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Lecture: Legitimising Government Responses to Unilateral Changes by Companies: Resource Nationalism

Dr Howard Mann, Senior International Law Advisor, IISD and Intergovernmental Forum on Mining is visiting Dundee this Wednesday.


You are cordially invited to attend his lecture which will focus on Legitimising Government Responses to Unilateral Changes by Companies: Resource Nationalism Debunked.


Abstract: Mining companies are often engaged in unilateral decision-making that impacts the fundamental underpinnings of the grand bargain between governments and companies: tax revenues and jobs. This guest lecture will explore the legal consequences of these actions from the perspective of creating a legitimate right to states to respond in manners that at a minimum restore the expected economic equilibrium, and in some cases may rise to the level of vitiating the initial mining contract or licence as a legitimate response to unilateral measures by companies that alter the fundamental bargain. Rather than a rush to demonise governments with labels such as resource nationalism or political populism, it is important to look carefully at the actions of companies that often trigger government responses. Are those responses legitimate? Are they legally founded under international law? At what levels are such responses legitimate as opposed to illegitimate? It has become all too easy to target government measures as resource nationalism. It is time to debunk the rhetoric and return to well-grounded legal principles.


WHEN: WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER 4.30pm to 6pm Carnegie LT.


Bio: Howard Mann is the Senior International Law Adviser for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining and Sustainable Development. He has worked with colleagues in advising government officials from over 80 developing countries and multiple regional organisations on international investment law issues, investment treaty negotiations, investment contract negotiations in mining and agriculture, and the development of sound domestic investment laws and policies from a sustainable development perspective. Howard was a leading participant in the preparation and drafting of the first internationally recognised model contract on mining from a sustainable development perspective, the Model Mine Development Agreement of the International Bar Association. He has also served on Government of Canada advisory committees on international trade and investment law, a special expert panel for the International Commission of Jurists on business and human rights, and advised on the work of the UN Special representative on Business and Human Rights.


Howard received his law degree from McGill University, and his LL.M. and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

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