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Human rights in bilateral investment treaties

Student: Matvey Tarasov

Supervisor: Vera Rusinova

Faculty: Faculty of Law

Educational Programme: Law of International Trade, Finance and Economic Integration (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2021

The author analyses the interaction between international law of human rights and international investment law. The contents evolution of bilateral investment treaties is accentuated, as well as the practice of investment tribunals that adjudicated disputes based on these treaties, where the question of human rights arose. The provisions of bilateral investment treaties are divided into categories (preambles, exceptions, non-lowering standards). A conclusion is made that the majority of bilateral investment treaties in force have been signed before 2010, when there was little attention to human right in international investment law. Nevertheless, even after 2010 bilateral investment treaties, although following new models, still employ vague formulations and do not impose strict human rights obligations. Investment tribunals’ practice allows to resort to systemic integration, as well as the interpretation of the term “investment” to include human rights into international investment law even if a bilateral investment treaty does not contain human rights provisions. Additionally, alternative grievance mechanisms are considered, including the ones developed by the UN and EU.

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