Investment & Human Rights

IIAs and Investor (Mis) Conduct

By Lise Johnson
January 14, 2019

The issue of investor responsibilities in investment law is – and should be — gaining prominence. Questions regarding whether and how investor responsibilities are, could, and should, be incorporated into or otherwise interact with international investment law and international investment agreements (IIAs) are a crucial part of the conversation regarding international investment law and policy, and reform thereof.

Access to Justice and Corporate Accountability for Investment-Related Harms: Opportunities and Limitations of the International Investment Regime

By Jesse Coleman
January 14, 2019

Can the investment regime be used to enhanced access to remedy and corporate accountability for human rights abuses in the context of international investment? If so, how?

Investor-State Mediation: An Opportunity to Advance Sustainable Outcomes

By Brooke Skartvedt Güven
January 3, 2020

Investor-state mediation is a mechanism that is increasingly considered as a way to resolve disputes between companies and their host-country governments. Mediation merits exploration precisely because it can be adapted by the parties to the circumstances of any particular investment-related issue and be used to support mutually-beneficial outcomes. In this way, its malleability should be viewed as a tool that, if properly used, could overcome the failures of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system evidenced by the current “legitimacy crisis” that ISDS faces. However, to the extent mediation’s flexibilities are used to facilitate processes or outcomes that sideline domestic legal processes, third-party rights and interests, and norms of democratic accountability and the rule of law, it will undoubtedly meet the same fate as ISDS.

Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine the Right to a Healthy Environment

By Lisa Sachs, Ella Merrill, and Lise Johnson
December 9, 2019

Our planet faces unprecedented threats, including irreversible global warming, loss in biodiversity, and water pollution and water scarcity. The impacts of these environmental crises also threaten human rights and exacerbate inequality. Slowing these worsening environmental trends – and addressing the impacts of environmental change on populations – will require cumulative policy responses at the national and international level.

Webinar on Investment Treaties and Human Rights Law: Interactions and Recent Developments

Date: November 21, 2019
Location: Webinar

Legal Frameworks & Foreign Investment: A Primer on Governments’ Obligations

Legal frameworks, and how they interact, are often invisible in the day to day. Yet they are powerful forces that influence government actions and that help to shape who benefits and who loses from foreign investment. Understanding these legal frameworks, and how they interact, is critical for anyone concerned with how foreign investment can be… read more

Outcome Report on the Climate Crisis, Global Land Use and Human Rights Conference

On September 27th, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Landesa, the New York City Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee, and Wake Forest Law School hosted a day-long conference on the intersection between land use, the climate crisis and clean energy transition, and human rights. Held at… read more

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

Arbitrating Human Rights Disputes: The Proposal for Business and Human Rights Arbitration Rules and Lessons Learned from the Bangladesh Accord Arbitrations

By Rumbidzai Maweni
July 10, 2019

In June 2019, the Business and Human Rights Arbitration Working Group, a private group of international lawyers and academics, published the Draft Arbitration Rules on Business and Human Rights, an initiative which proposes to create an international private judicial dispute resolution avenue for parties involved in business and human rights disputes. This post reviews the proposal in light of recent attempts to address business and human rights in the context of international arbitration with a specific focus on the Bangladesh Accord arbitrations.

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