Of Trucks, Trains & Ships: Relative Liability in Multimodal Shipping

photo_5234_20080310By: Amir H. Khoury

For many years now, various international agreements and national laws have provided ways in which to determine the liability of cargo loss damage and delay. Yet, in a multimodal reality these systems still lack a clear mechanism for assessing the liability amongst the various multimodal carriers that are generally involved in the shipping of cargo, especially in cases where it is not clear where, in the shipment chain, the damage actually occurred. This paper provides a simple, yet novel mechanism for resolving such disputes among different carriers and cargo handlers in multimodal shipping. This is done by way of my proposed Relative Distance & Time Index (“RDTI”). My proposed RDTI system aims to achieve a realistic calculation of liability for each participant in the multimodal shipping process. Thus, such a system would typically reduce the need for these carriers to argue and a potentially initiate legal action against one another over the relative responsibility for the damage or loss of a container and/or its contents.


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Chinese Foreign Direct Investment into Africa in the Context of BRICS and Sino-African Bilateral Investment Treaties

By: Catherine Elkemann & Oliver C. Ruppel

China is now the second largest economy in the world after the United States of America and is deemed to be the most influential member of the group of leading emerging economies, the so called BRICS partnership consisting of Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa. According to the latest World Investment Report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (“UNCTAD”), China is also the second largest recipient of inward for- eign direct investment (“IFDI”) and the third in terms of outward foreign direct investment (“OFDI”). In this context, Africa is emerging as an important destination for China’s FDI outflows. Through an interdisciplinary approach, this article seeks to further our understanding of the economic, political and, more importantly, the legal framework that underlies these current developments. The article first of all provides an overview of China’s current Africa policy with regards to investment. Also, the role of BRICS is scrutinized in this context. In its main part, the article then refers to the international law governing FDI. A special emphasis is put on bilateral investment treaties that have been concluded between China and Africa. Finally, this article evaluates the political and legal framework of the Sino-African investment relations, taking into account various aspects ranging from environmental concerns to human rights aspects, labour issues, and economic development. Again, the bilateral investment treaties are analysed in more detail.

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Assessing Effectiveness of International Private Regulation in the CSR Arena

By: Martijn W. Scheltema

One might take many angles on the effectiveness of international private regulation. These turn on the method of assessing effectiveness. This method might involve a legal perspective. However, one may acknowledge the importance of other scientific disciplines to assess the effectiveness of international private regulation too. In this respect an economic, sociological, or psychological/behavioral avenue are all avenues for exploration. Obviously, the more avenues that demonstrate effectiveness, the more effective private regulation is deemed to be. Moreover, an integrated approach is required to thoroughly assess the effectiveness of international private regulation. However, the notion of effectiveness is unspecified. One might use this notion of effectiveness in addition to the legal or sociological avenue or as a synonym for impact assessment (which adopts insights from the economic and sociological approach). I define effectiveness, in line with my call for an integrated approach, as an overarching notion entailing legal, economic, sociological, and psychological/behavioral avenues. Therefore, this article outlines a methodology that adopts all of these approaches and uses insights from all of these disciplines to find ex ante indicators predicting the effectiveness of international private regulation and to find instruments to measure the effectiveness thereof ex post in comparison with other international private regulation. Because international private regulation is omnipresent in the international arena and might differ depending on locale, this contribution will focus on international private regulation in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arena.

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