Civil society actors, elected officials, ombudsmen, academics, and intergovernmental organizations have encouraged governments to conduct environmental, social, economic and human rights impact assessment of trade and investment agreements, in light of the wide reaching impacts of these treaties on people and planet. To date, impact assessments have been limited in both number and scope. Furthermore, very little has been done to (1) test the theoretical bases of the impact assessments, (2) evaluate the soundness of their assumptions and predictions, (3) assess whether recommendations have been adopted by relevant negotiating or contracting parties, and (4) monitor, on an ongoing basis, the actual effects of the agreements (as opposed to only producing ex ante hypotheses about impacts).
In September 2021, CCSI and the University of Essex School of Law hosted a workshop to discuss how impact assessments could more effectively shape investment governance.
This presentation builds off of the discussion from that workshop and shares some history and ways forward.