Edited by Gian Luca Burci and Brigit Toebes
Chapter 7: Health and international investment law
Traditionally seen as fundamentally distinct fields of international law, international investment law and health have increasingly intersected. As they intertwined, the issue to be addressed focused on the State’s power to regulate health issues. This chapter explains first the main tenets of international investment law, and then reviews recent awards by international arbitral tribunals to explain how investment law principles have been used to safeguard national health legislation. These cases—including the widely cited 2016 Philip Morris v. Uruguay, decided in favor of Uruguay—show that investment tribunals have generally accepted the validity of the exercise of police powers by the State in regulating matters and have accepted the notion that scientifically-based and non-discriminatory provisions intended to protect public health must (and do) find a place in the regulatory space of States, even if they may affect foreign investments.
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