The International Investment Regime and Local Populations: Are the Weakest Voices Unheard?
Forthcoming 7:3 Transnational Legal Theory
22 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 15, 2016
The laws that govern the allocation and use of resources can not only annihilate individual property rights but also destroy community. Locals’ participation in decisions about property is therefore vital. This article argues that local populations currently have a limited voice in foreign investment decisions, and that the international investment regime contributes to this unfair result. The interpretation of investment tribunals, according to international investment treaties, relies on reasoning that promotes the calculability of investments and the trust of foreign investors above all. Often, this interpretation threatens other property rights and community values. This article illustrates these dangers using the cases of Aguas del Tunari v. Bolivia and Chevron v. Ecuador. It concludes by suggesting that international law can be part of a solution to these problems; but for that, we need to give local populations a meaningful role in foreign investment governance.
Keywords: International Investment Law, Investment Arbitration, Human Rights, Local Participation, Foreign Investment
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