the EC’s proposed… read more

How Oil and Gas Companies Can Help Meet the Global Goals on Energy and Climate Change

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. These concepts are linked. The urgency of addressing climate change is critical for global efforts to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development, but also climate-change mitigation must be… read more

Submission on the Draft General Comment on “State Obligations Under the ICESCR in the Context of Business Activities”

In January 2017 CCSI made a submission to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, regarding its draft General Comment on “State obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Context of Business Activities.” CCSI’s submission focused on: (1) host and home states’ obligations as they relate to international… read more

Beyond Trade Deals: Charting a Post-Brexit Course for UK Investment Treaties

The Brexit referendum has raised questions about the future terms of the United Kingdom’s engagement with the world economy. While a debate over the UK’s future approach to trade deals has already begun, a similar discussion has yet to develop on the treaties that govern foreign investment. As this briefing note by Lorenzo Cotula of the… read more

Submission to OPIC on Revisions to its Environmental and Social Policy Statement

In November 2016, CCSI sent a submission to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) regarding its draft revised Environmental and Social Policy Statement (ESPS). CCSI’s input focused on two discrete issues that CCSI has been working on: (1) contract transparency for natural resource and infrastructure projects, and (2) redress for harms in the context of… read more

220+ Law and Economics Professors Sign Letter Opposing ISDS in the TPP

CCSI helped launch a letter joined by over 220 law and economics professors calling on Congress to oppose the final Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement because that treaty includes the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. As the letter notes, the ISDS mechanism “threatens to dilute constitutional protections, weaken the judicial branch and outsource our domestic legal system… read more