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Making Agricultural Investments Work For Land Users & Communities, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Dec 2014

Making Agricultural Investments Work For Land Users & Communities, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Earlier this year, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made an unexpected commitment related to foreign investment in land and community land rights. In a meeting with communities who had raised concerns regarding a British company’s attempts to expand its palm oil production onto their customary land, the President effectively told those communities that they would have the right to say yes or no to further expansion, noting that the company could expand only with the affected communities’ approval.


Outcome Report Of Roundtable On Human Rights Impact Assessments (Hrias) Of Large-Scale Foreign Investments, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Dec 2014

Outcome Report Of Roundtable On Human Rights Impact Assessments (Hrias) Of Large-Scale Foreign Investments, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI, the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute recently published an outcome document of a one-day roundtable focused on the opportunities and challenges presented by human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of large-scale foreign investments. The roundtable, which was held in April 2014 at Columbia University, provided an opportunity for collaborative reflection on the development of HRIAs, as well as on ways to enhance HRIAs as a framework and tool for both human rights advocacy and human rights risk management in respect of foreign investments.

By sharing the outcomes of the roundtable, this document ...


Toward Win-Win Sustainable Development, Linda Moon Nov 2014

Toward Win-Win Sustainable Development, Linda Moon

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

An interview with Lisa Sachs, Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment.


International Investment Agreements: Are Their Policy Aims Served By Their Broad Definitions Of Covered “Investors” And “Investments”?, Lise Johnson Nov 2014

International Investment Agreements: Are Their Policy Aims Served By Their Broad Definitions Of Covered “Investors” And “Investments”?, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

With negotiation of “mega-treaties” such as the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and investment treaties between the EU and other large economies such as Canada and the United States, international investment agreements (IIAs) are gaining fame and raising a host of important policy questions. Among those questions are who/what the treaties benefit and at what cost.


Meeting Summary Of Colloquium On Policy, Law, Contracts, And Sustainable Development, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Nov 2014

Meeting Summary Of Colloquium On Policy, Law, Contracts, And Sustainable Development, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In November 2014, CCSI and the Institute for Human Rights and Business co-convened a colloquium on policy, law, contracts, and sustainable development, with a particular focus on large-scale investments in the extractive industries and the agriculture sector. The colloquium provided an opportunity for practitioners to share information on their related work, as well as to reflect on current practices and remaining gaps regarding efforts to embed sustainability and human rights into large-scale deals. This outcome document provides a summary of the discussion, while its annex includes information on participants’ relevant programs, initiatives, and tools.


Outcome Report Of Roundtable On Governing Natural Resources, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Nov 2014

Outcome Report Of Roundtable On Governing Natural Resources, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In November 2014, CCSI convened a one-day roundtable focused on lessons learned from good governance initiatives for extractive industry investments and large land-based agricultural investments. The roundtable brought together a range of stakeholders working on extractive industry investments and/or land-based forestry and agricultural investments, including representatives from civil society, government, academia, and the private sector. CCSI has published an outcome note from this roundtable.

Key structural differences between the extractive industries and the forestry and agriculture sectors mean that not all lessons learned from good governance initiatives related to extractives investments or land-based agricultural investments are transferrable. However, large-scale ...


New Uncitral Arbitration Rules On Transparency: Application, Content And Next Steps, Lise Johnson, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder Sep 2014

New Uncitral Arbitration Rules On Transparency: Application, Content And Next Steps, Lise Johnson, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In July 2013, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted a package of rules aiming to ensure transparency in investor-State arbitration (the “Rules on Transparency”), ratifying the work done by delegations to UNCITRAL – comprised of 55 Member States, additional observer States and observer organizations – over the course of nearly three years of negotiations.

Under previous versions of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, disputes between investors and States were often not made public, even where important public policies were involved or illegal or corrupt business practices were uncovered. In contrast, the new rules, which will officially come into effect ...


