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Transparency Of Land-Based Investments: Cameroon Country Snapshot, Sam Szoke-Burke, Samuel Nguiffo, Stella Tchoukep Mar 2021

Transparency Of Land-Based Investments: Cameroon Country Snapshot, Sam Szoke-Burke, Samuel Nguiffo, Stella Tchoukep

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Despite a recent transparency law and participation in transparency initiatives, Cameroon’s investment environment remains plagued by poor transparency.

In a new report focusing on agribusiness projects in Cameroon, CCSI and the Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement (CED) find that:

  • Communities continue to be excluded from decision-making around investments.
  • The government pursues a top-down approach to concession allocation and remains reluctant to recognize all legitimate tenure rights.
  • The government faces threats to its legitimacy as the grievances of citizens and investors alike lead to the barring of roads by communities and investor withdrawals.

CCSI and CED therefore call ...


Free, Prior And Informed Consent: Addressing Political Realities To Improve Impact, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Leila Kazemi Oct 2020

Free, Prior And Informed Consent: Addressing Political Realities To Improve Impact, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Leila Kazemi

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Indigenous and Tribal peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) has transformative potential. Yet, there is a considerable gap between the theory and what happens in practice. Global actors supporting recognition of FPIC and effective prior consultation processes usually focus on normative standards and best practices. They concentrate much less on addressing the political challenges and opportunities that shape how these processes unfold.

With funding from the Ford Foundation, we looked at the politics of FPIC in Latin America, analyzing how the power and interests of the key players–across governments, companies and indigenous peoples–can determine the ...


Health Priorities For Sustainable Development, Lisa E. Sachs, Jeffrey D. Sachs Oct 2020

Health Priorities For Sustainable Development, Lisa E. Sachs, Jeffrey D. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The right to health has been repeatedly recognized as one of the core human rights, essential for human functioning, human dignity, economic well-being and development. But the right to health continues to elude hundreds of millions and with Covid-19, perhaps billions of people. Poverty remains the most critical obstacle to the realization of the right to health in developing countries. Achieving universal health coverage, before the additional costs of Covid-19, would require roughly $50 billion per year, approximately 0.1 percent of the GDP of the high-income OECD countries. Yet despite this broad understanding of the vicious cycle of poverty ...


Investment Promotion And Facilitation For Sustainable Development, Brooke Guven Jul 2020

Investment Promotion And Facilitation For Sustainable Development, Brooke Guven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investment is a critical component of sustainable development. In particular, under the right conditions, foreign direct investment (FDI) can improve economic growth and living standards, create jobs, transfer technology and know-how and result in supply chain upgrading. However, its benefits are not automatic, and, if not carefully governed, investment can result in harm to the environment, labour standards and lead to tax evasion or other undesirable outcomes. Investment promotion and investment facilitation, in turn, can help states attract, expand and retain FDI.


Submission To Bonsucro Re Production Standard V5 (2019-21), Nami Patel, Sam Szoke-Burke Jul 2020

Submission To Bonsucro Re Production Standard V5 (2019-21), Nami Patel, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In July 2020, CCSI made a formal submission to Bonsucro, an international multi-stakeholder initiative and certification scheme concerned with promoting sustainable sugar cane production. The submission formed part of consultations for Bonsucro’s draft Production Standard version 5. CCSI’s submission focused on challenges associated with implementing, and auditing for compliance with, three aspects of Bonsucro’s draft standard, namely:

  • Obtaining the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of Indigenous and traditional communities when establishing or expanding sugar production operations
  • Implementing transparent and participatory processes to assess, monitor, and evaluate the environmental and social impacts of new and existing projects ...


Incorporating Free, Prior And Informed Consent (Fpic) Into Investment Approval Processes, Kelly Dudine, Sam Szoke-Burke Jul 2020

Incorporating Free, Prior And Informed Consent (Fpic) Into Investment Approval Processes, Kelly Dudine, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investment approval processes are the gateway through which governments set the agenda for their country’s investment environment. Yet too often these processes fail to incorporate meaningful requirements regarding participation in decision-making by Indigenous and other affected communities, increasing the risk of under-performing and conflict-ridden investments.

