Investment Law and Policy

13th Annual Columbia International Investment Conference: “Multinationals in the Age of Sustainable Development: New Thinking on the Role of International Investment Agreements”

Date: September 27-28, 2018, 8:30am – 5:30pm
Location: Faculty House, Columbia University, New York

Executive Training on Investment Treaties and Arbitration for Government Officials

Date: July 30-August 9, 2018
Location: Columbia University

Clearing the Path: Withdrawal of Consent and Termination as Next Steps for Reforming International Investment Law

This is a crucial moment in international investment policymaking. Two factors have converged, calling for a new direction. First, it has become increasingly difficult to justify investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS); even governments that had been among its strongest proponents are now changing course and have raised a range of fundamental, systemic and inter-related issues relating… read more

Stakeholder Session on UNCITRAL ISDS Reform Process

Date: April 23, 2018, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Location: Regency Room, Grand Hyatt, 109 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

Costs and Benefits of Investment Treaties: Practical Considerations for States

This paper analyzes the expected benefits of investment treaties, including: increased inward investment, increased outward investment, and depoliticization of investment disputes. It then considers evidence of the costs of investment treaties, including: litigation, liability, reputational cost, reduced policy space, distorted power dynamics, reduced role for domestic law-making, and uncertainty in the law. The authors set… read more

Crucial Ingredients for Meaningful Reform at UNCITRAL: Withdrawal of Consent to Arbitrate and Termination of Existing Treaties

By Lise Johnson, Lisa Sachs, Brooke Guven, and Jesse Coleman
April 18, 2018

UNCITRAL’s Working Group III has been entrusted with a mandate to explore reform of ISDS, including, potentially, through a multilateral instrument capable of reforming existing treaties. However, these discussions are likely to be slow, and outcomes uncertain. In the meantime, governments and their stakeholders remain tied to an outdated system that is widely acknowledged to be ill-suited for modern investment policy objectives, with increasingly concerning consequences. Two near term options that could accompany longer term reform are (1) a joint instrument on withdrawal of consent to arbitrate; and/or (2) a joint instrument on termination.

Categories: Blog

What Do We Mean by Investment Facilitation?

By Jesse Coleman, Brooke Güven, Lise Johnson, and Lisa Sachs
February 21, 2018

The authors discuss calls for “investment facilitation,” highlighting aspects of the potential investment facilitation agenda that could advance sustainable development and those that may ultimately undermine it.

Categories: Blog

Webinar: Civil Society Submissions in Investor-State Arbitration

Date: February 6, 2018, 7:00am-8.30am EST/ 12:00pm-1:30pm GMT
Location: Webinar

Experts Examine Costs and Benefits of Investment Incentives

By Nathan Lobel
January 10, 2018

Governments continue to use incentives to attract and hold corporate investment. In Rethinking Investment Incentives: Trends and Policy Options edited by Ana Teresa Tavares-Lehmann, Perrine Toledano, Lise Johnson, and Lisa Sachs (Columbia University Press, July 2016), several distinguished experts question some of the core assumptions that lead to these deals. In doing so, they identify key issues for policymakers and propose best practices to help governments get the most bang for their buck.

Categories: Blog

Investor-State Dispute Settlement: What Are We Trying to Achieve? Does ISDS Get us There?

By Lise Johnson, Brooke Skartvedt Güven, and Jesse Coleman
December 11, 2017

In this blog post, the first part of a two-part series, Lise Johnson, Brooke Skartvedt Güven, and Jesse Coleman raise questions regarding the effectiveness of investor-state dispute settlement in achieving its stated objectives.

Categories: Blog