The Mauritius Convention On Transparency: Comments On The Rreaty And Its Role In Increasing Transparency Of Investor-State Arbitration, Lise Johnson Sep 2014

The Mauritius Convention On Transparency: Comments On The Rreaty And Its Role In Increasing Transparency Of Investor-State Arbitration, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In July 2014, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted the Mauritius Convention on Transparency that, if widely adopted, will do much to increase the transparency of investor-state arbitrations conducted under thousands of existing investment treaties and under any set of arbitration rules. This Policy Paper introduces the background and objectives of the Transparency Convention, provides commentary on each of its specific articles, and explains how the Transparency Convention can accomplish broad reform.


Review Mechanisms In Natural Resource Contracts, Jacky Mandelbaum, Salli Anne Swartz, John Hauert Jul 2014

Review Mechanisms In Natural Resource Contracts, Jacky Mandelbaum, Salli Anne Swartz, John Hauert

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Periodic review mechanisms, provisions in contracts that formally require parties to meet at particular intervals to review the terms of the contract or license and consider whether circumstances have changed since the parties’ initial agreement, are a mechanism that may smooth the process of dealing with inevitable changes in circumstances over the long term of extractive industries contracts. This briefing note looks at the use of such mechanisms, through reviewing existing extractive industry agreements, and considers how the requirements have been expressed to-date and their role as a tool to maintain the relationship between the parties. The Brief examines issues ...


Leveraging Mining Demand For Internet And Telecommunications Infrastructure For Broad Economic Development: Models, Opportunities And Challenges, Perrine Toledano, Clara Roorda Jun 2014

Leveraging Mining Demand For Internet And Telecommunications Infrastructure For Broad Economic Development: Models, Opportunities And Challenges, Perrine Toledano, Clara Roorda

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The initial phase of the Leveraging Mining-Related Infrastructure Investments for Development project consisted of a worldwide survey of regulatory, commercial and operating case studies of shared use of mining-related infrastructure. This Policy Paper delivers the findings for internet and telecommunications.


Why Good Governance Of Land And Tenure Security Need To Be Part Of The Sustainable Development Goal Framework, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sustainable Development Solutions Network May 2014

Why Good Governance Of Land And Tenure Security Need To Be Part Of The Sustainable Development Goal Framework, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The CCSI and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Thematic Group on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources published a short briefing note on including land governance in the Sustainable Development Goal framework. The note argues that incorporating good governance of land and tenure security would help meet a number of proposed sustainable development goals for the post-2015 development agenda, including reducing poverty, strengthening food security, empowering women, and alleviating commercial pressures on land. The note recommends the inclusion of an access-to-land indicator to help measure governments’ efforts.


State Control Over Interpretation Of Investment Treaties, Lise Johnson, Merim Razbaevea Apr 2014

State Control Over Interpretation Of Investment Treaties, Lise Johnson, Merim Razbaevea

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Many critiques of investment treaties relate to concerns that tribunals’ interpretations of these agreements depart from states’ understandings of the texts, and do so in unpredictable ways leading to expensive litigation and unforeseen liability. States, however, can take steps to make their intentions regarding the texts clearer, and reduce the risk of uncertain outcomes.

This policy paper discusses these possible steps, and the legal rules supporting them, providing guidance to states, attorneys, and tribunals regarding the important role of states in clarifying vague standards in and managing liability under existing investment treaties. A second paper, published by the Global Economic ...


The Impact Of Investment Treaties On Governance Of Private Investment In Infrastructure, Lise Johnson Mar 2014

The Impact Of Investment Treaties On Governance Of Private Investment In Infrastructure, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Governments are increasingly turning to the private sector to provide the capital, resources and/or know-how necessary for development and operation of infrastructure. In some cases, the involvement by the private sector will trigger coverage by an international investment treaty that overlies, and can override, the domestic law and contract that would otherwise be applicable to the project. This working paper discusses the circumstances affecting when an investment treaty will apply and also highlights some of the ways that investment treaties can impact governance of infrastructure development and operation. While focusing on the relationship between investment treaties and investments in ...