Enabling meaningful participation by rights holders and obtaining and maintaining their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) throughout different investment approval processes can help governments to fulfill their legal obligations, mitigate financial and political risk, and, ultimately, attract more sustainable land-based investments.

Featuring concrete guidance and drawing on case studies from Kenya, Liberia, Mexico ...


Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Apr 2020

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: U.S.-Kenya Trade Agreement (April 28, 2020): CCSI, in response to the United States Trade Representative’s request for public comment to inform its approach to a U.S.-Kenya Trade Agreement, submitted Comments elaborating on our main points that (1) investor-state dispute settlement should not be included in any U.S.-Kenya agreement and (2) principles that should guide an investment chapter or investment provisions in any such agreement should (a) strategically support cross-border investment that produces positive development outcomes for the U.S. and Kenya, (b) facilitate and support good governance of investment ...


A Review Of Sierra Leone’S Mines And Minerals Act, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen Mar 2020

A Review Of Sierra Leone’S Mines And Minerals Act, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

With the support of Oxfam, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment reviewed select provisions in the Mines and Minerals Act 2009 and corresponding policy statements from the Minerals Policy 2018 to provide recommendations for how to best align the anticipated new mining law with international best practice. The 2009 law was reviewed with a focus on the following topics:

  • Fiscal regime;
  • Climate change;
  • Access to and use of land;
  • Community consultations and participation;
  • Human rights; and
  • Community development agreements.

The policy brief aims to support the Government of Sierra Leone in the ongoing law reform process.


Electric Utility Alignment With The Sdgs & The Paris Climate Agreement, Perrine Toledano, Aniket Shah, Nicolas Maennling, Ryan J. Lasnick Feb 2020

Electric Utility Alignment With The Sdgs & The Paris Climate Agreement, Perrine Toledano, Aniket Shah, Nicolas Maennling, Ryan J. Lasnick

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda poses a unique and critical challenge to the energy sector: how to scale access to clean energy to power sustainable, economic development for a growing population, while simultaneously decarbonizing global energy supply. Expanding access to clean energy will play a crucial role in achieving nearly every one of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to agricultural production, health outcomes, educational performance, water systems, access to infrastructure, and reducing inequalities. However, practices by some actors in the energy sector, and continued over-reliance on greenhouse gas-intensive fossil fuels also undermine global efforts to mitigate climate change ...


Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine Human Rights Related To The Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill Jan 2020

Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine Human Rights Related To The Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Growing cries for action to effectively address the climate and other environmental crises hold important implications for the governance of cross-border investments. Policymakers and environmental advocates have often overlooked how provisions granted by states in international investment agreements (IIAs) have been used by investors to challenge government measures taken in the public interest to protect the environment and advance environmental justice.

This 2019 paper, published in the Sciences Po Legal Review issue devoted to the climate crisis, explains how the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, made available to investors in thousands of bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements, may ...


Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2019

Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

On September 27th, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Landesa, the New York City Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee, and Wake Forest Law School hosted a day-long conference on the intersection between land use, the climate crisis and clean energy transition, and human rights.

Held at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, the conference brought together individuals from civil society organizations, governments, and academia, as well as lawyers, climate scientists, land-rights experts, indigenous representatives and other stakeholder groups. The panelists analyzed the critical role that land plays in achieving ...


Securing Adequate Legal Defense In Proceedings Under International Investment Agreements: A Scoping Study, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven Nov 2019

Securing Adequate Legal Defense In Proceedings Under International Investment Agreements: A Scoping Study, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI prepared a Scoping Study for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Also available are:

  • A summary version of the study (33 pages)
  • A webinar (March 24, 2020), hosted by CCSI and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, discussed the Scoping Study and its findings (see also accompanying slides with speaking notes).
  • A webinar organized by UNCITRAL (April 21, 2020). CCSI presented the Scoping Study. A video link of the webinar along with CCSI’s slides are available in English (with speaking notes) and French at that link. CCSI Senior Fellow Karl Sauvant also presented his ...


