28 Mar 2023
Brown Bag Seminar, 12:15, Anna Nussbaum Auditorium, World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, Bern, Switzerland

Brown Bag Seminar: "Is There a Latin American Approach to the International Investment Law?"

Thiago Almedia, from the University of Geneva, visits the WTI presenting his paper "Is There a Latin American Approach to the International Investment Law? From the Legal Doctrines and Pan American Conferences in the XIX and XX Centuries to a Contemporary Approach in the XXI Century"


Latin America was one of the first regions to conquer its political independence at the beginning of the 19th century. Since then, these countries have been struggling for their economic sovereignty against colonialism and had developed their own legal doctrines of international law and their relation with foreign investors.

The Bello, Calvo, and Drago doctrines, later the Pan American conferences, which developed a fruitful set of international norms in public and private international law, the Mexican Revolution as a symbol for nationalization and promotion for development, and the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions of the 1960s and 1970s, recognizing the permanent sovereignty of natural resources, describe a historical path for the defense of autonomy, equality between States, self-determination, equal treatment between foreign and national investors, and the prevalence of the application of domestic jurisdiction in investment dispute settlements.

Among Latin American countries, only Brazil remained linked to the regional approach, standing away from the traditional framework of international protection (Bilateral Investment Treaties) and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). Plus, this work analysis the 1980s and 1990s, when the region entered a period of internationalization of investment policies.

Only after the Argentina crisis in 2001 and the financial crisis in 2008, along with the criticism of the international investment law and the negative effects of arbitration cases, Latin America is returning to its historical approach for the prevalence of domestic jurisprudence and equality between nationals and foreigners.

The paper concludes that, in the 21st century, there is a returning to the historical Latin American approach, recognizing the colonialism process, the relevance of economic independence, and the awareness of a critical development of international law.

Speaker's Biography: 

Thiago Almeida

  • Faculty of Law of University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland
  • Faculty of Law at Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil

Thiago Almeida is a Ph.D. researcher invited to the Faculty of Law of University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland. He is also a Ph.D. student of International Investment Law at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil; an Associate Researcher at Jean Monnet Center of Excellence (Erasmus+ & UFMG); a Coordinator of the E3 - Étudies sur les Économies Émergentes / Studies on Emergent Economies (UNIGE & UFMG); Professor and Coordinator at the Center of International Law (CEDIN, Brazil); an lawyer and a specialist in international investment law, multilateral development banks, public-private partnerships at the Brazilian public sector for more than 10 years. Between November/2022 and February/2023, he was part of the Programme of International Trade at the Brazilian Mission to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

We strongly encourage you to attend this event on-site.
In case you cannot be present in person, you can use the following Zoom link to tune in virtually: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEqdOutqT0oHNIeLzdNvKqtyrUxgsv82IM9 (The session will NOT be recorded and comments and questions from the audience in person will be prioritized).

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