A Framework To Approach Shared-Use Of Mining Related Infrastructure, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen, Nicolas Maennling, Alpa Shah Mar 2014

A Framework To Approach Shared-Use Of Mining Related Infrastructure, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen, Nicolas Maennling, Alpa Shah

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In April 2013, CCSI was awarded a grant from the Australian Government to develop an economically, legally and operationally rational framework to enable shared use of mining-related infrastructure, including rail, ports, power, water, internet and telecommunications. The framework was obtained by distilling best practice principles from infrastructure developments around the world, guided by expert opinion. It has most recently been refined through in-depth case studies in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mozambique, although its principles aim to be of general relevance to all resource rich African countries. The report was finalized in March 2014.


Leveraging Mining Investments In Water Infrastructure For Broad Economic Development: Models, Opportunities And Challenges, Perrine Toledano, Clara Roorda Mar 2014

Leveraging Mining Investments In Water Infrastructure For Broad Economic Development: Models, Opportunities And Challenges, Perrine Toledano, Clara Roorda

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The initial phase of the Leveraging Mining-Related Infrastructure Investments for Development project consisted of a worldwide survey of regulatory, commercial and operating case studies of shared use of mining-related infrastructure. This Policy Paper delivers the findings for water infrastructure.


Investment Treaties And Industrial Policy: Select Case Studies On State Liability For Efforts To Encourage, Shape And Regulate Economic Activities In Extractive Industries And Infrastructure, Lise Johnson Feb 2014

Investment Treaties And Industrial Policy: Select Case Studies On State Liability For Efforts To Encourage, Shape And Regulate Economic Activities In Extractive Industries And Infrastructure, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This paper, prepared in connection with a February 2014 conference organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, discusses some of the implications that investment treaties have for investments in infrastructure and the extractive industries. It focuses on liability for government conduct (1) in connection with tenders and negotiations; (2) when responding to questions regarding the legality of the investment; (3) in using performance requirements to leverage benefits and capture spillovers from the investment; (4) changing the legal framework governing an investment in response to evolving needs, circumstances, and interests; (5) administering the investment; and (6) requesting, and responding to ...


Mechanism Design In M&A Auctions, Steven J. Brams, Joshua Mitts Jan 2014

Mechanism Design In M&A Auctions, Steven J. Brams, Joshua Mitts

Faculty Scholarship

The recent controversy over "Don't Ask, Don't Waive" standstills in M&A practice highlights the need to apply mechanism design to change-of-control transactions. In this Article, we propose a novel two-stage auction procedure that induces honest bidding among participants while potentially yielding a higher sale price than an open ascending, a sealed-bid first price, or a Vickrey second-price auction. Our procedure balances deal certainty with value maximization through the Nobel Prize-winning principle of incentive compatibility, making participation in the M&A auction and honest disclosure of reservation prices in the parties' interests rather than relying solely on heavy-handed ...


Market Efficiency After The Financial Crisis: It's Still A Matter Of Information Costs, Ronald J. Gilson, Reinier Kraakman Jan 2014

Market Efficiency After The Financial Crisis: It's Still A Matter Of Information Costs, Ronald J. Gilson, Reinier Kraakman

Faculty Scholarship

Compared to the worldwide financial carnage that followed the Subprime Crisis of 2007-2008, it may seem of small consequence that it is also said to have demonstrated the bankruptcy of an academic financial institution: the Efficient Capital Market Hypothesis (“ECMH”). Two things make this encounter between theory and seemingly inconvenient facts of consequence. First, the ECMH had moved beyond academia, fueling decades of a deregulatory agenda. Second, when economic theory moves from academics to policy, it also enters the realm of politics, and is inevitably refashioned to serve the goals of political argument. This happened starkly with the ECMH. It ...


