Discussing the tension between states’ right to regulate and foreign investment protection in recent Colombian cases

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Autores

David Mauricio Guinard Hernández

Resumen

Investment Agreements are instruments used by states to attract foreign ventures within their borders and obtain favourable treatment to local investors in counterpart nations. States usually compromise a certain degree of sovereignty in this kind of agreements through the inclusion of legal stability agreements, stabilisation clauses, compensation for expropriation, and fair & equitable treatment provisions. Within the context of this kind of agreements, the legitimate exercise of regulatory powers by states enters in conflict with the protection of foreign investors property rights when it comes to sensitive areas that have a high impact in the public interest, politics and public perception (such as human rights, health, safety, labour standards and the environment). Based on the discussion of two recent paramount cases that involve regulatory actions of the Colombian state and property rights of foreign investors (pharmaceutical ip rights vs public health interests in the first case, consolidated mining titles vs environmental protection in the second case), we identify and criticize the difficulties of defining if a governmental regulatory action is legitimate and non-compensable or if it is subject to compensation as an indirect expropriation, and the high dependence of this matter on the interpretation of arbitral tribunals.

Palabras clave:

International investment agreements, Indirect expropriation, Legitimate exercise of regulatory powers, Foreign investors property rights, Pharmaceutical ip rights, Public health, Consolidated mining

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Creative Commons License
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Referencias

Books

Grosse Ruse-Kahn, Henning, Protection of intellectual property in international law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

Harms, Phillip, International Investment Political Risk and Growth (New York: Springer, 2000).

Titi, Aikaterini, The right to regulate in international investment law (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2014).

Treves, Tullio, Francesco Seatzu, and Seline Trevisanut (eds.), Foreign investment international law and common concerns (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2014).

Yannaca-Small, Katia, Arbitration under international investment agreements: a guide to key issues (Oxford: oup, 2010).

Journal Articles

Howell, Lewellyn and Brad Chaddick, ‘Models of Political Risk for Foreign Investment and Trade An Assessment of Three Approaches’ (1994) 29 Columbia Journal of World Business 70.

Wagner, J. Martin, ‘International Investment, Expropriation and Environmental Protection’ (1999) 29 Golden Gate U. L. Rev., 465.

International Agreements

Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (trips), Annex 1C of the World Trade Agreement (Marrakesh, 15 April 1994, 1869 unts 299).

Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of Colombia and The efta States. Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

Reports

Klaus Schwab and Xavier Sala-i-Martín, ‘The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017’ (Report, World Economic Forum, 2016).

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pharma 2020: Challenging business models Which path will you take? (Report, PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2009).

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