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“Investment law is the prototype of economic globalization” stated Prof. Dr. Dr. Rudolf Dolzer at a lecture entitled, ‘Recent in International Investments Law’ on May 7 organized by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Policy Center and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
This director of the Institute of International Law in the University of Bonn (Germany) introduced international investment law and current issues. According to him the most important is the definition of ‘investment.’ The variation of definition of the term ‘investment’ and the scope, which constitutes an investment in the different treaties, may have consequences on the rulings of the international tribunals. The major problem is that the international tribunals appear to adopt different interpretations on the term ‘investment.’
Prof. Dolzer expressed the trends from the international tribunals. He mentioned other problems that may affect the rulings of the international tribunals. These are: the Umbrella Clause, which states that the breach of an investment may become a treaty violation, and the Most Favored Nation (MFN) Clause, which ensures that the parties to a treaty grant treatment no less favorable than the treatment they give under other treaties in areas covered by the clause. According to him, the Umbrella Clause and the MFN Clause are the issues in which the international tribunals have not yet reached a consensus. In addition, he said that the Umbrella Clause is a pressure point used by the governments to violate treaties. He cited some cases to prove the difficulties in ruling by the international tribunals; these were the Methanex and Metalclad cases, cases against Argentina and other environmental issues.
His lecture ended by suggesting ways to address the issues faced by the international tribunals. According to him, the best hope is to have a multilateral system in place. International law has limited ability to invoke domestic clause. There should be an inter-agency committee, which can give advice to the governments before entering treaties.
Atty. Ma. Lourdes Sereno, the executive director of the AIM Policy Center, agreed with Prof. Dolzer in her reaction that investment itself is difficult to describe. However, she left the audience with a question, “To what extent should we guard our treaties for the treaty not to be violated?” According to her, investment treaty is very complex and international trade law is unclear plus the fact that there are no homogeneous decisions made by the governments.
Mr. Klaus Preschle gave a warm welcoming remark to the participants, then Prof Marvic Leonen, the Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, introduced Prof. Dr. Dr. Dolzer.