Leniency In Chinese Criminal Law? Everyday Justice In Henan, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2014

Leniency In Chinese Criminal Law? Everyday Justice In Henan, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

This article examines one-year of publicly available criminal judgments from one basic-level rural county court and one intermediate court in Henan Province in order to better understand trends in routine criminal adjudication in China. I present an account of ordinary criminal justice in China that is both familiar and striking: a system that treats serious crimes, in particular those affecting state interests, harshly while at the same time acting leniently in routine cases. Most significantly, examination of more than five hundred court decisions shows the vital role that settlement plays in criminal cases in China today. Defendants who agree to ...


Asking The Right Questions In Copyright Cases: Lessons From Aereo And Its International Brethren, Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

Asking The Right Questions In Copyright Cases: Lessons From Aereo And Its International Brethren, Rebecca Giblin, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Aereo was a US-based service that made unique copies of broadcast programs from individual antennae for each requesting user, for individual retransmission near-live or at some point in the future. To the uninitiated, it makes no sense for a company to design a television transmission service that utilises thousands of tiny antennae and thousands of copies to deliver signals to users. Wouldn’t it be much more efficient to use just one of each? And surely, when it comes to copyright liability, wouldn’t more copies result in more infringement, not less? However, Aereo’s strategy made a lot of ...


Letter From The U.S.: Exclusive Rights, Exceptions, And Uncertain Compliance With International Norms – Part Ii (Fair Use), Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2014

Letter From The U.S.: Exclusive Rights, Exceptions, And Uncertain Compliance With International Norms – Part Ii (Fair Use), Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This survey of recent U.S. fair use decisions examines the domestic evolution of the doctrine, particularly in light of the significant expansion of noninfringing “transformative” uses. The article also considers the U.S.’ compliance with its international obligations under the Berne Convention and the TRIPs Accord, and inquires whether the substantial enlargement of the application of the U.S. fair use exception exceeds the leeway that the Berne Convention, art. 9(2), WCT art. 10, and TRIPs art. 13 grant to member states to provide for exceptions and limitations to copyright.


Rolling Back The Repo Safe Harbors, Edward R. Morrison, Mark J. Roe, Christopher S. Sontchi Jan 2014

Rolling Back The Repo Safe Harbors, Edward R. Morrison, Mark J. Roe, Christopher S. Sontchi

Faculty Scholarship

Recent decades have seen substantial expansion in exemptions from the Bankruptcy Code’s normal operation for repurchase agreements. These repos, which are equivalent to very short-term (often one-day) secured loans, are exempt from core bankruptcy rules such as the automatic stay that enjoins debt collection, rules against prebankruptcy fraudulent transfers, and rules against eve-of-bankruptcy preferential payment to favored creditors over other creditors. While these exemptions can be justified for United States Treasury securities and similarly liquid obligations backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, they are not justified for mortgage-backed securities and other securities that ...


Systemic Harms And Shareholder Value, John Armour, Jeffrey N. Gordon Jan 2014

Systemic Harms And Shareholder Value, John Armour, Jeffrey N. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

The financial crisis has demonstrated serious flaws in the corporate governance of systemically important financial firms. In particular, the norm that managers should seek to maximize shareholder value, as measured by the stock price, proves to be a faulty guide for managerial action in systemically important firms. This is not only because the failure of such firms will have spillovers that defy the cost-internalization of the tort system, but also because these spillovers will harm their own majoritarian shareholders. The interests of diversified shareholders fundamentally diverge from the interests of managers and other controllers because the failure of a systemically ...


Will International Law Save Us From Climate Disasters, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2014

Will International Law Save Us From Climate Disasters, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

I am going to address the role of international law in dealing with disasters that can be caused or worsened by climate change.


