Human Rights Considerations in International Investment Arbitration

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 10, 2013

Via SSRN: Human Rights Considerations in International Investment Arbitration, Eric De Brabandere, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, March 8, 2013

  • “Despite the apparent opposition between the two concepts, human rights protection and international investment law in fact share many common features, the most important being the weak or vulnerable position of both individuals and foreign investors in relation to the state, which can take decisions affecting their rights and obligations without their participation. This reality has been one of the main justifications behind the grant of rights and protection to both individuals and foreign investors. The protection of foreign investment is a relatively old concept in international law and relations but has in the past decades evolved and developed rapidly. Globalisation of the world economy and the weakening of the barriers traditionally faced by investors in broadening their field of activity in foreign states has resulted in an expansion of foreign commercial activity in states. At the same time, states have privatised many areas of the public sector, such as such water, sewage, gas and the management of (hazardous) waste sites. This privatization has often been done by relying on foreign investors, and has thus led to the involvement of non-state entities in functions usually exercised by state organs or entities. Privatisation is of course not problematic in se, since it can improve public health and human rights generally, but it can also result in a decreased respect for human rights.”
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