Briefing For Civil Society Organizations – Understanding Commercial Eucalyptus Plantations: How Do They Work And What Are Their Environmental Impacts?, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jul 2019

Briefing For Civil Society Organizations – Understanding Commercial Eucalyptus Plantations: How Do They Work And What Are Their Environmental Impacts?, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

If a company wants to use a community’s land for eucalyptus plantations, the community should think carefully about whether this is a good idea. Civil society organizations that support communities can use this briefing to help communities understand the potential environmental impacts the community should be aware of. The briefing explains plantation forestry and the life-cycle of eucalyptus tree plantations. It also notes the different possible negative environmental impacts of eucalyptus plantations before exploring how this information can be factored into community decision-making about a proposed eucalyptus plantation. While the briefing focuses on eucalyptus plantations, a lot of it ...


Human Rights Law And The Investment Treaty Regime, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson Jun 2019

Human Rights Law And The Investment Treaty Regime, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In its current form, the international investment treaty regime may stymie the business and human rights agenda in various ways. The regime may incentivize governments to favour the protection of investors over the protection of human rights. Investment treaty standards enforced through investor-state arbitration risk adversely affecting access to justice for project-affected rights holders. More broadly, the regime contributes to a system of global economic governance that elevates and rewards investors’ actions and expectations, irrespective of whether they have adhered to their responsibilities to respect human rights. Without comprehensive reform, investment treaties and investor-state arbitration will continue to interfere with ...


Alternatives To Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman, Brooke Güven, Lisa E. Sachs Apr 2019

Alternatives To Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman, Brooke Güven, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Proponents often explain support for international investment agreements (IIAs) for their ability to: (1) promote investment flows; (2) depoliticize disputes between investors and states; (3) promote the rule of law; and (4) provide compensation for certain harms to investors – objectives of varying degrees of importance to multinational enterprises, home states, host states, and other stakeholders.

While each of these objectives may seem desirable, it is important to consider what exactly they mean and whether IIAs are optimally tailored to achieve them.

This two-part series aims to consider just that. In the first blog installment, we asked of investor-state dispute settlement ...


Innovative Financing Solutions For Community Support In The Context Of Land Investments, Sam Szoke-Burke Mar 2019

Innovative Financing Solutions For Community Support In The Context Of Land Investments, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Communities affected by agricultural, forestry, and other resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Without support, communities risk losing access to critical land and resources, suffering human rights violations, or missing opportunities to benefit from investments. A lack of community support can also lead to conflict and challenges that are damaging for companies and host governments.

Donors and support providers have found ways to finance support for communities, but such efforts can only extend so far. Promising new opportunities exist for filling the financing gap, yet they will require sustained efforts by a range of actors ...


Bridging The Information Gap: How Access To Land Contracts Can Serve Community Rights, Lara Wallis, Sam Szoke-Burke Jan 2019

Bridging The Information Gap: How Access To Land Contracts Can Serve Community Rights, Lara Wallis, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Land contracts (also known as investor-state contracts, or concession agreements) show what commitments a forestry, farming or renewable energy company has made and what the government has said the company can do on the land. These promises define the positive and harmful effects the company’s project could have on community members’ livelihoods and human rights, and on the environment.

Accessing land contracts is a crucial strategy for local organizations. This briefing note explains how local organizations can use land contracts and the Open Land Contracts repository (OpenLandContracts.org) to help communities to:

  • Understand company and government obligations related to ...


Richard Gardner: Scholar, Statesman, Columbian, Gillian L. Lester Jan 2019

Richard Gardner: Scholar, Statesman, Columbian, Gillian L. Lester

Faculty Scholarship

I am honored to pay tribute to Richard Gardner, who was truly one of Columbia Law School's greatest global citizens. He demonstrated so many of the qualities that make Columbia Law School unique, especially the influence that Columbia Law School has on the world. He was a brilliant statesman, international lawyer, and beloved professor. Over seven decades, he was a mentor to generations of students who are now leaders in law, foreign policy, and international affairs. Upon his retirement in 2012, the Law School hosted a two-day conference in his honor. Entitled "The Challenges We Face," the conference featured ...


