Current Developments

Social media platforms as expropriated investors

Reviewing state measures from the perspective of international investment law

The reach and expanse of social media in the past decade has been enormous. With its growth, several legal issues have emerged. Particularly, instances of refusal to share personal data of users have led platforms to shut down their operations in some states. These developments raise concerns if the conventional understanding and interpretation of investments and investor-state disputes must be modified for fitting modern forms of business models like social …

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Current Developments

Only a small step forward

The shy contribution of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement to the ISDS reform

On June 30th, 2019, the European Union signed a trade agreement and an investment protection agreement with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. This is the third time the EU has used its exclusive competence in the field of foreign direct investment (FDI) to conclude an investment protection agreement (IPA) vis-à-vis an extra-European country, after CETA’s investment chapter and the EU-Singapore IPA. With this “new generation” of investment treaties, the EU …

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DiscussionResponse

Of BITs and pieces, resistance and simplification

It has been a pleasure to read to what now amounts to an exchange of views between Prof. Ranjan and Kanad Bagchi on some of the critical issues surrounding the foundations and functioning of international investment law (IIL), especially in relation to ‘Third World’ countries. Being deeply interested in the topic, and a member of the KFG ‘International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?’ that has been mentioned by …

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DiscussionResponse

A BIT of resistance

A response to Prof. Prabhash Ranjan’s plea for embedded liberalism

In our current framework of post-truth/factual/reality politics, much of the debates surrounding crucial issues of both domestic and international governance are invariably couched in an inflexible, partisan and for most parts, in parochial terms. There is either utter disdain towards opposing perspectives or deliberate display of ignorance for plausible and varying rationalities. Nothing has been as vehemently contested as the role of the state in the economy, financial intermediation and …

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Current Developments

Alea iacta est?

Post-Achmea investment arbitration in light of recent declarations by EU-member states

Almost a year has passed since the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its ground-breaking judgment– Achmea C-284/16 – concerning the incompatibility of EU law and a Dutch-Slovakian bilateral investment treaty (an intra-EU BIT) (for a discussion see here). While there have been divergent views on the potential scope of Achmea (here restrictively, here more broadly), arbitral tribunals have not yet upheld a jurisdictional challenge by respondent states based …

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Current Developments

An investment arbitration avalanche after a No-Deal Brexit?

How investors could sue the UK for damages in case Britain leaves the EU without a deal

On Tuesday, January 15th, an overwhelming majority in the British House of Commons rejected the Brexit deal, i.e. the Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. With an unsuccessful confidence vote just one day later, the UK’s future in the EU is now more uncertain than ever. And the Brexit clock continues to tick as the UK is still supposed to leave the European Union on …

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DiscussionResponse

Why International Investment Law is not violated by the GDPR

In her recent blog article, Vishaka Ramesh claims that International Investment Law is violated by Data Protection Principles around the world, supporting her thesis in particular with rules set out by the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (GDPR). In her opinion, principles like Data Minimization and Localization are likely to infringe generally accepted principles of investment law, such as the fair and equitable standard of treatment of …

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Discussion

Data Protection Principles Around the World

Do They Violate International Investment Law?

There has been a recent surge in the proliferation of data protection regulations globally, the most recent example of which is the General Data Protection Regulation. Since data protection laws across the world have become increasingly extra-territorial in their reach, there is a higher propensity for foreign entities to be affected by them.

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Business and Human RightsSymposium

Das Verhältnis von Handels- und Investitionsabkommen zu einem Abkommen zu Unternehmen und Menschenrechten

Anmerkungen in vierzehn Thesen

I. Der Ausgangsbefund: Wirtschaftsabkommen und Menschenrechte 1. Angesichts der vor allem seit den 1990er Jahren zu verzeichnenden Effektivierung und Erweiterung des Anwendungsbereichs des völkervertragsrechtlichen Handels- und Investitionsrechts sind vermehrt Fallkonstellationen denkbar und lassen sich in der Praxis auch bereits nachweisen, in denen auf dieser Grundlage eingegangene wirtschaftsrechtliche Verpflichtungen durch Maßnahmen einer Vertragspartei beeinträchtigt werden, welche diese unter Rekurs auf menschenrechtlich erfasste Schutzgüter rechtfertigt.

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Business and Human RightsSymposium

A Future Treaty on Business and Human Rights – Its Main Functions

The state-based paradigm of international human rights law poses a significant challenge to modern day human rights problems as traditional mechanisms largely fail to adequately address corporate conduct and to respond to corporate human rights violations. A prominent judge has therefore described the phenomenon of corporate human rights abuses as “the human rights issue of the 21st century”.

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