Investment Law & Policy
Sustainable development is an investment issue. Capital is needed to alleviate poverty, create jobs, accelerate the clean energy transition, and allow for the development of much-needed infrastructure to provide goods and services for all.
IISD works with governments and civil society to develop and improve legal and policy tools focusing on the critical linkage between investment and sustainable development. We look for and provide new approaches to ensure that investment law and policy advance environmentally sound investment that generates broad socioeconomic benefits.
In particular, IISD experts examine how the rules and institutions that govern international investment flows can be improved to benefit developing countries. This includes our work on reforming how disputes are settled under investment treaties—a process known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)—where we collaborate with national governments, regional and international organizations, academics and civil society to reshape investment law and policy frameworks collaboratively and innovatively. This work is not limited to ISDS, but also covers investor obligations and improved access to justice for those individuals and communities adversely affected by foreign investment projects.
We also actively participate in the multilateral intergovernmental process at the United Nations Conference on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) to discuss possible ISDS reform, as well as in the UN talks on a binding treaty on business and human rights.
As an integral component of our investment work, we are the host and convener of the Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators, an event that brings together officials from across world regions to discuss the latest trends in these areas, exchange experiences, and assess possible next steps. IISD also publishes objective, independent, high-quality research and resources relating to investment law and policy, and provides advisory services for countries to support their work on developing new legal tools and frameworks for investment.
Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators
The Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators is the only global platform for government officials exclusively from developing and emerging economies to share experiences and lessons learned from investment negotiations.
Investment Treaty News
Investment Treaty News (ITN) has offered news, analysis and opinions on international investment law and its implications for sustainable development. The service began as a list-serve where information and views were shared among members, before becoming an electronic newsletter produced by a small editorial team.
Webinars on Investment Law and Policy
This webinar series provides information on developments in international investment law and policy. It will equip developing country governments and regional organizations to negotiate better treaties and contracts—and prepare for and manage investment disputes.
What we offer
Investment Capacity Building and Advisory Services
The highly qualified international lawyers of IISD’s Investment Program offer advisory services on international investment treaties and contracts, with respect to investment negotiations, implementation and disputes.
Investment Policy Best Practices Advisory Bulletins
Drawing on public treaty texts and different model investment agreements produced by governments, IISD’s Best Practices Series analyzes the evolving scope and nature of investment treaty negotiations, in particular from the developing country and sustainable development perspectives.
Investment Law and Policy Reform: A series of expert meetings
Through a series of interactive expert meetings, IISD has fostered innovative thinking and developed elements of a progressive agenda on investment.
IISD-UNIGE Speaker Series on Investment Disputes
This lunch series aims to examine the relationship between international investment law cases and sustainable development goals and policies.
Training Courses for Developing Countries on International Investment Treaties
The increased complexity and importance of the international investment framework has not, to date, been met with the requisite increased capacity of developing countries to negotiate, renegotiate and assess the agreements or to fully appreciate their implications.
Executive Director, IISD Europe; Senior Director, Economic Law & Policy
Soledad Leal Campos
Lead, Sustainable Trade
Outreach Manager and Law Advisor, IGF
Suzy H. Nikièma
Lead, Sustainable Investment
Director, Agriculture, Trade & Investment
Senior Law Advisor
UN Negotiations to Reform Investor–State Arbitration Reach Critical Juncture
Nearly four years in, UN talks to reform investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) are now reaching a critical juncture as negotiators prepare to reconvene in May 2021.
The Joint Initiative on Investment Facilitation: Developments from 2020 and the road ahead to MC12
This brief provides an update on the structured discussions on investment facilitation among a WTO member group from early 2020 through February 2021.
Investment Treaty News (ITN), Volume 12, Issue 1, March 2021
Investment Treaty News (ITN) is IISD's flagship journal on international investment law and policy.
The African Union’s Declaration on COVID-Related ISDS Risks: Why it matters now
The African Union's Declaration on COVID-Related ISDS Risks gives AU governments further moral and political support as they make decisions aimed at limiting the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic while laying the groundwork for eradicating COVID-19 entirely and rebuilding their economies.
ECT Watch: New Dispute Reignites Debate Over Treaty Protection for Fossil Fuel Investments
As we see yet another reminder of one of the Energy Charter Treaty's core drafting flaws, our expert takes stock of current efforts to modernize it.
What Does the Draft European Union–China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment Mean for Sustainable Development?
Will this deal actually yield the benefits that both sides have promised? Our expert analyzes the draft text to see where these commitments are upheld and where there's room for improvement.
IISD Welcomes AU Ministerial Declaration on the Risks of Investor–State Arbitration for COVID-19 Measures
IISD welcomes African Union Member States' move to raise awareness of COVID-19-related ISDS risks, provide guidance on policy options, and lend political support to member states as they pursue their national needs.
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