Framing The Global Pact For The Environment: Why It’S Needed, What It Does, And How It Does It, Teresa Parejo Navajas, Nathan Lobel Dec 2018

Framing The Global Pact For The Environment: Why It’S Needed, What It Does, And How It Does It, Teresa Parejo Navajas, Nathan Lobel

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

We face a critical environmental crisis. Humanity consumes unsustainably; we use resources at a rate fifty percent faster than they are reproduced by the planet. The population is growing exponentially and climate change, the most important challenge of this century, is already wreaking havoc around the world. Despite numerous existing international environmental treaties, the Earth, and, therefore, human safety and prosperity, is in peril. According to a recent study by scientists from Stanford University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the ongoing “sixth mass extinction” threatens to cause an “assault on the foundations of human civilization.” In November 2017 ...


Updates To The Uncitral Legislative Guide On Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects, Brooke Guven, Motoko Aizawa Nov 2018

Updates To The Uncitral Legislative Guide On Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects, Brooke Guven, Motoko Aizawa

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI, jointly with The Observatory for Sustainable Infrastructure, submitted comments to the UNCITRAL Secretariat regarding updates to the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects. CCSI’s comments focused on the need for an updated guide, which will now refer to Public Private Partnerships, to holistically and systematically incorporate considerations of: (1) sustainable development and the SDGs, (2) rebalancing of the public versus private nature of PPPs, (3) transparency, participation, accountability, and remedy, (4) empirical evidence-based assessments of contexts in which PPPs may be desirable, (5) objectives of investment and PPPs, (6) human rights, (7) labor, (8) climate change ...


Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 2: Negotiating Contracts With Investors, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst Sep 2018

Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 2: Negotiating Contracts With Investors, Sam Szoke-Burke, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. If an investment project is carried out in a respectful and inclusive way, it may help community members to achieve their development goals, which may include creating jobs and local economic opportunities. But investments come with risks. Investment projects may make the land that community members need for farming and other livelihood activities unavailable for some time. They may pollute local rivers, lakes, air, and soils, or block access to sacred areas or water ...


Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 1: Preparing In Advance For Potential Investors, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst Sep 2018

Community-Investor Negotiation Guide 1: Preparing In Advance For Potential Investors, Rachael Knight, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke, Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Marena Brinkhurst

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Deciding whether or not to allow an investor to use community lands and natural resources is one of the most important decisions a community can make. If an investment project is carried out in a respectful and inclusive way, it may help community members to achieve their development goals, which may include creating jobs and local economic opportunities. But investments come with risks. Investment projects may make the land that community members need for farming and other livelihood activities unavailable for some time. They may pollute local rivers, lakes, air, and soils, or block access to sacred areas or water ...


Outcome Report Of Roundtable On International Investment Regime And Access To Justice, Michelle Chan, Kanika Gupta, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson Sep 2018

Outcome Report Of Roundtable On International Investment Regime And Access To Justice, Michelle Chan, Kanika Gupta, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

On October 18, 2017, the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and the CCSI co-hosted a one-day roundtable on the impacts of the international investment regime on access to justice for investment-affected individuals and communities.

Held at Columbia University in New York, the roundtable brought together 32 individuals from civil society organizations, communities affected by investments at the heart of investor-state claims, governments, academia, donor organizations, UN mandate holders, and other stakeholder groups. The roundtable provided an opportunity for participants to: (i) explore and assess the specific impacts of international investment agreements and investor-state dispute settlement on access ...


