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Columbia Law School

2013

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Mining Contracts: How To Read And Understand Them, International Senior Lawyers Project, Openoil, Revenue Watch Institute-Natural Resource Governance Institue, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment Dec 2013

Mining Contracts: How To Read And Understand Them, International Senior Lawyers Project, Openoil, Revenue Watch Institute-Natural Resource Governance Institue, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Books

In December 2013, a diverse group of 14 experts from Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Europe worked together for five days to produce a user-friendly guide in English and in French on "Mining Contracts: How to Read and Understand Them," to help policy makers, civil society, citizens, and the media understand the often complex and opaque terms of mining contracts. With increasing calls for contract transparency – and the growing recognition of the importance of the terms of contracts for resource-rich countries – this book explains in layman’s terms the principal features of a contract, compares different approaches to ...


Leveraging Paraguay’S Hydropower For Sustainable Economic Development, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling Nov 2013

Leveraging Paraguay’S Hydropower For Sustainable Economic Development, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

While internationally Paraguay is known for being the largest hydropower exporter in the world, the domestic economy suffers from regular outages and high system losses. The country is largely dependent on agricultural production, which has led to volatile economic performances in the past resulting from climatic circumstances and commodity price fluctuations. To address these two key policy challenges, the Government of Paraguay has approached The Earth Institute to: 1) explore the potential of a climate risk management system and sustainable agriculture activities to mitigate environmental vulnerability and 2) develop a high-level strategic plan to use Paraguay’s vast hydropower resources ...


State Intervention And Private Enterprise: Japan, The U.S., And China, Center For Japanese Legal Studies Oct 2013

State Intervention And Private Enterprise: Japan, The U.S., And China, Center For Japanese Legal Studies

Center for Japanese Legal Studies

This conference addressed the topic of state intervention in private enterprise, comparing recent and historical trends in the United States, China, and Japan. Speakers and discussants addressed a broad range of topics relevant to the subject of intervention, from state-owned enterprises, to government buyouts of distressed firms, to regulation surrounding foreign direct investment. This event was co-hosted by the Center for Japanese Legal Studies (CJLS) at Columbia Law School, the Center on Japanese Economy and Business (CJEB) at Columbia Business School, and the Japan Economic Foundation (JEF).


Memo To The Obama Administration On The Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lisa E. Sachs Sep 2013

Memo To The Obama Administration On The Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In September 2013, CCSI sent a memo to President Obama and his Administration in response to the first public reports submitted by U.S. companies in compliance with the Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements. The memo applauded the U.S. Government’s efforts to encourage responsible investment in Burma, noting that robust due diligence is essential to ensuring that international investments contribute to sustainable development. Yet the memo also urged the Obama Administration to take steps to strengthen future reporting. In particular, CCSI urged the Administration to issue clarifying guidance that any U.S. investor submitting a report should (1 ...


Mobil V. Canada – Ratcheting Down The Scope Of Treaty Reservations, Lise Johnson Sep 2013

Mobil V. Canada – Ratcheting Down The Scope Of Treaty Reservations, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

As part of States’ efforts to strike a balance in their international investment agreements (IIAs) between the obligations they assume and the rights and policy space they wish to retain, some adjoin annexes to their treaties to protect their ability to take “Non-Conforming Measures” (NCMs). States have generally: used such annexes to make exceptions to non-discrimination obligations, market access restrictions and performance requirements; have included the ability to grandfather in NCMs existing at the time an IIA enters into force; and have provided for the ability to maintain, amend, and enact new NCMs in specifically identified sectors, sub-sectors, activities, or ...


Cameroon Pastoralists Fight For Their Way Of Life, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Sep 2013

Cameroon Pastoralists Fight For Their Way Of Life, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

After years of struggles against governments and private parties, the Mbororo-Fulani are gaining international attention. But is this too little too late?


New Uncitral Arbitration Rules On Transparency: Application, Content And Next Steps, Lise Johnson Aug 2013

New Uncitral Arbitration Rules On Transparency: Application, Content And Next Steps, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This paper discusses the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-Based Investor-State Arbitration, which were adopted in August of 2013 and went into effect on April 1, 2014. It draws on negotiating history to elaborate on the content of and purpose of each of the Rules’ provisions, and identifies options for and barriers to applying these Rules in future arbitrations.


Community Development Funds And Agreements In Guinea Under The New Mining Code, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jun 2013

Community Development Funds And Agreements In Guinea Under The New Mining Code, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Guinea’s 2011 Mining Code introduced a large number of reforms directed to increasing transparency and the contribution of the mining sector to development, including requirements for the establishment of a local development fund and for community development agreements between mining companies and local communities. As part of the legal and fiscal analysis of the gold mining investments in Guinea, CCSI examined how these provisions could be implemented effectively. CCSI produced a report that makes recommendations as to how the Government, mining companies, civil society and communities can work together to maximize the benefits of local development funding in the ...


Great Debate: Mining In Latin America, Lisa E. Sachs Apr 2013

Great Debate: Mining In Latin America, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Mining represents a great opportunity for economic growth, especially for emerging economies. It is often seen as the path to prosperity. However, the mining industry is a double edged sword. Countries in Latin America are managing to attract significant foreign investment. In Chile, the extractive sector’s participation in the economy has tripled in the last 10 years, reaching 15% of GDP. In Colombia and Peru, it has doubled to 10% of GDP. The Santos administration in Colombia has made mining one of its top policy priorities.

However, there may be significant downsides to mining, as governments are forced to ...


Law Schools, Leadership, And Change, Susan P. Sturm Jan 2013

Law Schools, Leadership, And Change, Susan P. Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

Law schools train many of the nation’s leaders. As Professor Fred Rodell observed, “it is the lawyers who run our civilization for us – our governments, our business, our private lives.” The legal profession was already closely linked to leadership at the founding of the country, when lawyers constituted almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and more than half of the members of the Constitutional Convention. Lawyers now bear major responsibility for leading the institutions that structure the governance, education, and day-to-day lives of the polity. Ten percent of the CEOs of the top fifty companies ...


Four Questions About Fracking, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2013

Four Questions About Fracking, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

It is difficult to think of a more timely or important topic than horizontal hydraulic fracturing and its impact on the environment. It is especially useful to have an exchange of views on this subject now, before the statutes, regulations, and court decisions start to roll in. Law professors – I cannot speak for anyone else – have a strong proclivity for backward-looking analysis, dissecting what should have been done after the basic direction of the law is set and the courts have spoken. It is much more useful to weigh the pros and cons of different approaches at an early stage ...


Reducing Legal Hurdles To Combined Heat And Power In New York, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2013

Reducing Legal Hurdles To Combined Heat And Power In New York, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Combined heat and power (CHP or cogeneration) is the simultane­ous production of electricity and thermal energy from a single fuel source. Most CHP systems in New York City use natural-gas fired turbines or reciprocating engines to generate electric­ity and then capture heat from the com­bustion generator’s exhaust stream and cooling systems.


Protecting Reliance, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2013

Protecting Reliance, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Reliance plays a central role in contract law and scholarship. One party relies on the other’s promised performance, or its statements, or its anticipated entry into a formal agreement. Saying that reliance is important, however, says nothing about what we should do about it. In this paper the focus is on the many ways that parties choose to protect reliance. The relation between what parties do and what contract doctrine cares about is tenuous at best. Contract performance takes place over time and the nature of the parties’ future obligations can be deferred to take account of changing circumstances ...


The Agency Costs Of Agency Capitalism: Activist Investors And The Revaluation Of Governance Rights, Ronald J. Gilson, Jeffrey N. Gordon Jan 2013

The Agency Costs Of Agency Capitalism: Activist Investors And The Revaluation Of Governance Rights, Ronald J. Gilson, Jeffrey N. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

Equity ownership in the United States no longer reflects the dispersed share ownership of the canonical Berle-Means firm. Instead, we observe the reconcentration of ownership in the hands of institutional investment intermediaries, which gives rise to "the agency costs of agency capitalism." This ownership change has occurred because of (i) political decisions to privatize the provision of retirement savings and to require funding of such provision and (ii) capital market developments that favor investment intermediaries offering low-cost diversified investment vehicles. A new set of agency costs arises because in addition to divergence between the interests of record owners and the ...


Machine Speech, Tim Wu Jan 2013

Machine Speech, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Computers are making an increasing number of important decisions in our lives. They fly airplanes, navigate traffic, and even recommend books. In the process, computers reason through automated algorithms and constantly send and receive information, sometimes in ways that mimic human expression. When can such communications, called here “algorithmic outputs,” claim First Amendment protection?


Meas In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2013

Meas In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

This study contributes to the debate concerning the appropriate role of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in WTO law, and in particular, in WTO dispute settlement. The distinguishing feature of the study is that it seeks to address the relationship between MEAs and WTO law in light of the reason why the parties have chosen to separate their obligations into two bodies of law without providing an explicit nexus between them. The basic conclusion is that legislators’ silence concerning this relationship should speak volumes to WTO adjudicating bodies: MEAs should not be automatically understood as imposing legally binding obligations on WTO ...