Good Will Hunting: How The Supreme Court's Hunter Doctrine Can Still Shield Minorities From Political-Process Discrimination, Kerrel Murray Jan 2014

Good Will Hunting: How The Supreme Court's Hunter Doctrine Can Still Shield Minorities From Political-Process Discrimination, Kerrel Murray

Faculty Scholarship

When the Sixth Circuit struck down Michigan’s anti-affirmative-action Proposal 2 in 2012, its reasoning may have left some observers hunting for their Fourteenth Amendment treatises. Rather than applying conventional equal protection doctrine, the court rested its decision on an obscure branch of equal protection jurisprudence known as the Hunter doctrine, which originated over forty years ago. The doctrine, only used twice by the Supreme Court to invalidate a law since its creation, purports to protect the political-process rights of minorities by letting courts invalidate laws that work nonneutrally to make it more difficult for them to “achieve legislation that ...


Merger Control Procedures And Institutions: A Comparison Of The Eu And Us Practice, William E. Kovacic, Petros C. Mavroidis, Damien J. Neven Jan 2014

Merger Control Procedures And Institutions: A Comparison Of The Eu And Us Practice, William E. Kovacic, Petros C. Mavroidis, Damien J. Neven

Faculty Scholarship

The objective of this paper is to discuss and compare the role that different constituencies play in US and EU procedures for merger control. We describe the main constituencies (both internal and external) involved in merger control in both jurisdictions and discuss how a typical merger case would be handled under these procedures. At each stage, we consider how the procedure unfolds, which parties are involved, and how they can affect the procedure. Our discussion reveals a very different ecology. EU and US procedures differ in terms of their basic design and in terms of the procedures that are naturally ...


Limiting Tax Expenditures, David M. Schizer Jan 2014

Limiting Tax Expenditures, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The federal government devotes over a trillion dollars each year to tax provisions that pursue “nontax” goals. Scaling back these tax expenditures should be a high priority. Yet one-size-fits-all limits are often proposed, and are not good policy. Each tax expenditure generates its own mix of positive externalities and private benefits (or “programmatic benefits”). To choose the right limit, we should consider what programmatic benefits we would lose. The goal should be to reap programmatic benefits at lower cost. Different strategies are appropriate for each tax expenditure, including: tightening the definition of favored conduct; focusing on claimants who are easiest ...


Judicial Leadership In Family Court: A Cautionary Tale, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2014

Judicial Leadership In Family Court: A Cautionary Tale, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

This article is based on the Charles Miller Endowed Lecture given at the University of Tennessee College of Law in April 2014 and forms the core of a chapter about judicial leadership in the family court in a planned book about the court. A central element of the historical juvenile court and the ensuing family courts has been the role of the judge as a judicial leader, shouldering responsibilities, including therapeutic ones, far beyond those of the traditional legal decision-maker. These multiple roles – as investigator, collaborator, convener, advocate, mediator, and problem-solver – have given the family court judge tremendous power to ...


The Tax Reform Road Not Taken – Yet, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2014

The Tax Reform Road Not Taken – Yet, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

The United States has traveled a unique tax policy path, avoiding value added taxes (VATs), which have now been adopted by every OECD country and 160 countries worldwide. Moreover, many U.S. consumption tax advocates have insisted on direct personalized taxes that are unlike taxes used anywhere in the world. This article details a tax reform plan that uses revenues from a VAT to substantially reduce and reform our nation’s tax system. The plan would (1) enact a destination-based VAT; (2) use the revenue produced by this VAT to finance an income tax exemption of $100,000 of family ...


A Fresh Look At State Asset Protection Trust Statutes, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2014

A Fresh Look At State Asset Protection Trust Statutes, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines the rise of state asset protection trust ('APT) statutes. It juxtaposes two apparently contrary trends: an increase in formal legal responses suggesting that the trusts created under these statutes are likely to have at best limited enforceability and an increase in the adoption and use of these statutes. After summarizing the legal background out of which these two trends arise, I analyze the characteristics of the states that have chosen to adopt them to date and conclude that the size of a state is less predictive of adoption than broader social and economic characteristics of the populace ...