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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 ...


International Gas Outlook And Implications For Developing Tanzania’S Gas Projects, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano, Thomas Mitro Dec 2017

International Gas Outlook And Implications For Developing Tanzania’S Gas Projects, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano, Thomas Mitro

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the frame of its partnership with Uongozi – Tanzania, CCSI drafted a brief that reviews recent international gas developments, the outlook in this regard and implications for the development of proposed offshore gas projects in Tanzania. As the country aims to benefit from its gas discoveries by increasing its domestic gas use, it also outlines some of the trade-offs and considerations that need to be taken into account when negotiating the domestic gas allocation.


Amicus Brief On Rights To Information And Public Participation In Colombia, Brooke Guven, Sam Szoke-Burke, Pedro Villegas Dec 2017

Amicus Brief On Rights To Information And Public Participation In Colombia, Brooke Guven, Sam Szoke-Burke, Pedro Villegas

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI submitted an amicus brief to the Constitutional Court of Colombia concerning the Tutela hearing of Mansarovar Energy Colombia Ltd. v. Tribunal Administrativo del Meta (The Consulta Popular of Cumaral, Meta). The hearing concerned a challenge by Mansarovar Energy Colombia Limited of a municipal-wide referendum (the Consulta Popular) concerning whether or not the extraction of hydrocarbons should be permitted in the municipality of Cumaral. The municipality voted 97% against allowing the extraction of hydrocarbons.

CCSI’s brief focused on the international human rights law dimensions of the case, given that Colombia’s Constitution renders the government’s international human rights ...


Comments On The World Bank’S Draft Guidance Note For Borrowers Ess5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions On Land Use And Involuntary Resettlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Dec 2017

Comments On The World Bank’S Draft Guidance Note For Borrowers Ess5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions On Land Use And Involuntary Resettlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In December 2017, CCSI sent comments to the World Bank regarding its Draft Guidance Note for Borrowers ESS5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement.

CCSI’s overarching comments on the Guidance Note were that:

  • Its description of affected persons and their rights contradicts and undermines international consensus on land governance supported by the Bank
  • It fails to provide any guidance on when involuntary resettlement should be considered unavoidable or how Borrowers can prioritize project designs that actually minimize displacement or other harms
  • It fails to put rights-holders (or “affected stakeholders”) at the center of solutions
  • Its discussion ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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.


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 ...


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 ...


Briefing Note: A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Danish Institute For Human Rights, Sciences Po Law School Clinic Mar 2017

Briefing Note: A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Danish Institute For Human Rights, Sciences Po Law School Clinic

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This briefing note, co-authored with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, outlines a new approach to conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of business operations or projects, which brings together project-affected people, the company, and other stakeholders to jointly design and implement an assessment. The aim of this new approach is to address one of the key challenges of current HRIA practices: the limited engagement and participation of relevant stakeholders, which can undermine effectiveness and trust. It accompanies a more in-depth discussion paper on similar issues, entitled A Collaborative Approach to Human Rights ...


A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tulika Bansal, Manon Aubrey, Adrien Le Louarn, Jeremy Perelman, Marie Poirot Mar 2017

A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tulika Bansal, Manon Aubrey, Adrien Le Louarn, Jeremy Perelman, Marie Poirot

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This discussion paper, co-authored with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, proposes a new approach to conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of business operations or projects, which brings together project-affected people, the company, and other stakeholders to jointly design and implement an assessment. The aim of this new approach is to address one of the key challenges of current HRIA practices: the limited engagement and participation of relevant stakeholders, which can undermine effectiveness and trust.

The paper outlines factors that will affect the effectiveness of such an approach and describes a number ...


Al Hill: A Grandmaster Has Passed, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 2017

Al Hill: A Grandmaster Has Passed, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

Al Hill died on December 5, 2015 at the age of 98, outlasting most of his contemporaries. Al had taken senior status when I came to Columbia Law School, and I succeeded him in the course on federal courts. The little I saw of Al left me with the firm impression of a warm, gentle, affable, caring human being. I did, however, know Al’s work quite thoroughly. And while a memorial is no occasion for an extended review of Al’s long and distinguished academic career, I would like to draw attention to a particularly shining period: Al’s ...


Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack Jan 2017

Internal Administrative Law, Gillian E. Metzger, Kevin M. Stack

Faculty Scholarship

For years, administrative law has been identified as the external review of agency action, primarily by courts. Following in the footsteps of pioneering administrative law scholars, a growing body of recent scholarship has begun to attend to the role of internal norms and structures in controlling agency action. This Article offers a conceptual and historical account of these internal forces as internal administrative law. Internal administrative law consists of the internal directives, guidance, and organizational forms through which agencies structure the discretion of their employees and presidents control the workings of the executive branch. It is the critical means for ...


Strategic Law Avoidance Using The Internet: A Short History, Tim Wu Jan 2017

Strategic Law Avoidance Using The Internet: A Short History, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

We are now some twenty years into the story of the Internet's bold challenge to law and the legal system. In the early 2000s, Jack Goldsmith and I wrote Who Controls the Internet, a book that might be understood as a chronicle of some the early and more outlandish stages of the story. Professors Pollman and Barry's excellent article, Regulatory Entrepreneurship, adds to and updates that story with subsequent chapters and a sophisticated analysis of the strategies more recently employed to avoid law using the Internet in some way. While Pollman and Barry's article stands on its ...


