Research Handbook on Environment and Investment Law
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Research Handbook on Environment and Investment Law

Edited by Kate Miles

The Research Handbook on Environment and Investment Law examines one of the most dynamic areas of international law: the interaction between international investment law and environmental law and policy. The Research Handbook takes a thematic approach, analysing key issues in the environment–investment nexus, such as freshwater resources, climate, biodiversity, biotechnology and sustainable development. It also includes sections which explore regional experiences and address practice and procedure, and offers innovative approaches and critical perspectives, including the interface between foreign investment and the environment with human rights, gender, indigenous peoples, and economics.
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Chapter 8: Treatment standards in environment-related investor-state disputes

Chester Brown and Domenico Cucinotta

Abstract

A feature of certain investment treaty claims is that they can appear to bring into conflict obligations owed by States under international investment agreements (‘IIAs’) and obligations owed by States under other treaties or under customary international law. This chapter examines arbitral tribunals’ consideration of the core standards of protection in IIAs in cases which give rise to environmental issues. The analysis reveals that although environmental issues have loomed large in the factual background to these disputes, such issues have generally played only a supporting role (if any) in the final decision. It is difficult to predict whether obligations under international environmental law may ever be determinative in the outcome of investment disputes. But the possibility of such a result cannot be discounted, as public international law has tools which may be used to enhance the role of environmental issues in the resolution of such claims.

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