Making the Multilateral Investment Court Beneficial for Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Jarrett, Martin (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Klaaren, Jonathan (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Laryea, Emmanuel (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

This research project asks: Can a new international court, the Multilateral Investment Court (‘MIC’), be given features that make it particularly beneficial for states of Sub-Saharan Africa?

The MIC is an EU-proposed international court for deciding disputes between states and foreign investors. It is an alternative to the current system for resolving these disputes, a system that uses arbitration. Over the coming years, states will negotiate at the United Nations what features the MIC should have. These negotiations are a one-time opportunity for Sub-Saharan African states to shape the MIC.

This research project complements these negotiations by assessing the legal and practical feasibility of ‘Sub-Saharan African features’ for the MIC. Whether the MIC can have ‘Sub-Saharan African features’ is a critical issue for the states of the region. Because they have signed hundreds of investment treaties, which investors the right to sue them for their misconduct of investments, Sub-Saharan African states will face numerous claims from investors in the future. These claims sometimes seek billions of euros. Now, Sub-Saharan African states have to decide: should they defend against these claims in arbitration or before the MIC? With the output of this research project, they can help shape the MIC, thereby making their final decision on whether to sign up to the MIC an easier one. Moreover, if Sub-Saharan African states can shape the MIC, then it can become more than a venue where investors sue states. It could also provide access to justice for local citizens to sue investors for their misconduct, noting that obtaining justice in domestic courts has been difficult for injured citizens. Further, the corruption that is often a feature of foreign investments in the region could be sanctioned there. Finally, the MIC has the potential to double as the ‘African Investment Court’, a court which could be one part of the judicial arm for an African single market.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/07/2131/12/22

Funding

  • Volkswagen Foundation Germany: AUD84,533.42

Keywords

  • Multilateral Investment Court; ISDS; International Investment Law; Sub-Saharan Africa; International Investment Arbitration