Foreign Investment, Sovereign Debt, and Human Rights
Chapter for Ilias Bantekas and Cephas Lumina (eds.), Sovereign Debt and Human Rights, OUP 2018 (forthcoming).
20 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2018 Last revised: 21 Sep 2018
Date Written: August 24, 2018
Foreign investment is perceived as one of the most significant factors for development and it is no accident that a key criterion for determining that an activity qualifies as an investment under the ICSID Convention is whether it contributes to the economic or other development of the host state. Investment tribunals have in recent years examined both the ambit of regulatory powers of the host state in taking measures in response to an existing debt crisis, and the impact of a negotiated sovereign debt restructuring on the rights of non-cooperative creditors. In both respects, investment tribunals have not conclusively, or unanimously, linked socio-economic rights with investment protection. This chapter examines the sovereign debt-related awards of investment tribunals and suggests how the systemic integration of investment law and human rights might prevent investment arbitration from distorting economically and socially beneficial sovereign debt restructurings and other regulatory measures in the context of sovereign debt crises.
Keywords: sovereign debt, human rights, international investment law, arbitration, socio-economic rights
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