In March 2017, CCSI presented a working paper titled "Articulating a Rights-Basted Argument for Land Contract Disclosure" at the World Bank Land & Poverty Conference. The paper explores whether and how existing state obligations under human rights law require disclosure of land contracts and more transparent contracting processes around land investments. It focuses on the extent to which guidelines for responsible land-based investment, which encourage greater transparency, reflect existing host and home state obligations. Based on a review of relevant human rights law and authoritative interpretations thereof, the paper articulates rights-based arguments for land contract disclosure, based in particular on rights to participation and the right of access to information. This rights-based approach, which has not been fully articulated to date, bolsters understanding of the extent to which best practice recommendations regarding transparency in land investments are reflected in binding human rights obligations, and thereby provides arguments for pushing the transparency agenda forward with states. Moreover, where uncertainty exists regarding how best to implement recommendations regarding land contract disclosure, rights-based arguments can serve to inform and shape measures adopted in pursuit of implementation. The paper also seeks to encourage greater discussion of the links between human rights law and transparency in land investments within the various for a and communities of practice focused on these issues, and to lend legal weight to policy arguments.
CCSI is undertaking further research to finalize this paper. The final version will be published on our website.
Jesse Coleman & Kaitlin Y. Cordes,
Articulating a Rights-Based Argument for Land Contract Disclosure,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/sustainable_investment_staffpubs/15