The UNGPs and ISDS: Should Businesses Assess the Human Rights Impacts of Investor-State Arbitration?

Stephanie Triefus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) has been heavily criticized from the perspective of human rights. However, the potential adverse human rights impacts of ISDS and the responsibilities of businesses to avoid causing or contributing to those impacts under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have yet to be spelled out. Although states are currently reforming ISDS, progress has been slow, and businesses have an independent responsibility to ensure that their operations do not harm human rights. Against this background, this article unpacks how businesses might contribute to three non-exhaustive examples of potential human rights impacts of ISDS: namely, the chilling effect on human rights regulation, crippling mega-awards and direct impacts on third-party rights. This article breaks new ground by exploring how human rights due diligence could be a useful tool for businesses to identify and address these impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-351
Number of pages23
JournalBusiness and Human Rights Journal
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press.

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