Analyse

Le parcours d’un Traité contraignant sur les droits humains : déjà trois ans… où va-t-il mener ?

Les personnes affectées par les abus des droits humains découlant d’activités commerciales doivent avoir accès à des recours significatifs et efficaces. Un groupe de travail intergouvernemental des Nations Unies cherche à combler les écarts entre les parties-prenantes et à négocier un instrument contraignant sur les sociétés transnationales et autres entreprises en matière de droits humains.

L’espace réglementaire gouvernemental dans l’ombre des TBI : l’exemple de la réforme par la Tanzanie de sa réglementation en matière de ressources naturelles

En juillet 2017, la Tanzanie a adopté trois nouvelles lois modifiant en profondeur le paysage réglementaire des ressources naturelles. Ces réformes visent à garantir que les investissements étrangers bénéficient aux citoyens tanzaniens. D’un point de vue africain, l’article soutient qu’il est temps de repenser le régime des traités d’investissement pour veiller à ce qu’ils n’entravent pas ces réformes très attendues.

Conférence de haut-niveau de la CNUCED sur les AII : poursuivre l’examen des Accords internationaux d’investissement d’ancienne génération

Plus de 300 participants se sont réunis à Genève pour faire le point sur la réforme du régime des traités d’investissement axée sur le développement durable, et pour aborder les moyens d’action politique permettant de moderniser le stock existant de traités d’ancienne génération. Les participants ont reconnu qu’une collaboration multilatérale serait essentielle pour corriger le régime complexe des AII.

Analyse critique de L’économie politique du régime des traités d’investissement

Dans leur nouvel ouvrage, Jonathan Bonnitcha, LaugePoulsenet Michael Waibel développent une structure cohérente de l’analyse politique des traités d’investissement, qui devrait attirer l’intérêt des gouvernements à l’heure d’examiner leurs politiques en matière de traités. L’ouvrage soutient que tels qu’appliqués actuellement, les traités d’investissement semblent souvent mal adaptés aux préoccupations économiques identifiables.

Un regard sur la présence croissante de la Chine dans les affaires RDIE

La Chine a maintenu d’importants flux entrants et sortants d’investissements directs étrangers et élargi son réseau de traités d’investissement. Cette note met en lumière la présence du pays dans les affaires RDIE, soit en qualité d’État d’origine ou d’accueil au cours de la dernière décennie.

Les investisseurs étrangers peuvent-ils être tenus responsables des violations des droits humains ? Droit international des droits humains et au-delà

Les États hôtes se sont retrouvés face au défi de protéger leurs citoyens des violations des droits humains causés par les multinationales. Cet article explique les bases des obligations des États en vertu du droit international des droits humains et comment engager la responsabilité des investisseurs étrangers.

L’élargissement de la Charte de l’Énergie à l’Afrique et à l’Asie : défaire la réforme du droit international de l’investissement ?

Le Secrétariat de la Charte de l’Énergie est en « mode expansion », et souhaite obtenir l’accès aux ressources énergétiques d’Afrique et d’Asie pour ces membres actuels – principalement des pays développés – et développer un système de protection de l’investissement de grande portée (et obsolète) au bénéfice des investissements réalisés dans des pays riches en ressources.

Un autre conflit de normes : quel est le lien entre le projet BEPS, la fiscalité internationale et les traités d’investissement ?

Le projet de réforme relatif à l’érosion de l’assiette imposable et le transfert de bénéfice (BEPS) mené par l’OCDE s’attaque aux mesures des entreprises visant à transférer les bénéfices vers des destinations à faible ou sans imposition. Mais le droit des investissements peut entraver la mise en œuvre d’une réforme bien nécessaire de la fiscalité internationale.

La boîte à outils durable pour les négociateurs commerciaux : exploiter les accords commerciaux et d’investissement pour atteindre les objectifs environnementaux

Développé par IISD et le Programme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement (PNUE), cette trousse à outils a été conçue pour aider les négociateurs d’accords commerciaux et d’investissement en montrant comment des dispositions spécifiques peuvent mieux soutenir les objectifs de développement durable.

UNASUR Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes: Comments on the Draft Constitutive Agreement

The future operation of the investment dispute settlement facility of the Union of South American Nations is likely to generate scepticism, as it could undermine international standards in favour of regional parameters and lead to increased instability in the region. Alternatively, it could enhance the legitimacy and popularity of ISDS mechanisms in UNASUR member states. What are the procedural and substantive novelties contained in the Draft Constitutive Agreement?

