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Tensions Between the International Investment Regime and Human Rights: A Regulatory Tilt?

  • Vivian Kube
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Part of the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Rights book series (CHREN, volume 4)

Abstract

This chapter aims to demonstrate that IIL privileges certain interests at the expense of others. Human rights interests are for the most part excluded although this regime is often affecting them. This fact might be explained as a natural result of fragmentation of international law, but it is not justifiable from an EU constitutional law perspective. The tensions between human rights and the international investment regime are complex, a product of multiple interactions, systemic and often remain concealed. This chapter therefore approaches the identification of this regime’s stance towards human rights law on several levels. The introduction (Sect. 4.1) explains why this approach is important. The next section gives an overview of the coming into being of today’s investment regime (Sect. 4.2). Subsequently, this chapter analyses the human rights tension arising from the most common formulations of investment protection provisions and their interpretation by arbitral awards (Sect. 4.3). This includes a discussion of the progressive approaches within the investment regime, which can be observed in arbitral practice or have been advocated by the literature. It explores to what extent such approaches are mitigating some human rights concerns. Further, this chapter outlines the threats to human rights protection which cannot be determined by direct clashes of conflicting international obligations but are rather an indirect effect of the ‘multilateralization’ of investment treaties and its linkage to investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) (Sect. 4.4). The chapter concludes (Sect. 4.5) that many frictions with human rights are not even identified in arbitration, human rights law is rarely perceived as applicable or human rights violations remain concealed. The isolated attempts of human rights integration in the arbitral practice and as proposed in the literature are often methodologically inconsistent and instable as they lack clear textual legitimacy. The need for including affected rights-holders to represent their interests becomes clear, while the right legal tools for such inclusion are still missing.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian Kube
    • 1
  1. 1.HamburgGermany

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