So. African Human Rights Commission calls for inclusion of human rights provisions in Bilateral Investment Treaties

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4 September 2009

[PDF] Statement of the Special Representative to the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa, On its review of Bilateral Investment Treaties (a.k.a. Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment Agreements) entered into by the Republic of...

Author: UN Special Representative John Ruggie

...[The] human rights policies of states in relation to business need to be pushed beyond their narrow institutional confines, and Governments should consider human rights impacts in a range of broader policy areas, including when they sign trade agreements and investment treaties... Recent experience suggests that some investment treaty guarantees and contract provisions may unduly constrain the host Government’s ability to achieve its legitimate policy objectives, including its international human rights obligations.

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1 June 2009

[PDF] So. African Human Rights Commission submission on draft Bilateral Investment Treaty Policy Framework

Author: South African Human Rights Commission

The draft Policy Framework presents an opportunity to consider the human rights framework within which investment and development is facilitated and regulated...Paragraph 8.5 of the draft Policy Framework questions the appropriateness of the inclusion of specific human rights provisions in BITs [Bilateral Investment Treaties]. The Commission emphasizes that the human rights obligations of the state and business are entrenched in the Constitution...In light of this, the Commission proposes that the state remedy the absence of specific human rights provisions in BITs to ensure investor clarity and avoid uncertainty and finally resorting to the interpretation of state and investor obligations by courts or tribunals.

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