Implementing The Ahafo Benefit Agreements: Seeking Meaningful Community Participation At Newmont’S Ahafo Gold Mine In Ghana, Benjamin Boakye, Maggie M. Cascadden, Jordan Kuschminder, Sam Szoke-Burke, Eric Werker Jul 2018

Implementing The Ahafo Benefit Agreements: Seeking Meaningful Community Participation At Newmont’S Ahafo Gold Mine In Ghana, Benjamin Boakye, Maggie M. Cascadden, Jordan Kuschminder, Sam Szoke-Burke, Eric Werker

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In 2008, ten communities in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana entered into agreements with Newmont Ghana to govern company-community relations, ensure local job creation, and share the benefits of the company’s mining operations. Ten years later, this report, co-authored by Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI), African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), CCSI, and ISP, looks at the communities’ experience of those agreements and suggests how the agreements might be improved. Though the agreements were celebrated for their attempts to include all stakeholders in decision-making, challenges remain around representation, consultation, and participation. New entities established to facilitate ...


Clearing The Path: Withdrawal Of Consent And Termination As Next Steps For Reforming International Investment Law, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman, Brooke Güven, Lisa E. Sachs Apr 2018

Clearing The Path: Withdrawal Of Consent And Termination As Next Steps For Reforming International Investment Law, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman, Brooke Güven, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This is a crucial moment in international investment policymaking. Two factors have converged, calling for a new direction. First, it has become increasingly difficult to justify investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS); even governments that had been among its strongest proponents are now changing course and have raised a range of fundamental, systemic and inter-related issues relating to ISDS. Second, policy makers and other stakeholders have a greater awareness of the need to design appropriate policies to maximize the contributions cross-border investment can make to sustainable development. Influenced by these factors, various reform efforts related to investment policy are underway at the ...


Costs And Benefits Of Investment Treaties: Practical Considerations For States, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman, Brooke Guven, Lisa E. Sachs Mar 2018

Costs And Benefits Of Investment Treaties: Practical Considerations For States, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman, Brooke Guven, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This paper analyzes the expected benefits of investment treaties, including: increased inward investment, increased outward investment, and depoliticization of investment disputes. It then considers evidence of the costs of investment treaties, including: litigation, liability, reputational cost, reduced policy space, distorted power dynamics, reduced role for domestic law-making, and uncertainty in the law. The authors set forth practical steps that states can take relating to both existing treaties as well as future treaties with an objective of increasing desired benefits and decreasing unexpected and high costs of investment treaties.


Resourcing Green Technologies Through Smart Mineral Enterprise Development: A Case Analysis Of Cobalt, Saleem Ali, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling, Nathaniel Hoffman, Lola Aganga Feb 2018

Resourcing Green Technologies Through Smart Mineral Enterprise Development: A Case Analysis Of Cobalt, Saleem Ali, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling, Nathaniel Hoffman, Lola Aganga

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires the world to adopt ‘green technologies’ such as renewable energies and electric transportation at an unprecedented scale. While many countries have implemented policies to spur the adoption of such technologies, a lack of focus has been placed on the sourcing of minerals that are required as inputs. As a result, there is likely to be a significant deficit that may constrain the adoption of green technologies.

In this report, we argue that a neglected area in addressing the mineral scarcity challenge is the private sector’s current trajectory for geological mineral exploration ...


Trauma, Depression, And Burnout In The Human Rights Field: Identifying Barriers And Pathways To Resilient Advocacy, Sarah Knuckey, Margaret Satterthwaite, Adam Brown Jan 2018

Trauma, Depression, And Burnout In The Human Rights Field: Identifying Barriers And Pathways To Resilient Advocacy, Sarah Knuckey, Margaret Satterthwaite, Adam Brown

Faculty Scholarship

Human rights advocates often confront trauma and stress in their work. They are exposed to testimony about heinous abuses; work in insecure locations; visit physical sites of abuse; review forensic, photographic, and video evidence; directly witness abuses; experience threats; and can also suffer detention, be attacked, or be tortured themselves. Such exposure risks adversely impacting the wellbeing and mental health of advocates. While the human rights field is diverse and work varies widely, most – if not all – advocates are likely directly or indirectly exposed to potentially traumatic events or material in the course of their work. The degree and type ...


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 ...