Title: Incorporating human rights provisions into bilateral investment treaties: a quest for possibilities

Authors: Iman Prihandono

Addresses: Faculty of Law, Universitas Airlangga, Dharmawangsa Dalam Selatan, Surabaya 60286, Indonesia; Macquarie University, Balaclava Road, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia

Abstract: Incorporating human rights concerns into bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have continuously been proposed by many scholars. The main objective of this proposal is to strengthen the legal accountability of TNCs for human rights violations. This article analyses the possibilities for an agreement between home and host countries to incorporate human rights provisions in BITs. It identifies a number of indicators whose presence can increase the likelihood of the incorporation of human rights provisions in BITs. These are: 1) the level of human rights performance, democracy, and participation of civil society; 2) effective domestic enforcement; 3) stable investment environment; 4) broad investment sectors. This article demonstrates that the proposed framework can possibly materialise between countries when these four indicators are present. In particular, host countries with these indicators have more power to demand the inclusion of human rights obligations into BITs. More importantly, with these indicators in hand, TNCs' resistance to the proposed BITs can be minimised.

Keywords: BITs; bilateral investment treaties; international agreements; private investments; foreign direct investment; FDI; trade pacts; transnational corporations; TNCs; democracy; legal accountability; rights incorporation; human rights violations; home countries; host countries; legal provisions; civil society; effective enforcement; legal enforcement; domestic enforcement; stable environments; investment environments; investment sectors; legal obligations; corporate resistance; public law; public policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2012.046070

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2012 Vol.2 No.2, pp.129 - 148

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 23 Feb 2012 *

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