The Human Right to Water Versus Investor Rights: Double-Dilemma or Pseudo-Conflict?

Pierre Thielbörger

in Human Rights in International Investment Law and Arbitration

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199578184
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722561 | DOI:

Series: International Economic Law Series

 The Human Right to Water Versus Investor Rights: Double-Dilemma or Pseudo-Conflict?

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This chapter recalls that the human right to water is still not clearly accepted as a binding human right in international law. This absence of a clear legal status makes the settlement of important legal investment disputes in the field of water privatization even more difficult. In detailed case studies, the chapter holds that the notion of the right to water shows only little advantage for the states in the arbitral settlement of these disputes; if so, the advantages occur only in indirect and subtle ways. States must therefore take care of the protection and promotion of the right to water themselves, namely before water disputes even arise. They must try to include references to the right to water in the concession contracts with the investors — and thereby make the right part of the applicable law — in order to ensure stable water prices and high water quality.

Keywords: right to water; water privatization; protection; promotion; stable water prices; high water quality

Chapter.  11550 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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