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Ccsi Submission To Un Special Rapporteur On Extreme Poverty Re: United States Country Visit, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Dec 2017

Ccsi Submission To Un Special Rapporteur On Extreme Poverty Re: United States Country Visit, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, will conduct a country visit to the United States in December 2017. In response to his call for input, CCSI sent a submission focused the United States’ role in the international investment regime, and the United States’ international investment agreements (IIAs), noting that the IIAs to which the US is a party raise tensions, and can potentially create conflicts, with the US’s human rights obligations, including those that apply extraterritorially, and exacerbate conditions of poverty, extreme poverty and inequality.


At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke Dec 2017

At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This Article explores how host governments’ legal obligations can affect or constrain their ability to address “land grievances,” which are defined as concerns raised by local individuals or communities in response to negative impacts of land-based investments. Obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, and investor-state contracts can be in tension or can directly conflict with one another, creating complexity for governments seeking to respond to land grievances. To explore the legal considerations that governments must navigate in this context, this Article considers several options that governments could pursue to respond to land grievances. In all of the ...


Green Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries, Lise Johnson Oct 2017

Green Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The message is by now clear: our global economy must be fundamentally reoriented and redeployed in order to achieve the SDGs and the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. This requires action by all stakeholders, including non-financial and financial firms, debt and equity investors, government policymakers, and consumers. In terms of the amount of money required, it has been estimated that meeting the SDGs will require $5 to $7 trillion annually, with investment needs for developing countries amounting to roughly $3.3 to $4.5 trillion per year. While a big picture view of and strategic thinking regarding the entire ...


230+ Law And Economics Professors Urge President To Remove Isds From Nafta, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Oct 2017

230+ Law And Economics Professors Urge President To Remove Isds From Nafta, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI helped launch a letter signed by over 230 law and economics professors urging President Trump to remove ISDS provisions from NAFTA. As the letter notes, the ISDS mechanism “undermines the important roles of our domestic and democratic institutions, threatens domestic sovereignty, and weakens the rule of law.” The letter builds upon the center’s past work, including a similar letter published last year calling on Congress to reject the Trans Pacific Partnership for its inclusion of ISDS, and broader analyses of both the threat that ISDS poses to domestic US law and of the ISDS provisions that were included ...


Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum Oct 2017

Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

When a local asset (or a right relating to such asset) is sold, a country will generally have jurisdiction to levy a capital gains tax on the sale, both under domestic law and international treaty. This is called taxation of a “direct” transfer of a local asset. However, taxation becomes increasingly complicated when a company located offshore owns the local asset. Further difficulties arise when the local asset is held by a chain of corporations located in tax havens. An “indirect” transfer occurs when the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in ...


India’S Revised Model Bit: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?, Jesse Coleman, Kanika Gupta Oct 2017

India’S Revised Model Bit: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?, Jesse Coleman, Kanika Gupta

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In December 2015, the Indian government approved the final text of its revised model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). Shortly thereafter, in February 2016, India published a joint interpretative statement to clarify its understanding of certain treaty provisions found in existing Indian treaties. These recent developments in Indian investment treaty policy are products of a multi-year review process ,prompted at least in part by the 2011 finding against India in the White Industries claim - the first such known finding against the state – and by several notices of dispute received following the determination in that case.


Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jul 2017

Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Comments to USTR Re: Review of US Trade and Investment Agreements (July 17, 2017): CCSI, in response to the United States Trade Representative’s request for public comment to inform its performance review of US trade and investment agreements, submitted Comments that focused on the impact that investment protection provisions, enforceable through investor-state dispute settlement, have on rights-compliant, inclusive sustainable development within the United States and abroad.


How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano Jun 2017

How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. These concepts are linked. The urgency of addressing climate change is critical for global efforts to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development, but also climate-change mitigation must be pursued in a manner consistent with ending poverty, promoting economic development, respecting human rights, and ensuring social inclusion. CCSI and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have published a briefing note summarizing the ways in which international oil and gas companies can help expand ...


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low-and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based investments, such as agricultural or forestry projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This has serious implications for requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly important in situations in which investor-state contracts grant the investor rights to lands or resources over which the community has legitimate claims.

The paper explores how consultation and FPIC processes can be integrated into ...


