Urbaser v. Argentina: Analysing the Expanding Scope of Investment Arbitration in light of Human Rights Obligations

[This article was published at EFILA Blog (here) on 2nd May, 2017]

 

While allowing investors the right to directly bring a claim against the States has said to be the single most progressive development in International Law in the 20th century, they also have gained recognition as ‘subjects’ of international law. It is this recognition which puts a corollary duty on the investor to regard human rights while carrying out activities in the host state. Over the past couple of decades, there has been a growth in, both, international human rights jurisprudence and investment arbitration claims by investors against States. With both procedural and substantive matters of importance coming to the fore, it has led to the convergence of both the areas and raised a valid concern of the importance of erga omnes obligations of human rights in investment arbitration. A human rights concern is a two-way street, with States being concerned about human rights violations by the investor in their territory and the investor being careful that his/her human rights are not unjustly violated by the State.

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Interview: João Ribeiro, Head, Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

Mr. João Ribeiro serves as the Head of Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Incheon, Republic of Korea. He leads the Centre’s efforts in providing advice to Governments in Asia-Pacific region on the development of long-term strategies for the promotion of the harmonisation and of the modernisation of international trade law.

The views expressed herein are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.Read More »