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International Investment Law and Regional Human Rights Adjudication: A New Frontier for Transnational Judicial Engagement

The development of large foreign investment and infrastructure projects around the world has created complex scenarios where two fields in international law—human rights and investment— co-exist, interact and, in many cases, overlap. As a result, many issues that were traditionally solved through investment arbitration now fall within the scope of human rights adjudication and vice versa. New interactions are taking place in which regional human rights courts (i.e., the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights) come into contact with international investment projects. Such interactions have shown how investors and human rights adjudicators currently deal with problems beyond their epistemic expertise, involving various transnational communities and international legal regimes. While the epistemic communities (practitioners, academics, and adjudicators) in these two fields of international law—human rights and investment—have agreed in recent years on the need for convergence, there is still no clear framework for how this might work. The research explores how the authority embodied in the international investment regime be harmonized with the fulfillment of objectives defined and developed in different regional human rights systems.


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