Research Handbook on Foreign Direct Investment
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Research Handbook on Foreign Direct Investment

Edited by Markus Krajewski and Rhea T. Hoffmann

Increasing international investment, the proliferation of international investment agreements, domestic legislation, and investor-State contracts have contributed to the development of a new field of international law that defines obligations between host states and foreign investors with investor-State dispute settlement. This involves not only vast sums, but also a panoply of rights, duties, and shifting objectives at the juncture of national and international law and policy. This engaging Research Handbook provides an authoritative account of these diverse investment law issues.
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Chapter 20: Human rights and international investment law

Eric De Brabandere


The chapter focuses on the interaction between foreign direct investment (FDI) and human rights as one of the most contentious issues surrounding the contemporary regulation of FDI. Human rights issues interact in various ways with investment law. Therefore, the chapter briefly discusses the question whether human rights obligations directly impose obligations on foreign investors as a matter of international law. Moreover, it addresses the limited scope of the jurisdiction of investment tribunals, the effect of the insertion, in investment treaties of clauses concerning the obligations of foreign investors and the effect of ‘legality’ requirements in investment treaties. Furthermore, the ‘conflict’ between human rights obligations and investment treaty obligations and the applicable rules on treaty conflict are examined. It assesses how investment tribunals have dealt with human rights as part of the applicable law in investments, and human rights invoked as a defence for a breach of an investment treaty obligation.

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