Bilateral investment treaties and land reform in southern Africa

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Rights & Democracy | June 2010

Authors: Luke Eric Peterson, publisher of Investment Arbitration Reporter, and Ross Garland, South African lawyer

In recent years, foreign ownership of land in developing countries has come under increased scrutiny. Considerable attention has focused on so-called land grabs…A range of concerns have been raised with respect to such land acquisitions including with respect to the transparency of arrangements, their impact upon local users of the land, and domestic food production and access to food…A special international legal regime exists to protect cross-border investments, including ownership of land and property... As will be explained below, this regime may influence and in some cases complicate efforts by governments to pursue human rights policies designed to remedy historic inequalities. Equally, however, the regime may be used, in certain contexts, to advance (or supplement) the protection of human rights

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Original source: Rights & Democracy
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