Natural Resource Investment and Africa’s Development

Natural Resource Investment and Africa’s Development

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Edited by Francis N. Botchway

This well-researched book covers a wide spectrum of important issues that are central to investment in natural resources and ultimately, economic development of Africa.

Chapter 9: Evolution of International Investment Law and Implications for Africa

Emmanuel Laryea

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, law and development


Emmanuel Laryea INTRODUCTION 1 This chapter discusses the norms, rules and practices of international investment law relating to resources and their implications for Africa. The chapter outlines the development of international foreign investment law and principles to its current state, examining practices, institutions and factors that have shaped the law through its contours. It finds that there is not as yet a multilateral investment agreement or treaty that governs foreign investments. The current law is drawn from a few principles of customary international law and from bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and their application and interpretation through cases. African States are, put together (though vastly variable individually), parties to hundreds of BITs (together with investor–State contracts) that confer on foreign investors a high degree of protections and concessions that impact on the exploitation of their resources and economic development. The chapter starts by discussing in brief the early norms of international investment law, challenges to those early norms and consequent divergence. It goes on to discuss attempts at the international level to formulate internationally accepted principles, and difficulties encountered. The chapter then outlines some of the core principles in international investment law, and concludes with some observations. 2 EVOLUTION OF INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW The body of law now commonly described as international investment law, or international law of foreign investment as some may describe it,1 evolved from public international law.2 Thus the nature, scope, 293 M2589 - BOTCHWAY PRINT.indd 293 21/04/2011 10:09 294 Natural resource investment and Africa’s...

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