Can EU Member States Still Negotiate BITs with Third Countries?

Foreign direct investment became part of the sphere of exclusive competence of the European Union in 2009. Since then, the European Commission has been negotiating investment treaties with a number of countries—as well as authorized several individual EU member states to negotiate BITs.

Mappinginvestmenttreaties.com: Uncovering the secrets of the investment treaty universe

Did you know that the United Kingdom’s treaty network is twice as consistent as that of Egypt or Pakistan? Have you noticed that 81 per cent of the TPP’s investment chapter is the same as the investment chapter in the U.S.–Colombia FTA, concluded ten years before, in 2006? Treating investment treaty texts as data can equip policy-makers, practitioners and researchers with a more sophisticated understanding of the universe of international investment agreements.

The Need for a Southern Observatory on Transnational Investment

The Observatory is an intergovernmental initiative to provide information and exchange of knowledge and experiences on investment arbitration. It also aims at creating equal conditions between investors and states so as to promote sustainable investment that respects state sovereignty.

Is ISDS in EU Trade Agreements Legal under EU Law?

Legality of investor–state dispute settlement (including in the form of an Investment Court System) in EU trade agreements under EU law is a contentious issue. This article details four legal objections raised by academics and legal experts, and discusses the potential for a legal challenge of ISDS under EU law.

TTIP and Climate Change: Low economic benefits, real climate risks

This week’s climate change negotiations should inform many spheres of global governance—including international trade and investment policy. One of the most important trade and investment agreements is the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—currently under negotiation between the European Union and United States—given the role it will likely play in establishing rules for the global economy in the 21st century.

Does the Green Economy Need Investor–State Dispute Settlement?

Environmentalists have traditionally been among the staunchest critics of investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS). For those familiar with the litany of ISDS cases that have involved challenges to environmental regulations—ranging from bans on pesticides to efforts to save endangered species—the opposition to ISDS on the part of environmental non-governmental organizations and scholars is not difficult to […]

Safeguarding Sustainable Development: Financing for Development and the International Investment Regime

Discussion of international investment governance has changed in character in recent years. While some specialists examined the potential negative sustainable development implications of international investment agreements (IIAs), in official forums the focus of previous decades was often on how to best protect and encourage foreign direct investment (FDI). Now, especially because of ongoing negotiations of […]

Conciliation and Arbitration Law: Times of Change in Investment Protection in Bolivia

1. Neoliberal period: Legal structure of foreign investment protection In the early 1990s, the Bolivian State underwent a neoliberal period. Such period was marked by (i) the setting up of a constitutional and legal structure aimed at protecting foreign investment, which affected Bolivia’s regulatory framework and control authority, and (ii) a process of drastic reduction […]

The Brazilian Agreement on Cooperation and Facilitation of Investments (ACFI): A New Formula for International Investment Agreements?

Since the signing of the first Agreement on Cooperation and Facilitation of Investments (ACFI) by Brazil, in March 2015, English translations of the document and analyses of its innovative aspects have been published.[1] The hidden question is: to what extent do Brazil’s ACFIs innovate in the regulation of foreign investments? Alternatives to the current liberal […]

Working by Design: New Ideas to Empower U.S. and European Workers in TTIP

The 21st century has not been the best of times for U.S. and European workers. They have been buffeted by job losses, underemployment, and economic insecurity. Many individuals toil without benefits or job security.[1] Although workers are increasingly productive, many of them earn less than they did 20 years ago.[2] EU and U.S. policy-makers argue […]

The Merits and Limitations of General Exception Clauses in Contemporary Investment Treaty Practice

The international investment agreement (IIA) regime is experiencing an unprecedented surge in public attention. Prime examples are the debates surrounding the conclusion of the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Trade and Investment Agreement (CETA) and the ongoing negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement between the United States and the European Union (TTIP). In Germany, […]

Rethinking Investment-Related Dispute Settlement

Investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS), a concept much unknown to the broader public and even top policy-makers only a year ago, is making headlines, especially as the European Union and the United States contemplate including the mechanism in the deal they are currently negotiating, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Public awareness is growing of […]

Experts at UNCTAD Meeting Give Shape to IIA Reform Options

More than 300 experts and delegates from member states, international organizations, NGOs, the private sector and academia attended the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Meeting on the Transformation of the International Investment Agreement (IIA) Regime from February 25 to 27, 2015 in Geneva. Working in breakout and plenary sessions, the experts explored […]

Investment Law and the 1%: On Which Side of the Divide?

