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2015

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Uncloaking The Secrecy Behind Large-Scale Land Deals, Jesse Coleman Dec 2015

Uncloaking The Secrecy Behind Large-Scale Land Deals, Jesse Coleman

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Large-scale investments in agriculture and forestry have far-reaching implications for the lives of affected individuals and communities. They are also an integral part of efforts by national governments to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve the governance of land resources. Despite their significance, these “land deals” and the contracts that govern them are often cloaked in secrecy, removed from relevant spheres of public scrutiny and debate.


Global Value Chains And Resource Corridors: The Nexus Is Regional Integration, Perrine Toledano Dec 2015

Global Value Chains And Resource Corridors: The Nexus Is Regional Integration, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

To be more involved in the global value chains, sub-Saharan African countries should intensify their regional integration efforts. A first step in this direction can be implementing cross-border resource-based development corridors.


Exploring The Link Between Food Security And Climate Change, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2015

Exploring The Link Between Food Security And Climate Change, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Our growing global population is demanding a more resource-intensive and so-called “Western” diet. And that change in demand has drastic impact on how we must change our supply.


Tpp Would Let Foreign Investors Bypass The Canadian Public Interest, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson Nov 2015

Tpp Would Let Foreign Investors Bypass The Canadian Public Interest, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In early October, prime ministerial candidate Justin Trudeau promised Canadians “a full and open public debate” on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With 30 chapters that would bind Canada to sweeping agreements on everything from services to intellectual property to the environment to procurement, there is much to debate.


The Tpp’S Investment Chapter: Entrenching, Rather Than Reforming, A Flawed System, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs Nov 2015

The Tpp’S Investment Chapter: Entrenching, Rather Than Reforming, A Flawed System, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

During the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, many stakeholders raised strong concerns about the Investment Chapter of the TPP, and in particular, the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS). The US Trade Representative (USTR) and other representatives of the negotiating partners assured the stakeholders that the TPP’s investment chapter would respond to the legitimate concerns about expansive investor protections and ISDS. The actual text, however, when made public, showed the opposite: a further evisceration of the role of domestic policy, institutions, and constituents. In their current form, the TPP’s substantive investment protections and ISDS pose significant potential costs to …


Next Generation Treaty – India’S New Model Bit Makes It Clear That Its Goal Is To Accomplish More Than Investor Protection, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Sudhanshu Roy Nov 2015

Next Generation Treaty – India’S New Model Bit Makes It Clear That Its Goal Is To Accomplish More Than Investor Protection, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Sudhanshu Roy

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The April release of India’s draft model bilateral investment treaty 1(BIT), which is expected to be approved by the cabinet soon, has generated a rich public debate on its international investment regime. There are important questions about the purpose and content of investment treaties, both in India and other countries. However, some reactions – like Augusts Law Commission report suggesting that the model BIT was not sufficiently investor-friendly – frame the discussion too narrowly, ignoring key questions and objectives behind India’s transitioning investment policy regime.


Shared-Use Mining Infrastructure In Sub-Saharan Africa, Sophie Thomashausen, Glen Ireland Oct 2015

Shared-Use Mining Infrastructure In Sub-Saharan Africa, Sophie Thomashausen, Glen Ireland

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The IBA’s recent Conference, Investing in Africa: Opportunities for Businesses and

the Lawyers Who Counsel Them, held in New York on 24-26 June 2015, highlighted the growing challenges and opportunities related to infrastructure needed for major mining projects in sub-Saharan Africa. The mining sector, which remains critical to many economies in the region, is being hampered by the lack of adequate transport, power and other infrastructure, as was underscored by participants in the ‘Trends in the Mining Sector’ panel. In the current depressed commodity price environment, large investments in infrastructure required to develop major, ‘world-class’ deposits is difficult to justify, …


New Human Rights Institute Report On Birmingham, Alabama Human Rights Dialogue And Efforts To Promote And Protect Human Rights In Cities Across The United States, Human Rights Institute Oct 2015

New Human Rights Institute Report On Birmingham, Alabama Human Rights Dialogue And Efforts To Promote And Protect Human Rights In Cities Across The United States, Human Rights Institute

Human Rights Institute

New York, NY (October 1, 2015) – The Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute is pleased to announce the release of a new report, Bringing Human Rights Home: The Birmingham Mayor’s Office Human Rights Dialogue, developed in collaboration with the Office of Birmingham Mayor William Bell.


Measuring Land Rights For A Sustainable Future, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Jeffrey D. Sachs Sep 2015

Measuring Land Rights For A Sustainable Future, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Jeffrey D. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Land rights, both for individuals and for communities, are critical for achieving sustainable development. Security of land tenure and other rights to the land (sometimes held communally rather than individually) can accelerate poverty reduction, strengthen food security, and empower women. Land rights can reduce resource conflicts, as well as encourage the responsible use of natural resources. As the UN member countries begin to implement the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they should keep land rights in their focus, and measure and protect land rights in order to achieve the SDGs.