Articulating A Rights-Based Argument For Land Contract Disclosure, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Articulating A Rights-Based Argument For Land Contract Disclosure, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017, CCSI presented a working paper titled "Articulating a Rights-Basted Argument for Land Contract Disclosure" at the World Bank Land & Poverty Conference. The paper explores whether and how existing state obligations under human rights law require disclosure of land contracts and more transparent contracting processes around land investments. It focuses on the extent to which guidelines for responsible land-based investment, which encourage greater transparency, reflect existing host and home state obligations. Based on a review of relevant human rights law and authoritative interpretations thereof, the paper articulates rights-based arguments for land contract disclosure, based in particular on rights ...


The Settlement Of Investment Disputes: A Discussion Of Democratic Accountability And The Public Interest, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven Mar 2017

The Settlement Of Investment Disputes: A Discussion Of Democratic Accountability And The Public Interest, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In this briefing note, CCSI considers the threats to principles of good governance, including government accountability, respect for the rule of law, transparency, and respect for citizens’ rights and interests under domestic law and international human rights norms, that are posed by the settlement of treaty-based investor-state disputes. The authors also consider the exacerbated threats posed by the settlement of disputes that include government counterclaims, and highlight the need for the ISDS reform agenda to include a focus on these issues.


Public Consultation On A Multilateral Reform Of Investment Dispute Settlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Mar 2017

Public Consultation On A Multilateral Reform Of Investment Dispute Settlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017 CCSI made a submission to the European Commission (EC) in response to its “Public consultation on a multilateral reform of investment dispute settlement.” CCSI’s submission consisted of a response to the form questionnaire created by the EC and a supplementary “Position Paper” to explain in greater depth CCSI’s views on the EC’s proposed Multilateral Investment Court (MIC).

In its Position Paper, CCSI emphasizes the importance of international investment and international law to sustainable development objectives. The submission stresses, however, that the EC’s proposed MIC does not address, and therefore does not remedy, the ...


Submission Regarding Amendments To The Icsid Arbitration Rules, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Mar 2017

Submission Regarding Amendments To The Icsid Arbitration Rules, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017, CCSI submitted comments to the ICSID Secretariat regarding proposed revisions to ICSID’s arbitration rules. CCSI’s submission provided illustrative suggestions for amendments regarding the following issues: recognizing and safeguarding of the rights and interests of non-parties; improving transparency of the dispute resolution process; promoting transparency of ownership over investments; preventing actual and apparent conflicts of interest; addressing concerns raised by third-party funding; ensuring legitimacy of settlement agreements; and ensuring legitimacy of the rule revision process itself.


Guide To Land Contracts: Forestry Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke Jan 2017

Guide To Land Contracts: Forestry Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Agricultural investment contracts and forestry projects can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. To assist non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on the Open Land Contracts repository, CCSI has developed a Guide to Land Contracts: Forestry Projects.

This Guide, prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, aims to assist the Open Land Contracts repository users in unpacking the technical provisions and language typically found in forestry contracts in order to better understand the contracts and the potential implications of specific ...


Submission On The Draft General Comment On “State Obligations Under The Icescr In The Context Of Business Activities”, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jan 2017

Submission On The Draft General Comment On “State Obligations Under The Icescr In The Context Of Business Activities”, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In January 2017 CCSI made a submission to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, regarding its draft General Comment on “State obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Context of Business Activities.” CCSI’s submission focused on: (1) host and home states’ obligations as they relate to international investment agreements (IIAs); (2) extraterritorial obligations in the context of outward investment; and (3) state obligations related to corruption issues.

In the submission, CCSI emphasized that states must ensure that existing treaties do not generate conflicts between obligations owed under IIAs and the Covenant ...


Class Actions In The Era Of Trump: Trends And Developments In Class Certification And Related Issues, John C. Coffee Jr., Alexandra D. Lahav Jan 2017

Class Actions In The Era Of Trump: Trends And Developments In Class Certification And Related Issues, John C. Coffee Jr., Alexandra D. Lahav

Faculty Scholarship

In this memorandum prepared for the Annual ABA National Institute on Class Actions, Professors Coffee and Lahav review and assess developments in class certification over recent years, and track trends in approaches to certification. Special attention is given to securities litigation, the use of confidential witnesses, ascertainability, attorney's fees, standing, mootness, statutes of repose, and the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions, including Halliburton II and Spokeo.