Land deals and investment treaties: visualising the interface

International investment treaties are an important part of the legal frameworks governing foreign investment. This report measures the extent to which investment treaties apply to agribusiness investments initiated as part of the recent wave of large-scale land deals in low and middle-income countries. It finds that the vast majority of land deals are protected by at least one investment treaty. Depending on circumstances, public action to terminate, renegotiate or regulate land deals could expose states to the risk of treaty-based arbitration claims in a wide range of geographic contexts. More research is needed to shed light on the extent to which investors are actually relying on these treaties, and with what results.

This paper has been produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment project.
IIED code:
Nov 2015 - IIED 
Investment treaties, Land rights, Land grabs, Land acquisitions 
ISBN 978-1-78431-281-7 
32 pages (Book/Report) 
Cotula, L. (2015) Land rights and investment treaties: Visualising the interface. IIED, London
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