Bringing Human Rights Home: The Birmingham Mayor's Office Human Rights Dialogue, Human Rights Institute, Office Of The Mayor Of The City Birmingham Sep 2015

Bringing Human Rights Home: The Birmingham Mayor's Office Human Rights Dialogue, Human Rights Institute, Office Of The Mayor Of The City Birmingham

Human Rights Institute

Human rights begin close to home. Local governments have jurisdiction over a range of human rights issues, including those related to housing, education, employment, and criminal justice. Indeed, local agencies and officials are essential to the promotion and protection of human rights in the United States. They work every day to create conditions under which all communities can flourish. Mayors are particularly well-situated to advance human rights and build a culture of human rights based on dignity, freedom from discrimination, and opportunity.


Conga No Va: An Assessment Of The Conga Mining Project In Light Of World Bank Standards, Inter-Institutional Platform Of Celendín, The Unified Rondas Of The Province Of Celendín, The Frente De Defensa Of The Jadibamba River Basin, The Frente De Defensa Of The District Of Huasmín, The Frente De Defensa Of The Centro Poblado Of Jeréz, The Frente De Defensa Of The District Of Sorochuco, The Frente De Defensa Of The Interests Of The Province Of Hualgayoc - Bambamarca, Human Rights Clinic Sep 2015

Conga No Va: An Assessment Of The Conga Mining Project In Light Of World Bank Standards, Inter-Institutional Platform Of Celendín, The Unified Rondas Of The Province Of Celendín, The Frente De Defensa Of The Jadibamba River Basin, The Frente De Defensa Of The District Of Huasmín, The Frente De Defensa Of The Centro Poblado Of Jeréz, The Frente De Defensa Of The District Of Sorochuco, The Frente De Defensa Of The Interests Of The Province Of Hualgayoc - Bambamarca, Human Rights Clinic

Human Rights Institute

The social organizations issuing this report are a coalition of groups from the provinces of Hualgayoc and Celendín in the region of Cajamarca, Peru. We have come together to present our assessment of the social and environmental risks of the proposed Conga gold and copper mining project in light of the Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group. We work to promote human rights and the protection of the environment, collectively representing the interests and positions of thousands of individuals and dozens of communities that would be impacted by the project.


Human Rights Institute Annual Report 2014-2015, Human Rights Institute Aug 2015

Human Rights Institute Annual Report 2014-2015, Human Rights Institute

Human Rights Institute

The Human Rights Institute sits at the heart of human rights teaching, practice, and scholarship at Columbia Law School. Founded in 1998 by the late Professor Louis Henkin, the Institute draws on the Law School’s deep human rights tradition to support and influence human rights practice in the United States and throughout the world. The activities of the Human Rights Clinic are included in the Institute’s work, enabling us to multiply our impact on the field and engage students more fully in our efforts. The Institute’s newly formed Columbia Advisory Committee provides input and feedback on the Institute’s activities and …


Memo To Prime Minister Cameron On The Revision Of The U.K. National Action Plan On Business And Human Rights, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke Jul 2015

Memo To Prime Minister Cameron On The Revision Of The U.K. National Action Plan On Business And Human Rights, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In July 2015, CCSI sent a memo to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to provide input on the 2015 revision of the U.K. National Action Plan on business and human rights, originally published in 2013. The memo applauded the U.K. Government’s early adoption of a National Action Plan consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, noting that responsible and rights-respecting outward investment can support sustainable development in host countries, and that the U.K. Government has an important role to play in promoting responsible business operations. The memo urged the government to highlight the importance of land …


Engaging U.N. Special Procedures To Advance Human Rights At Home: A Guide For U.S. Advocates, Human Rights Institute Jul 2015

Engaging U.N. Special Procedures To Advance Human Rights At Home: A Guide For U.S. Advocates, Human Rights Institute

Human Rights Institute

Social justice advocates in the United States are increasingly using the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations to advance their domestic advocacy on issues ranging from criminal justice to access to health care. These mechanisms offer unique opportunities for U.S. advocates to mobilize grassroots communities, raise public awareness, exert international pressure, and engage with local, state, and national government officials around local human rights concerns. The U.N. special procedures are among the more versatile of the U.N. human rights mechanisms.

This report explores ways in which U.S. advocates are making effective use of the U.N. special procedures. Based on …


Wrong Direction On Climate, Trade And Development, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson Jun 2015

Wrong Direction On Climate, Trade And Development, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In pushing for Trade Promotion Authority, the Obama administration argues that the agreements it is negotiating (including TPP and TTIP) are true 21st century agreements that correct the failings of past agreements and will promote trade and investment that can both re-launch America as the key economic player and promote broad-based sustainable development at home and abroad.


