Resources and Events


The IISD Guide to Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water By Carin Smaller, published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, November 2014

The IISD Guide to Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water is a legal and policy tool for governments and communities that are involved in negotiating investment contracts with foreign investors. The guide focuses on a particular type of contract involving long-term leases of farmland. Part I, Preparing for Negotiations, is designed to assist in the preparatory phase. Part 2, Model Contract, is structured like an investment contract for the lease of farmland and proposes model provisions. The IISD guide is a proactive response to the ‘land grab’ phenomenon that has plagued many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia in recent decades, whereby an unprecedented number of foreign investors acquire land in developing countries for their own financial gain, often to the detriment of poor farmers and pastoralists. The guide is available here:

Foreign Investment in the Energy Sector: Balancing Private and Public Interests Edited by Eric De Brabandere and Tarcisio Gazzini, published by Brill, June 2014

Foreign investments in the energy sector raise formidable legal questions, often requiring a delicate balance between private and public interests of the various stakeholders. Foreign Investment in the Energy Sector: Balancing Private and Public Interests opens with a discussion of the legal protection of foreign investment in the main segments of the energy sector (namely oil, gas, mining and hydroelectric industry), both in substantive and procedural terms. The second part of the book focuses on the Energy Charter Treaty, by far the most important international legal instrument in the energy sector, and its future after the decision of the Russian Federation not to ratify it. In its third part, the book examines four critical areas that are often negatively concerned by economic activities by multinational in the energy sector, namely compliance with safety and labour standards, protection of the environment, respect of indigenous peoples rights, and protection of public health. The book is available for purchase here:

Piercing the Veil of State Enterprises in International Arbitration By Albert Badia, published by Wolters Kluwers, March 2014

State enterprises are separate and legally independent from the state and should therefore be treated in the same manner as private corporations: neither privileged nor disadvantaged. However, the records of international arbitration show that the corporate veil of state enterprises has rarely, if ever, been pierced. This important book asks why this is so, and takes a giant step towards establishing the circumstances under which the rules of international law may allow piercing the veil of state corporate enterprises. To answer the questions of how far we should go in holding states responsible for the acts of their enterprises, and which principles should be applied, the author focuses on the theory of state attribution, ultimately concluding that, when it comes to enterprises owned or controlled by states, veil-piercing constitutes a special form of attribution. The book is available for purchase here:

The Foundations of International Investment Law: Bringing Theory into Practice Edited by Zachary Douglas, Joost Pauwelyn, and Jorge E. Viñuales, published by Oxford University Press, May 2014

International investment law is one of the fastest growing areas of international law. It has led to the signing of thousands of agreements, mostly in the form of investment contracts and bilateral investment treaties. Also, in the last two decades, there has been an exponential growth in the number of disputes being resolved by investment arbitration tribunals. Yet the legal principles at the basis of international investment law and arbitration remain in a state of flux. Perhaps the best illustration of this phenomenon is the wide disagreement among investment tribunals on some of the core concepts underpinning the regime, such as investment, property, regulatory powers, scope of jurisdiction, applicable law, or the interactions with other areas of international law. The purpose of this book is to revisit these conceptual foundations in order to shed light on the practice of international investment law. It is an attempt to bridge the growing gap between the theory and the practice of this thriving area of international law. The first part of the book focuses on the ‘infrastructure’ of the investment regime or, more specifically, on the structural arrangements that have been developed to manage foreign investment transactions and the potential disputes arising from them. The second part of the book identifies the common conceptual bases of an array of seemingly unconnected practical problems in order to clarify the main stakes and offer balanced solutions. The third part addresses the main sources of ‘regime stress’ as well as the main legal mechanisms available to manage such challenges to the operation of the regime.


November 2014


Workshop on The (Comparative) Constitutional Law of Private-Public Arbitration, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Germany,


Oil, Gas and Renewable Energies Investment Projects: Interaction between Rules of Law and Arbitration, Milan Chamber of Commerce, Milan, Italy,

December 2014


CLE Workshop on Investment Arbitration and Human Rights, The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, New York, United States,


The Political Economy of International Investment Agreements, German Development Institute and International Investment Initiative of the World Trade Institute , Bonn, Germany,

February 2015


2nd ICC International Mediation Round Table, International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, France,


Expert Meeting on the Transformation of the International Investment Agreement Regime: The Path Ahead, UNCTAD, Geneva, Switzerland,

March 2015


Executive Training Program on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture, Columbia University, New York, United States,