This chapter sheds light on the implications of the doctrine of constitutional supremacy on the enforceability of arbitral awards in Ghana in a situation where its constitution regulates the conclusion of international business transactions or international investment agreements (IIAs). After analyzing applicable municipal and international law in relation to the constitutionality of treaties and international economic transactions, the chapter contends that certain conditions have to be fulfilled for an IIA or an international transaction to come into existence in Ghana. Finally, the chapter argues that the doctrine of constitutional supremacy places limitations on the enforcement of constitutionally illegal international business transactions and IIAs in Ghana.
In the light of the growing debate about international investment and developing economies, this chapter begins by establishing that the term ‘investment’ in investment law is a product of the extremist conception of liberalism in economics. On this basis, the chapter examines whether there are justifications in support of the arguments that Africa has been unfairly treated in international investment terms since decolonisation. The chapter also inquires whether the new international economic order of the 1970s brought any investment successes to Africa. Finally, the chapter provides a few remarks on the position of Africa post-1990s and beyond.
The objective of this chapter is to examine the extent to which the human rights system in Nigeria is being repositioned to engage the increasing influx of international economic players and to bring transnational economic entities in compliance with local and international human rights standards. This enquiry is necessary, since the chapter is based on the assumption that the confluence of business with human rights is the platform for sustainable investment and development in Nigeria. Taking the negative consequences of the oil business in Nigeria as an example, the chapter argues that the interface of business and human rights is in desperate need of radical reform.
In an assiduous attempt to entrench the private rights of investors and promote foreign investment, arbitral tribunals have given expansive and very broad interpretations to the meaning and scope of most-favoured-nation and fair and equitable treatment clauses without taking cognisance of the public policy space of host States. It is the basic contention of this chapter that the legal regime of foreign investment only imposes obligation on sovereign host States without imposing corresponding duties on foreign investors. The chapter argues that such an approach makes the relationship between foreign investors and host States unbalanced and, as a result, has undermined the sovereignty of host States. This threatens the legitimacy of the international investment regime.
This chapter sheds light on the extent of the emancipation from the international investment protection regime contemplated by the African Society of International Law (AfSIL) and situates it against the backdrop of some recent contestations of international investment law. After recalling the drafting history of the AfSIL Principles and some recent contestations, the attention turns to the content of, and possible adjustment to, the international investment protection regime vindicated by AfSIL. This short chapter ends with a few concluding remarks on the choice for an emancipatory mode of contestation rather than a reformist one.
The contributions made in this book by prominent international lawyers in the field aim at highlighting the current challenges that African nations face in relation to the investment regime. The various contributions also suggest paths to shape an African voice in the reform of the investment regime and to ensure that international investment agreements contribute better to the sustainable development of African countries.
In an attempt to examine to what extent Africa could take as an example the EU proposal on the reform of investment treaty arbitration, this chapter analyzes the different aspects of the EU Investment Court System (ICS). In this context, the chapter first explores whether the EU ICS is actually innovative and subsequently asks what it would mean if this system were adopted by African States. Finally, it is argued that the EU ICS is likely to provide consistency and coherence, as well as ensuring the independence and impartiality of the Tribunal Members. The chapter ends on a positive note regarding the EU ICS. It is asserted that a regional approach by African States could also integrate broader development concerns in their investment regulations.
