International Economic Law

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Overcoming the Global Vaccine and Therapeutics Lag and ‘Vaccine Apartheid’: Abuse of Rights in the EU’s Continued Blocking of the TRIPS Waiver for COVID Vaccines and Related Medicines

Entering the third year of this global pandemic, the United States posted a grim global record of 1 million COVID cases on 3 January 2022.  This record, of course, exists in a shadow of relative non-transparency about COVID incidences, fatalities, and hospitalizations in many parts of the world, arising either from authoritarian regimes refusing to provide open access to population and community health data (with a latest scientific study indicating outright data manipulation in authoritarian regimes to yield low numbers), or sheer resource challenges and health system incapacities on the part of many developing countries that make it nearly impossible to accurately track and report this data.  Official COVID death tolls are routinely undercounted in many developed and developing parts of the world.  The World Health Organization declared that the real COVID death toll is two or three times what the official statistics say.  While initial tracking of COVID vaccine supplies (see December 2021 data tracker by the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organization) appeared promising, the…

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New Options for Investor Accountability in ISDS

ISDS emerged in the twentieth century to empower foreign investors to assert legal claims against host states without the intervention of their home state. But this understanding of international investment law (IIL) – investor rights and host state duties – is now a relic of the past. Yet because of their current asymmetrical nature, ISDS and IIL do…

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Nottebohm Under Attack (Again): Is it Time for Reconciliation?

Introduction The Nottebohm judgment has recently come under attack in the context of the European Commission’s position on investment by citizenship (CBI) schemes, also known as “golden passport” programmes. These schemes allow individuals to obtain a second citizenship in a host country in exchange for financial investments or even just a flat fee. On 20…

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International Economic Law in a Time of Global Perils: Omicron and other COVID variants, Climate Change, Human Rights, and Development

The World Trade Organization decided to indefinitely postpone its 12th Ministerial Conference, originally scheduled for this week (30 November to 3 December), due to travel constraints for many delegations coming from countries that had already imposed travel bans and other restrictions due to the new Omicron variant.  The 12th Ministerial was slated to take up a…

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UNCITRAL and ISDS Reform (Hybrid): Season 5 – Watching the Grass Grow

Watching UNCITRAL Working Group III over the years has been a bit like viewing a long-running television series. The beginning of the process was exciting as we met a compelling cast of characters and the plot line began to take shape. Sometimes there was high drama: Which actors would support which kinds of reforms? Which ones would oppose…

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