The ability of foreign investors to sue host states without reliance on diplomatic protection is one of the most important developments in international investment law in the post-World War II era. The rise of investor-state dispute settlement under international regimes like the Convention Establishing the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID Convention) raises some concerns from states regarding loss of sovereignty. However, there are defences available to states when they intervene in their economies for purposes like public utility or the need to safeguard an essential interest. Thus in spite of treaty commitments that bind states to protect the investments of foreign investors within their domains, there are available defences for their intervention in their economies even if such interventions become inimical to the interests of foreign investors and could, prima facie, raise the possibility of infringements of the rights of foreign investors. One of such defences available to states is the principle of necessity. This article explores the principle of necessity in international law and how it operates as a defence for states in investor-state dispute settlement. It also conducts analysis of the Annulment Decision in the CMS v Argentina case to shed light on the principle of necessity.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
1. Abbott R. Erixon F. Ferracane M.F. (2014). Demystifying Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) 5 ECIPE Occasional Paper.
2. Boed R. (2014). State of Necessity as a Justification for Internationally Wrongful Conduct 3 Yale Human Rights and Development Journal 4.
3. Brownlie I. (1963). International Law and the Use of Force by States Oxford University Press Oxford.
4. Burke-White W.W. von Staden A. (2010). Private Litigation in a Public Law Sphere: The Standard of Review in Investor-State Arbitrations 35 YALE J. INT’L L. 283 283–84.
5. Burleigh Cushing R. (1928). The Doctrine of Necessity in International Law Columbia University Press.
6. Crawford J. (2002). The International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility – Introduction Text and Commentaries Cambridge University Press.
7. Gross O. Ni Aolain F. (2001). Emergency War and International Law – Another Perspective 70 Nordic Journal of International Law 3.
8. Grotius H. (1929). De Jure Belli Ac Pacis Francis W. Kelsey trans. Oxford Clarendon Press.
9. Hershey A.S. (1927). The Essentials of International Public Law and Organization Macmillan Company New York.
10. International Law Commission Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts November 2001 Supplement No. 10 (A/56/10) article 25.
11. Okowa P. (1999). Defences in the Jurisprudence of International Tribunals in G. S. Goodwin-Gill and S. Talmon The Reality of International Law; Essays in Honour of Ian Brownlie Oxford University Press.
12. Salmon J.A. (1984). Faut-il codifier l’état de nécessité en droit international in J. Makarczyk (ed.) Essays in Honour of Judge Manfred Lachs Martinus Nijhoff.
13. Simeone J.J. (2001). Survivors of the Eternal Sea: A Short True Story 45 Saint Louis University Law Joutnal1140–1141.
14. Simma B. (2001). The Work of the International Law Commission at Its Fifty- Third Session 71 Nordic Journal of International Law 129.
15. Williams G. (1957). The Sanctity of Life and The Criminal Law Cambridge University Press.
16. ***International Law Commission Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts November 2001 Supplement No. 10 (A/56/10).
17. ***Addendum to the Eighth Report on State Responsibility by Mr. Roberto Ago U.N. Doc. AICN.4/318/ADD.5-7.
18. ***Report of the ILC (1980) UN Doc. A/35/10.
19. ***Yearbook of the ILC 1980 vol. I 1618th meeting 182-3.
20. ***Advisory Opinion Concerning Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory International Court of Justice (ICJ) 9 July para. 56.
21. ***Report of the International Law Commission on the Work of its Thirty- Second Session U.N. Doc. A/35/10 1980.