International Investment Law

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Will the Morocco-Nigeria Bilateral Investment Treaty Transform Sustainable Development into Hard Law?

The SDGs have now received virtually global endorsement. At the same time, new BITs have emerged which incorporate both the SDGs and the concept of sustainable development. This includes Morocco-Nigeria BIT 2016 (‘the Treaty’) which may prove to be the IIA that transforms sustainable development from a ‘mere’ political commitment or soft law into a hard legal obligation (for a view on substantive provisions on sustainable development and their non-legally binding nature see Fauchald, p.189). The Treaty refers to the SDGs and to sustainable development. In that sense, it is one of 60‑something International Investment Agreements (‘IIAs’) concluded since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (‘SDGs’) by the U.N. General Assembly in 2015, which contain provisions addressing the SDGs directly. However, what makes the Treaty potentially a trailblazer in this field is the specific way in which it weaves sustainable development into its substantive provisions, particularly on the right to regulate and the definition of investment, as well as its Preamble. Article 1.3 appears to be the first…

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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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