Foreign Investment and the Environment in International Law

By Jorge E. Viñuales, Published by Cambridge University Press, April 2015

Conflicts between foreign investment law and environmental law are becoming increasingly frequent. On the one hand, the rise of environmental regulation poses significant challenges to foreign investors in several industries. On the other, the surge in investment arbitration proceedings is making states aware of the important litigation risks that may result from the adoption of environmental regulation. This study of the relationship between these two areas of law adopts both a policy and a practical perspective. It identifies the major challenges facing states, foreign investors and their legal advisers as a result of the potential friction between investment law and environmental law and provides a detailed analysis of all the major legal issues on the basis of a comprehensive study of the jurisprudence from investment tribunals, human rights courts and bodies, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and other adjudication mechanisms. The book analyzes international jurisprudence beyond investment cases, to cover cases decided by many different tribunals, courts and bodies. Finally, it provides a balanced and reliable account of the current state of the law that avoids activism and disentangles “hard” law from progressive development. Available at