Conference: Investment Law and the Environment

On November 4-5, 2013, a Conference on 'Bridging the gap between Investment Law and the Environment' will take place in The Hague.

The conference is organised by the Law School of Utrecht University, Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and the Center for Sustainability of Nyenrode Business University.

Known experts and practitioners in the field of international investment law and the environment will be contributing to the conference. Among them are: Hugo von Meijenfeldt (Dutch Consul in San Francisco, former Director-General of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment); Prof. Mads Andenas (University of Oslo), Prof. Attila Tanzi (University of Bologna); Prof. Andrea Gattini (University of Padova), Dr. Anna Joubin-Bret (Avocat à la Cour Paris), Prof. Jaap Spier (Dutch Supreme Court and Maastricht University), Dr. Freya Baetens (Leiden University), Dr. Kate Miles (Cambridge University) and Andrea Shemberg (Legal consultant in business and human rights). Many other experts have kindly agreed to join us. For more information, please visit: www.iilconference.com

Theme Statement

International investment law is a growing field of law that has witnessed an explosive growth in the last decade. This is characterized by the proliferation of International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and the phenomenal increase in invest-ment arbitrations. The large network of IIAs and investment disputes has brought a number of questions that exceed the discipline of international investment law. One of them is the role of non-investment objectives, e.g. protection of the envi-ronment, in the framework of the investment regime.

Environmental regulations of States have been challenged by investors within the framework of international investment law, because they allegedly conflict with investment protec-tion rules. In these circumstances, States face a dilemma as, on the one hand, they have to comply with environmental obligations, but, on the other, they have to fulfil their eco-nomic obligations under IIAs. This conference will discuss the relationship between these two areas of the law.

The specific focus of the conference will be on Climate Change and International Investment Law. Climate Change is one of the key challenges that the planet currently faces. It is a complex problem that impacts not only on the environ-ment, but also global issues such as sustainable develop-ment, poverty, economic development and investment.