Defining And Punishing Offenses Under Treaties, Sarah H. Cleveland, William S. Dodge Jan 2013

Defining And Punishing Offenses Under Treaties, Sarah H. Cleveland, William S. Dodge

Faculty Scholarship

One of the principal aims of the U.S. Constitution was to give the federal government authority to comply with its international legal commitments. The scope of Congress’s constitutional authority to implement treaties has recently received particular attention. In Bond v. United States, the Court avoided the constitutional questions by construing a statute to respect federalism, but these questions are unlikely to go away. This Article contributes to the ongoing debate by identifying the Offenses Clause as an additional source of Congress’s constitutional authority to implement certain treaty commitments. Past scholarship has assumed that the Article I power ...


Federal White Collar Sentencing In The United States: A Work In Progress, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2013

Federal White Collar Sentencing In The United States: A Work In Progress, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

At first blush, it seems odd for an American contributor to an international conference on sentencing to focus on "high end" federal white collar sentencing. After all, federal cases make up a relatively small part of the U.S. criminal justice system. (Between October 2005 and September 2006, about 1,132,290 people were sentenced for a felony in state courts, and 73,009 in federal courts.) Even within the federal system, white collar cases of all sorts are a relatively small part of a criminal docket dominated by immigration, drug, and gun cases, which together comprised nearly 73% of ...


Contract And Innovation: The Limited Role Of Generalist Courts In The Evolution Of Novel Contractual Forms, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott Jan 2013

Contract And Innovation: The Limited Role Of Generalist Courts In The Evolution Of Novel Contractual Forms, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

In developing a contractual response to changes in the economic environment, parties choose the method by which their innovation will be adapted to the particulars of their context. These choices are driven centrally by the thickness of the relevant market – the number of actors who see themselves as facing similar circumstances – and the uncertainty related to that market. In turn, the parties' choice of method will shape how generalist courts can best support the parties' innovation and the novel regimes they envision. In this Article, we argue that contractual innovation does not come to courts incrementally, but instead reaches courts ...


Encouraging Energy Efficiency Through The Clean Air Act, Moneen Nasmith Jan 2013

Encouraging Energy Efficiency Through The Clean Air Act, Moneen Nasmith

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Energy efficiency measures provide tremendous opportunities for achieving effective and cost-friendly reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases. In the absence of more comprehensive legislative efforts, proponents of energy efficiency projects can look to existing environmental laws for tools to promote and encourage energy efficiency and conservation. One such law is the federal Clean Air Act (“CAA”), which empowers the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to use a variety of mechanisms to address air pollution and protect the public health. Although the statute and its accompanying regulations are complex, the CAA provides a number of important avenues for advocates ...


Will Greenhouse Gas Rules Prohibit New Coal Power Plants?, Christine Fazio, Ethan Strell Jan 2013

Will Greenhouse Gas Rules Prohibit New Coal Power Plants?, Christine Fazio, Ethan Strell

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Our article on June 28, 2012, discussed a proposed rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would limit, for the first time, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new fossil fuel-fired power plants. The proposal’s standard was based on the emissions of new natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plants. In order to meet the standards, new coal-fired plants would need to employ costly and untested carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. The proposal was criticized by supporters of the coal industry because the standard would essentially prevent any new coal-fired power plants from receiving Clean Air Act (CAA ...


"Green" Product Procurement Policy In The European Union: Treatment Of Lifecycle Carbon Analysis And Environmental Ppm Restrictions, Shawna Ganley Jan 2013

"Green" Product Procurement Policy In The European Union: Treatment Of Lifecycle Carbon Analysis And Environmental Ppm Restrictions, Shawna Ganley

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

With approximately 19% of the EU’s GDP going to government purchases, “green procurement” policies could potentially have a sizable impact on carbon emissions, and moreover could bolster the larger consumer market for sustainable goods. This white paper reviews current EC policy in this area, focusing particularly on the way in which the EC treats lifecycle analysis and non-product related “process and production methods” (PPMs), criteria that relate to the way in which the product was produced rather than to the physical properties of the final product. The paper also addresses some of the factors that may have stymied better ...


Envisioning Resilient Electrical Infrastructure: A Policy Framework For Incorporating Future Climate Change Into Electricity Sector Planning, Sam C.A. Nierop Jan 2013

Envisioning Resilient Electrical Infrastructure: A Policy Framework For Incorporating Future Climate Change Into Electricity Sector Planning, Sam C.A. Nierop

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Climate change needs to be incorporated in future designs of the electricity sector. This paper argues for a policy framework in which utilities take the lead by performing an electrical climate change impact assessment that evaluates to what extent utilities’ electrical assets are vulnerable to future climate change. Based on this assessment, electrical climate change adaptation plans should be formulated by the utility in cooperation with utility regulators, municipalities and supralocal governments. A collaborative process is essential, because adaptation measures need to be tailored to the regional circumstances and many types of adaptation measures require governmental approval. In order for ...