Natural Resource Contracts As A Tool For Managing The Mining Sector, David Kienzler, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen, Sam Szoke-Burke Jun 2015

Natural Resource Contracts As A Tool For Managing The Mining Sector, David Kienzler, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashausen, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In this report commissioned by the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), CCSI examined the different types of legal regimes governing mining projects in 18 countries to gain a better understanding of mining deals granted and negotiated under different minerals regimes. CCSI compared the provisions of 30 mining contracts from 13 countries, analyzed a selection of mining-related legislative texts from 18 countries, and surveyed the experiences of mining contract negotiations through dozens of interviews with experts, government officials, company representatives, and members of civil society organizations.

The report …


Human Rights In The United States: Primer On Recommendations From The Inter-American Human Rights Commission & The United Nations, Human Rights Institute Jun 2015

Human Rights In The United States: Primer On Recommendations From The Inter-American Human Rights Commission & The United Nations, Human Rights Institute

Human Rights Institute

Over the past decade, U.S. social justice advocates have increasingly recognized that international and regional human rights mechanisms are important avenues for seeking human rights accountability. A broad and diverse range of advocates have mobilized, in particular, around United Nations human rights reviews, including treaty compliance reviews, Special Rapporteur visits to the United States, and the U.N. Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review process, increasing visibility of numerous domestic human rights concerns.

A smaller number of advocates and social justice groups have engaged with the Americas’ regional human rights system, the Inter-American Human Rights System, which offers additional and complementary …


Resource Resilience: How To Break The Commodities Cycle, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling May 2015

Resource Resilience: How To Break The Commodities Cycle, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The past year has seen dramatic declines in the prices of global commodities. Between June 2014 and the beginning of this year, crude oil prices fell by 50 percent to around $50 a barrel. Similarly, mineral prices have seen a drastic fall since the peak of the “commodity supercycle” in early 2011. Between then and April of this year, iron ore prices fell by 70 percent, coal prices by 54 percent and copper prices by 40 percent.


Why Fast Track Is A Dangerous Gift To Corporate Lobbies, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson May 2015

Why Fast Track Is A Dangerous Gift To Corporate Lobbies, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Obama Administration is now on track to get "fast track" legislation through the Senate, heading towards a close vote in the House. The end goal is to conclude two major business treaties: the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The House Democrats are right to withhold their support until key treaty positions favored by the White House are dropped.


Not So Fast, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson May 2015

Not So Fast, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

President Barack Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress are trying to pass "fast track" legislation in order to push through major economic agreements with eleven countries of the Pacific region (the Trans-Pacific Partnership) and Europe (the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) without the possibility for Congressional amendments. Both are being sold generally as "trade agreements," yet they involve key areas of business law and regulation far beyond trade. Before Congress approves fast track, these agreements need to be made public and exposed to thorough public scrutiny.


Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Public Interest And U.S. Domestic Law, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs, Jeffrey D. Sachs May 2015

Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Public Interest And U.S. Domestic Law, Lise Johnson, Lisa E. Sachs, Jeffrey D. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

As negotiations are ongoing in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP), CCSI staff and Jeffrey Sachs discuss the implications of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) for domestic law and policy, focusing on effects within the US. The paper concludes that the risks ISDS poses for domestic law are significant and unjustified, and that there are preferable policy alternatives to pursue as a means of protecting the rights of investors operating overseas.


Access To Counsel In Civil Cases, Human Rights Institute May 2015

Access To Counsel In Civil Cases, Human Rights Institute

Human Rights Institute

Legal representation is fundamental to safeguarding access to the legal system. Yet, in the United States, millions of people who are poor or low-income are unable to obtain legal representation when facing a crisis such as eviction, foreclosure, domestic violence, workplace discrimination, termination of subsistence income or medical assistance, loss of child custody, or deportation. Indeed, in the U.S., only a small fraction of the legal problems experienced by low-income people — fewer than one in five — is addressed with the assistance of legal representation.


Public Acknowledgement And Investigations Of U.S. “Targeted Killings” And Drone Strikes, American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu), Amnesty International, Center For Civilians In Conflict (Civic), Center For Constitutional Rights, European Center For Constitutional And Human Rights, Human Rights Clinic, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, Open Society Foundations, Reprieve May 2015

Public Acknowledgement And Investigations Of U.S. “Targeted Killings” And Drone Strikes, American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu), Amnesty International, Center For Civilians In Conflict (Civic), Center For Constitutional Rights, European Center For Constitutional And Human Rights, Human Rights Clinic, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, Open Society Foundations, Reprieve

Human Rights Institute

The United Nations, local and international human rights organizations, and journalists have investigated and reported numerous cases in which there is credible evidence of harm to Yemeni, Pakistani, and other civilians from U.S. strikes carried out in secret, often using drones. The families of those individuals are still seeking redress and accountability, and the continued refusal of your administration even to officially acknowledge their losses compounds their suffering


Eyes Wide Shut On Isds, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson Apr 2015

Eyes Wide Shut On Isds, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Recent agreement among congressional leaders on a “fast-track” bill may have been a victory for the Obama administration’s trade agenda. However, members of congress should take a look at the recent Bilcon case, decided by a NAFTA tribunal, to understand what they are signing up for.