1930s Redux: The Administrative State Under Seige, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2017

1930s Redux: The Administrative State Under Seige, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Eighty years on, we are seeing a resurgence of the antiregulatory and antigovernment forces that lost the battle of the New Deal. President Trump's administration has proclaimed the "deconstruction of the administrative state" to be one of its main objectives. Early Trump executive actions quickly delivered on this pledge, with a wide array of antiregulatory actions and a budget proposing to slash many agencies' funding. Invoking the long-dormant Congressional Review Act (CRA), the Republican-controlled Congress has eagerly repealed numerous regulations promulgated late in the Obama Administration. Other major legislative and regulatory repeals are pending, and bills that would impose ...


Tribute To Arthur Murphy, Michael I. Sovern Jan 2017

Tribute To Arthur Murphy, Michael I. Sovern

Faculty Scholarship

Students remember Arthur Murphy as a warm, caring teacher with a great sense of humor, a man who helped them learn and grow. Our colleagues admired and respected his scholarship and his commitment to our school. While I shared all of that, to me, most importantly, Arthur was an empathetic friend for more than half a century. And this despite the fact that he had two strikes against him – he was a Harvard graduate and a Boston Red Sox fan.

Arthur was a member of what Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation.” After fighting in World War II, he enrolled ...


The Power To Wage War Successfully, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2017

The Power To Wage War Successfully, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

A century ago and in the midst of American involvement in World War I, future Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes delivered one of the most influential lectures on the Constitution in wartime. In it he uttered his famous axiom that “the power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully.” That statement continues to echo in modern jurisprudence, though the background and details of the lecture have not previously been explored in detail. Drawing on Hughes’s own research notes, this Article examines his 1917 formulation and shows how Hughes presciently applied it to the most pressing war ...


Energy Subsidies: Worthy Goals, Competing Priorities, And Flawed Institutional Design, David M. Schizer Jan 2017

Energy Subsidies: Worthy Goals, Competing Priorities, And Flawed Institutional Design, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The United States uses on targeted subsidies for both "green" energy and hydrocarbons. These subsidies pursue worthwhile goals. But unfortunately, many have design flaws that make them less effective or even counterproductive. The goal of this Article is to show how to do better.

Specifically, this Article focuses on three sets of issues. First, there often is tension between our environmental and national security goals. Unfortunately, the economics literature on energy largely ignores these trade-offs by omitting national security from the analysis. This Article takes issue with this approach and suggests ways to manage these trade-offs. Second, this Article argues ...


The Importance Of "Money", Kathryn Judge Jan 2017

The Importance Of "Money", Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

In a provocative new book, The Money Problem: Rethinking Financial Regulation, Professor Morgan Ricks argues that the government should reclaim control over money creation. Money, Ricks argues, is not just the cash in your pocket or the balance in your checking account. Instead, at least for purposes of financial stability policy, money is best equated with short-term debt. For most of the twentieth century, such debt was issued primarily by regulated commercial banks and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), resulting in a fairly stable financial system. As a result of financial innovation, however, much of today's ...


Information Gaps And Shadow Banking, Kathryn Judge Jan 2017

Information Gaps And Shadow Banking, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This Article argues that information gaps – pockets of information that are pertinent and knowable but not currently known – are a byproduct of shadow banking and a meaningful source of systemic risk. It lays the foundation for this claim by juxtaposing the regulatory regime governing the shadow banking system with the incentives of the market participants who populate that system. Like banks, shadow banks rely heavily on short-term debt claims designed to obviate the need for the holder to engage in any meaningful information gathering or analysis. The securities laws that prevail in the capital markets, however, both presume and depend ...


Measuring Law School Clinics, Colleen F. Shanahan, Jeffrey Selbin, Alyx Mark, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2017

Measuring Law School Clinics, Colleen F. Shanahan, Jeffrey Selbin, Alyx Mark, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

Legal education reformers have long argued that law school clinics address two related needs: first, clinics teach students to be lawyers; and second, clinics serve low-income clients. In clinics, so the argument goes, law students working under the close supervision of faculty members learn the requisite skills to be good practitioners and professionals. In turn, clinical law students serve clients with civil and criminal justice needs that would otherwise go unmet.

Though we have these laudable teaching and service goals – and a vast literature describing the role of clinics in both the teaching and service dimensions – we have scant empirical ...


Free Markets, State Involvement, And The Wto: Chinese State Owned Enterprises (Soes) In The Ring, Petros C. Mavroidis, Merit E. Jano Jan 2017

Free Markets, State Involvement, And The Wto: Chinese State Owned Enterprises (Soes) In The Ring, Petros C. Mavroidis, Merit E. Jano

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO has struggled with the treatment of nonmarket economies (NMEs). What was a nonissue in the original GATT (because of the homogeneity of participants) became quite an issue with the accession of formally centrally planned economies, which were not transformed to market economies, at least not in the eyes of the incumbents. Contracting this issue has proved to be so far always wanting, and leaving it to adjudicators has not produced good results either. With respect to Chinese SOEs this risks continuing to be an issue, since the contractually agreed deadline (2016) after which China should not be treated ...


Border Adjustments And The Conservation Of Tax Planning, David M. Schizer Jan 2017

Border Adjustments And The Conservation Of Tax Planning, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

This article is based on Schizer’s keynote address at the 17th annual NYU-KPMG Tax Symposium on March 10.

In this article, Schizer argues that U.S. corporate and shareholder taxes need to be reformed, and the corporate rate should be much lower. In reforming this dysfunctional regime, according to Schizer, Congress should keep both of these taxes as a form of built-in redundancy; if one tax is avoided, the other can still be collected. More generally, Congress should be wary of Utopian solutions. Tax reform is more likely to change tax planning than to eliminate it entirely, Schizer concludes ...