Tom Leary has had his case comment on the von Pezold v Zimbabwe ICSID arbitration published in the Journal of World Investment & Trade.
The case raised the question of investor-state arbitration’s sensitivity to the human rights of non-disputing parties. The case concerned the escalation of Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme, whereby white-owned estates were acquired or rendered valueless, without compensation, in a reversal of historic colonial land policies. Non-disputing parties asserted indigenous rights over the relevant estates as a matter of international human rights law but, adopting a restrictive approach to Rule 37(2)(b) of the ICSID Arbitration Rules, the Tribunal refused to allow them to intervene in the case.
This case provides important insights, and raises vital questions, about how far modern investor-state arbitration should act as a forum for determining issues of international human rights law.
The article is available to view online via Brill Online.