Ripe For Refinement: The State’S Role In Interpretation Of Fet, Mfn, And Shareholder Rights, Lise Johnson Apr 2015

Ripe For Refinement: The State’S Role In Interpretation Of Fet, Mfn, And Shareholder Rights, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Over recent years, many states have taken steps to refine and modernize their investment treaties. These reforms, however, are typically only included in newer treaties or model agreements. States continue to be exposed to claims, litigation, and potential damages under older “old-style” agreements. These risks are particularly acute given that tribunals have often permitted investors to “treaty shop” to obtain more favorable protections, and have also permitted investors to use the most-favored nation (MFN) provision to “import” more investor-friendly (or at least less clear) provisions from other treaties.

This working paper discusses one strategy states can use to try to …


United States Response To Questionnaire Concerning Remuneration For The Use Of Works: Exclusivity V. Other Approaches, Bart M.J. Szewczyk, June M. Besek Apr 2015

United States Response To Questionnaire Concerning Remuneration For The Use Of Works: Exclusivity V. Other Approaches, Bart M.J. Szewczyk, June M. Besek

Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts

ALAI-USA is the U.S. branch of ALAI (Association Littèraire et Artistique Internationale). ALAI-USA was started in the 1980's by the late Professor Melville B. Nimmer, and was later expanded by Professor John M. Kernochan.


Comments On The World Bank’S Revised Draft Environmental And Social Framework, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Feb 2015

Comments On The World Bank’S Revised Draft Environmental And Social Framework, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In February 2015, CCSI sent comments to the World Bank regarding its draft Environmental and Social Framework. This took place in the context of the Bank’s consultations on the review and update of its safeguards policies. CCSI’s comments focused on ensuring consistent and comprehensive application of the framework, and on the need to more expansively incorporate human rights standards. The memo also underlined the need to protect all legitimate tenure rights, including those not currently recognized by national law, and to limit the permissibility of forced evictions. In addition, the comments include proposed amendments that would ensure that government borrowers …


The Responsible Investor’S Guide To Climate Change, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs Jan 2015

The Responsible Investor’S Guide To Climate Change, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Around the world, institutional investors – including pension funds, insurance companies, philanthropic endowments, and universities – are grappling with the question of whether to divest from oil, gas, and coal companies. The reason, of course, is climate change: unless fossil-fuel consumption is cut sharply – and phased out entirely by around 2070, in favor of zero-carbon energy such as solar power – the world will suffer unacceptable risks from human-induced global warming. How should responsible investors behave in the face of these unprecedented risks?


A Tale Of Two Kadis: Kadi Ii, Kadi V. Geithner & U.S. Counterterrorism Finance Efforts, Douglas Cantwell Jan 2015

A Tale Of Two Kadis: Kadi Ii, Kadi V. Geithner & U.S. Counterterrorism Finance Efforts, Douglas Cantwell

National Security Law Program

The European Court of Justice's final decision in Kadi II-Yassin Abdullah Kadi's challenge in Europe to his designation as an international terrorist financier has stimulated significant discussion on the relationship between European and international law. Less attention has been paid to the Kadi II's correlate in US. courts, Kadi v. Geithner, decided in the D.C. Circuit. The varying outcomes in these cases create a "transnational split record" that has implications for reform of multilateral counterterrorism sanctions.

This Note considers the impact of Kadi's legal challenges in the United States and Europe from the perspective of U.S. counterterrorism policy. …


Using Force On Land To Suppress Piracy At Sea: The Legal Landscape Of A Largely Untapped Strategy, Steven R. Obert Jan 2015

Using Force On Land To Suppress Piracy At Sea: The Legal Landscape Of A Largely Untapped Strategy, Steven R. Obert

National Security Law Program

On May 14, 2012, a combat helicopter operated by European Union Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR) struck a pirate base ashore in Somalia. The raid destroyed several fiberglass skiffs on the beach in Haradheere, a town on the coast of central Somalia. The attack represented a new tactic used in the protracted and evolving international effort to fight maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia. It was the first time that force ashore, first authorized by the United Nations Security Council in 2008, had been publicly acknowledged.

Though recently receding, piracy off the coast of Somalia has had a destabilizing effect on …