A duty to consult foreign investors when changing the regulatory framework? Implications for non-communicable disease prevention and beyond

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Several decisions of international investment tribunals can be read as suggesting that the fair and equitable treatment standard may oblige governments to consult foreign investors in the course of developing new laws and policies. This position would significantly expand the concept of fair and equitable treatment, and goes far beyond what most domestic legal systems require of governments. Generally speaking, there may be sound instrumental and normative reasons for engaging in consultation with affected stakeholders in the course of legislative and policy development. However, with the exception of treaty provisions that otherwise so provide, no duty of consultation in the lawmaking process arises from fair and equitable treatment clauses, customary international law or general principles of law. Therefore, industries such as the tobacco industry are unlikely to succeed in a claim of failure to properly engage in consultation in the process of lawmaking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698–723
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of World Investment and Trade
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2020


  • consultation
  • due process
  • fair and equitable treatment
  • international investment law
  • lawmaking
  • non-communicable disease prevention
  • participation
  • tobacco control
  • transparency

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