The increasing concentration of wealth—often referred to as “the 1% issue”—raises serious concerns. The World Economic Forum, in its top ten trends of 2015, states: At the top of this year’s list is worsening income inequality. As the world’s rich continue to accumulate wealth at record rates, the middle class is struggling. Today, the top […]

The Brazil–Mozambique and Brazil–Angola Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreements (CIFAs): A Descriptive Overview

Brazil and Mozambique signed on March 30, 2015 the first Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreement (CIFA) based on Brazil’s new model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). The second was signed on April 1, 2015 between Brazil and Angola. Unlike traditional BITs, which are geared towards investor protection, the CIFAs focus primarily on cooperation and investment facilitation. […]

China’s Antitrust Crackdown Hits Qualcomm with US$975 Million Fine: What Can Other Host States Learn from the Story?

In February 2015, Qualcomm Inc. (Qualcomm), the world’s leading cellular chip maker, headquartered in California, was ordered by the Chinese anti-monopoly authority to pay a fine of RMB 6.088 billion (approximately US$975 million) for antitrust offenses against Chinese consumers,[1] following a 14-month-long investigation of the company’s anti-competitive practices. Seen by many as one of the […]

Everyone’s Doing It: The Acceptance, Effectiveness and Legality of Performance Requirements

For policymakers charged with investment portfolios, the challenge is not simply about attracting greater flows of foreign direct investment (FDI). At least as important is trying to maximize the domestic economic and social benefits that result from those investments. This can be achieved with tax policies or targeted recruitment of specific investments with promising potential […]

The International Investment Regime at a Crossroad: Should We be Rethinking Foreign Investment Governance?

The international investment regime (IIR) has been in crisis since it attracted the attention of the international community in the early 2000s. This crisis began with awards like Metalclad v. Mexico and TECMED v. Mexico, where tribunals promoted the stability of the legal and business framework while seriously constraining the policy space of host states. […]

State Regulatory Autonomy and Tobacco Control in International Trade and Investment Law

Tobacco companies are frequently turning to international trade and investment agreements as a tool to challenge domestic tobacco control measures. Cases to date include: Indonesia’s successful challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the U.S. exemption of menthol from its ban on flavoured cigarettes;[1] the pending WTO claims by Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia […]

Political Change vs. Legal Stability: Problems Arising from the Application of Investment Treaties in Transitions from Authoritarian Rule

Investment treaties protect foreign investors from a range of host state conduct that affects their investments. One influential view is that the purpose of these treaties is to provide legal stability for foreign investors. While this view is shared by arbitral tribunals,[1] academic commentators,[2] and lawyers acting for foreign investors,[3] it finds relatively little support […]

In Accordance with Which Host State Laws? Restoring the ‘Defence’ of Investor Illegality in Investment Arbitration

Investment treaties are often criticised for being too ‘investor-friendly.’ With this in mind, it becomes important to clarify the mechanisms available to host states to defend against investment treaty claims. One such mechanism is found in the provisions included in many investment treaties, to the effect that investors must comply with host state law in order for their investment to enjoy treaty protection.

Litigating Intellectual Property Rights in Investor-State Arbitration: From Plain Packaging to Patent Revocation

Enforcing intellectual property (IP) rights abroad is a difficult enterprise. International IP treaties have generally not created global, directly enforceable IP rights. Usually, the protection they confer cannot even be directly invoked in front of national courts. Rather, because of the territorial nature of IP protection, right holders must enforce their rights in local courts based on local laws. Litigating one’s IP rights abroad hence faces significant hurdles.

However, international investment law may offer some options to overcome these hurdles.

Who is Afraid of Investor-State Arbitration? Unpacking the Riddle of ‘No Greater Rights’ in the TTIP

The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has been creating expectations and stirring fears ever since it was announced by EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso and US President Barack Obama in mid-2013.[1] The promise to boost trans-Atlantic economic exchange in the world’s largest free-trade area came along with the aim to “include investment … […]

Risky Business or Risky Politics: What Explains Investor-State Disputes?

While there is a fair amount of scholarly work on the determinants of expropriation, we know less about the political and economic conditions under which the broader category of investor-state disputes take place. This article provides a statistical analysis of political and economic factors that contribute to the likelihood of an investor-state dispute; and a qualitative coding of measures which have resulted in arbitration cases.