In this issue...human rights and investment policy, sustaining paralegal programmes, rethinking investment treaties and shaping land law from the bottom up.
IIED legal tools newsletter
Legal tools newsletter is sent out every two months to keep you updated on legal tools for citizen empowerment, a collaborative initiative to strengthen local voices and benefit communities.

News and blogs

Europe's controversial TTIP treaty: The good, the bad and the unnecessary

The European Union's negotiations with the United States over the investment chapter of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership propose a more balanced text than many earlier treaties. But the EU has not made a compelling case for including an investment chapter in the first place. A recent blog by Lorenzo Cotula explains the good, the bad and the unnecessary.

Human rights should be at the heart of investment policy making


If foreign investment is to promote inclusive sustainable development, investment policy must take human rights seriously.  You can read our latest blog about the issue here.
A Subanen harvest dance during a colourful street dancing competition of Kinabayo Festival. Community action by the Subanen tribe in Midsalip prevents mining companies from encroaching their land (Photo: Mark Navales/Google Licence)

Citizen power: Sustaining paralegal programmes to put knowledge back into communities' hands


A recent IIED webinar explored how paralegal schemes can best be supported to make a long-term difference.

Our work: Webinars

As part of our Legal Tools for Citizen Empowerment initiative, IIED is organising a series of international webinars for Southern legal empowerment practitioners. The webinars provide a space for practitioners to share their experiences and learn from each other. Recent webinars discussed experience with constitutionality challenges of adverse investment laws, civil society scrutiny of investor-state arbitration and ensuring sustainability and scalability of legal empowerment interventions. The next webinar will focus on leveraging grievance mechanisms for redress and accountability.
 

Publications and briefings

Investment treaties and sustainable development: an overview

This overview briefing is the first of four promoting debate on international investment treaties.  We also have briefings on investment liberalisation, investment protection and investor-state arbitration.  All four are also available in Burmese.
Walking with villagers: How Liberia’s Land Rights Policy was shaped from the grassroots explains and analyses the steps the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) took to help shape Liberia’s Land Rights Policy. It provides insights that may be of interest to practitioners in other countries engaging in land reforms.
IIED submission to the EU public consultation on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Our report IIED submission to the EU public consultation on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership collates the comments submitted by IIED to an online public consultation on the investment chapter of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
IIED submission to the EU public consultation on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Agricultural commercialisation contracts: concessions over people? This briefing discusses some of the issues at stake with the aim of promoting awareness and public debate. The contracts can have far-reaching repercussions for sustainable development in recipient countries. IIED is following agricultural commercialisation contract development closely, although most contracts are not publicly available and confidentiality restrictions apply.

Spotlight on land rights in West Africa

IIED has long recognised the need to incorporate local innovation into national policymaking and our three-year Securing Land Rights in West Africa initiative shows just how inclusive and locally rooted tools can help inform and implement progressive policy reforms. The project used action research in Ghana and Mali to document, and build on, evolving local practices to strengthen land rights.  As part of this work we produced a series of briefing papers on land acquisitions and rights, you can download them by clicking on the titles below:
  • Developing tools to secure land rights in West Africa: a 'bottom up' approach (English | Français)
  • Gender-equitable land tool development in West Africa (English | Français)
  • Securing land rights in Mali: practical local solutions to thorny national problems (English | Français)
  • Land tool development in Ghana: building on local aspirations and innovation (English | Français)
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