The occurrence of a major disagreement between the foreign investor and a host State may lead these two parties to a foreign direct investment transaction to seek judicial means to settle their dispute. Most often, the disagreement relates to the interpretation or application of either of a conventional instrument – that is, a State contract or an investment protection and promotion agreement – or of a provision of the domestic law of the host State, particularly the regulations pertaining to investments. The analysis of the current practice of foreign investors, companies and multinational firms in particular reveals a preference for the arbitral settlement of investment disputes. Arbitration reassures foreign investors in the possibility to have recourse to remedies other than internal ones, through national courts or conciliation and mediation institutions, in the event of an investment dispute. Furthermore, opting for the arbitration of investment disputes aims potentially at increasing the volume of investments flows in the continent. L’avènement d’un désaccord majeur entre l’investisseur étranger et l’Etat d’accueil de son investissement peut conduire ces deux principales parties à l’opération d’investissement direct étranger à rechercher des voies juridictionnelles de règlement de leur différend. Le plus souvent, le désaccord a pour fondement l’interprétation ou l’application soit d’un instrument conventionnel, en l’occurrence un contrat d’Etat ou un accord de protection et de promotion des investissements, soit d’une disposition du droit positif de l’Etat hôte, notamment une disposition découlant de la réglementation en matière d’investissements. L’analyse de la pratique actuelle des opérateurs privés de l’investissement international, des entreprises et des firmes multinationales révèle une préférence pour le règlement arbitral des différends les opposant aux Etats hôtes de leurs investissements. D’une part, cette ouverture à l’arbitrage constitue un élément de sécurisation de l’investissement étranger qui rassure l’investisseur sur la libre disposition des voies de recours, autres qu’internes ou par le biais d’institutions de conciliation et de médiation, en cas de survenance d’un différend investisseur/Etat d’accueil. D’autre part, le recours préférentiel à l’arbitrage des différends d’investissements permet potentiellement un accroissement du volume d’investissements en direction du continent.
Les contrats d’investissement minier conclus par les Etats africains révèlent généralement des engagements juridiques en équilibre précaire et déséquilibrés au stade de leur formulation. Une telle situation peut néanmoins être résolue par plusieurs instruments juridiques, dont les Principes Unidroit sur les contrats du commerce international, qui sont de plus en plus appliqués par les tribunaux arbitraux pour les contrats miniers. Ces principes prévoient divers mécanismes pour corriger le déséquilibre contractuel. En particulier, la doctrine de l’« avantage excessif » permet de pénaliser le déséquilibre présent dans la conclusion du contrat. D’autres mécanismes complètent également cette règle lors de l’exécution du contrat. A cette fin, la doctrine de « hardship », inscrite dans les Principes Unidroit, joue un rôle majeur dans la restructuration des contrats déséquilibrés. Après avoir considéré les modalités techniques d’application de ces principes aux contrats miniers, il convient d’analyser leur contenu tel qu’appliqué par la jurisprudence et leur pertinence dans la configuration d’un équilibre général dans les relations Etat-Investisseur. C’est là l’objectif de ce chapitre. Mineral investment contracts concluded by African States generally reveal legal commitments in precarious balance and almost congenital imbalance. Such a situation can nevertheless be resolved by several legal instruments, including the Unidroit Principles of International Commercial Contracts, which are increasingly applied to mining contracts by arbitral tribunals. These principles provide for various mechanisms for correcting the contractual imbalance. In particular, it is the ‘gross disparity’ doctrine which makes it possible to penalize the contemporary imbalance in the signing of the contract. Also, other mechanisms supplement this rule if one is at the stage of executing the contract. For this purpose, hardship doctrine as enshrined in the Unidroit Principles plays a major role in the restructuring of unbalanced contracts. After considering the technical modalities for the application of these principles to mining contracts, it is a matter of analyzing their content as applied by the case law and their relevance in the configuration of a general equilibrium in State–investor relationships. This is exactly what this chapter intends to do.
The economic development of every nation rests principally on the level of technological capabilities and innovation capacities that can be mustered. Technology is not a free public good that is transferred without restriction, but instead is consciously generated through an investment in research and development, making the outcome of the research a protected property. The private nature of the property right inherent in technology seems to pose a difficulty for the development imperatives of developing countries. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) largely recognizes the preceding, despite its shortcomings, by embodying provisions for flexibility to balance the goal of intellectual property rights protection with the technological transfer for development. However, the evolving regime of TRIPS-Plus is poised to erode potential chances of successful transfer to developing countries, particularly African countries. Accordingly, African countries must look inward and readjust their policies to withstand and contain the emerging development-clipping regimes, and consequently, advance their technological growth objectives.