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Recent Developments in the Regulation of Investor-State Dispute Resolution: Any Lessons for the Southern African Development Community?

In: African Journal of Legal Studies
Authors:
Lawrence Ngobeni University of South Africa

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Babatunde Fagbayibo University of South Africa

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Abstract

In 2016, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) amended Annex 1 of the SADC Protocol on Finance and Investment (FIP) in order to remove investor access to international arbitration or Investor-State Dispute Resolution (ISDS). The recent formation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (T-FTA) are factors that will likely curtail SADC’s ability to regulate foreign investments. Both AfCFTA and T-FTA are supposed to have their own investment protocols. This means that SADC faces the loss of regulatory authority over foreign investments. The recent formation of the Pan African Investment Code (PAIC) has shown that some African Union (AU) Member States want to provide ISDS for their investors, while others including SADC Members States do not. This article intends to evaluate the lessons SADC can learn from other jurisdictions in terms of the effective regulation of ISDS.

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