Red China Going Green: The Emergence And Current Development Of Carbon Emissions Trading In The World's Largest Carbon Emitter, Xiaotang Wang Jan 2013

Red China Going Green: The Emergence And Current Development Of Carbon Emissions Trading In The World's Largest Carbon Emitter, Xiaotang Wang

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

This paper focuses on one of China’s efforts to engage with climate change—the establishment and development of carbon emissions trading schemes (ETSs) in the country. Section II examines the shift from command and control approaches to market mechanisms in China’s climate policy over the past two decades, which primed the domestic scene for the emergence of carbon emissions trading. Section III studies the seven regional ETS pilots due to launch later this year, the success or failure of which will to a large extent determine the future of carbon markets in not only China, but most likely ...


Nepa And Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions Of U.S. Coal Exports, Elizabeth Sheargold, Smita Walavalkar Jan 2013

Nepa And Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions Of U.S. Coal Exports, Elizabeth Sheargold, Smita Walavalkar

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

As U.S. coal exports increase and new infrastructure is proposed to improve access to markets in Asia, controversy has arisen regarding the scope of environmental review that should be carried out by government. In particular, there is significant disagreement as to whether the end-use of exported coal and the emissions generated by its combustion fall within the scope of environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This paper considers this issue, examining the requirements of NEPA and its implementing regulations, as well as current practice by Federal agencies.


Legal Issues In Integrated, Multi-Pollutant Planning For Energy And Air Quality, Shawna Ganley, Shelley Welton Jan 2013

Legal Issues In Integrated, Multi-Pollutant Planning For Energy And Air Quality, Shawna Ganley, Shelley Welton

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

In the face of persistent air quality problems, as well as emerging concerns such as greenhouse gases and state budgetary constraints, states are looking to new ways to maximize air quality while minimizing costs. The non-profit Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) assists states in air quality management, and has recently proposed a new methodology for states to use in order to take a proactive, forward-thinking approach to optimize air quality. RAP’s proposed Integrated, Multi-Pollutant Planning for Energy and Air Quality (IMPEAQ) fosters long-range planning, multi-pollutant analysis and cost optimization modeling to enable state air quality districts to achieve efficient gains ...


Digest Of Hydraulic Fracturing Cases, Smita Walavalkar Jan 2013

Digest Of Hydraulic Fracturing Cases, Smita Walavalkar

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

As U.S. coal exports increase and new infrastructure is proposed to improve access to markets in Asia, controversy has arisen regarding the scope of environmental review that should be carried out by government. In particular, there is significant disagreement as to whether the end-use of exported coal and the emissions generated by its combustion fall within the scope of environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This paper considers this issue, examining the requirements of NEPA and its implementing regulations, as well as current practice by Federal agencies.


Technology Transfer And Dissemination Under The Unfccc: Achievements And New Perspectives, Stéphanie Chuffart Jan 2013

Technology Transfer And Dissemination Under The Unfccc: Achievements And New Perspectives, Stéphanie Chuffart

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Response to climate change will critically depend on the cost, performance, and availability of technologies that can lower emissions, mitigate, and adapt to climate change. Technological innovation can furthermore lower the cost of achieving environmental objectives. However, data from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice flag that although issues of technology transfer have been central to the UNFCCC since the negotiation of the Convention, there is still an urgent need for effective environmental technology diffusion. Building upon lessons learned from technology transfer activities under the Clean Development Mechanism and the ...


Managed Coastal Retreat: A Legal Handbook On Shifting Development Away From Vulnerable Areas, Anne Siders Jan 2013

Managed Coastal Retreat: A Legal Handbook On Shifting Development Away From Vulnerable Areas, Anne Siders

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Numerous legal tools already exist to assist federal, state, and local governments in conducting managed retreat away from the most vulnerable coasts. Scattered publications, toolkits, and websites describe a broad range of legal, policy, and regulatory tools. These tools have, with little fanfare, been used by communities around the United States to implement managed retreat. This Handbook collects examples, case studies, and lessons learned from some of these early innovators in the hope that their lessons can inform future efforts to limit the exposure of our communities to coastal threats. The key legal issues raised by these examples are also ...


Compilation Of International Authorities Supporting Specific Measures To Combat Climate Change, Fiona Kinniburgh Jan 2013

Compilation Of International Authorities Supporting Specific Measures To Combat Climate Change, Fiona Kinniburgh

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

This document is a compilation of international authorities that endorse or require various specific measures to combat climate change. The document comprises a non-exhaustive compilation of extracts from various international agreements, environmental treaties and resolutions / declarations of international organizations, as well as reports from several respected international bodies. While the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and decisions of the Conference of the Parties contain the most authoritative and directly applicable obligations regarding climate change, other international conventions, declarations, agreements and charters also give legal support for some of these specific measures.