International Investment Law and Community Interests
28 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 23, 2016
In contemporary discourse, international investment law (IIL) and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) are often perceived as threats to community interests in one-sidedly protecting foreign investors and undermining public policies that are to the benefit of the local population and the international community. This is nowhere more manifest than in the fierce debates about the inclusion of an investment chapter in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. The present chapter forwards a different perspective. First, it argues that investment law properly construed can be conceptualized as protecting community interests, because it is part of the legal infrastructure that is necessary for the functioning of the global economy under a rule of law framework. Aimed at supporting economic growth, this helps further economic and non-economic community interests, including sustainable development. Second, the chapter argues that IIL and ISDS do not turn a blind eye to the conflicts that can arise between economic and non-economic community interests, such as environmental protection, labour standards, public health or human rights. Instead, investment law and dispute settlement have numerous mechanisms at their disposal for alleviating tensions with non-economic community interests.
Keywords: International Investment Law, Community Interests, Rule of Law, Global Governance, Sustainable Development, Systemic Integration, Proportionality, Deference, Amicus Curiae
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation