Public Health in International Investment Law and Arbitration: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Public Health in International Investment Law and Arbitration

1st Edition

By Valentina Vadi


224 pages

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Is a State free to adopt measures to protect the public health of its citizens? If so, what are the limits, if any, to such regulatory powers? This book addresses these questions by focusing on the clash between the regulatory autonomy of the state and international investment governance. As a wide variety of state regulations allegedly aimed at protecting public health may interfere with foreign investments, a tension exists between the public health policies of the host state and investment treaty provisions. Under most investment treaties, States have waived their sovereign immunity, and have agreed to give arbitrators a comprehensive jurisdiction over what are essentially regulatory disputes. Some scholars and practitioners have expressed concern regarding the magnitude of decision-making power allocated to investment treaty tribunals.

This book contributes to the current understanding of international investment law and arbitration, addressing the fundamental question of whether public health has and/or should have any relevance in contemporary international investment law and policy. With a focus on the ‘clash of cultures’ between international investment law and public health, the author critically analyses the emerging case law of investment treaty arbitration and considers the theoretical interplay between public health and investor rights in international investment law. The book also explores the interplay between investment law and public health in practice, focusing on specific sectors such as pharmaceutical patents, tobacco regulation and environmental health. It then goes on to analyze the available means for promoting consideration of public health in international investment law and suggests new methods and approaches to better reconcile public health and investor rights.


"This book has been a pleasure to read. Not only does it deal with a very topical and complex issue of growing importance in international law, but it does so with enormous rigour and originality. Valentina Vadi’s breadth of knowledge is impressive, but she is able to convey this knowledge very clearly, making her book eminently accessible to non-specialists. I have enjoyed her analysis tremendously." Professor Amandine Garde, University of Liverpool

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Foreign Direct Investments and Public Health: Defining and Connecting the Two Fields 1. International Investment Law 2. Public Health in Contemporary International Law and Policy 3. The Interplay between Public Health and Foreign Direct Investments Part 2: The Interplay of Foreign Investment and Public Health in Practice 4. Access to Medicines and International Investment Law: Pharmaceutical Patents as Investments 5. Trademark Protection v. Tobacco Control in International Investment Law 6. The Environmental Health Spillovers of Foreign Direct Investment in International Investment Law Part 3: Reconciling Public Health with Investor Rights in International Investment Law 7. Reconciling Public Health with Investors’ Rights in International Investment Law: Substantive Aspects 8. Conclusions

About the Author

Dr. Valentina Vadi is a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. She holds degrees in law from the University of Siena, the European University Institute and the University of Oxford. She has lectured in international investment law in several countries and has published extensively in this area.

About the Series

Routledge Research in International Economic Law

The growing integration of the world economy and resulting increases in cross-border economic exchanges has been accompanied by the rapid growth of law and regulation governing these interactions. This series presents cutting-edge research in international economic law, offering fresh perspectives on what is a fast developing field.

The series surveys the key areas of international economic law: international trade law; international investment law; international financial regulation and monetary law; and related aspects of intellectual property law. Linkages with other international legal regimes are explored such as environmental law, human rights, and public health, highlighting areas where tensions may occur between economic liberalisation, sovereignty and other concerns. Books will investigate the theory, policy and practice of international economic law from a broad range of approaches allowing for innovative and scholarly assessments of the international economic legal order.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Investments & Securities
HEALTH & FITNESS / Health Care Issues
LAW / General
LAW / Health
LAW / International