Melbourne Forum 2021: Session 3

Webinar 3: "Constitutional frameworks for international investment"

The sixth Melbourne Forum on Constitution Building in Asia and the Pacific was comprised of four sessions, which were held as two connected online webinars. The third session was held on 4 November 2021 from 1-3pm (AEST).

Video of Roundtable 3 - Melbourne Forum 2021

This theme explored whether and, if so, how Constitutions provide specific procedures for approval or protection of international investment in the state, to examine the rationales for such procedures, and to consider their relevance and adequacy in democratic states in contemporary global conditions. Questions considered in relation to each case (with appropriate contextual adaptations) included:

  • What kinds of major international investment projects are there in your country? How do they affect community life and governance? Are any of them controversial, or the subject of public debate?
  • Are investment projects subject to the ordinary law?
  • Which institutions have authority to approve such projects? How are these decisions made?
  • To what extent is there transparency and public accountability for such decisions?
  • Does the Constitution provide a framework for making decisions about international investment? If so, since when? What does it provide? Does the framework operate in practice?
  • Are there any changes to current procedures and to the constitutional framework that applies to them that might retain the beneficial aspects of international investment while enhancing transparency, deliberation and accountability?
  • Are there any other aspects of the experience with international investment and assistance in your country that might throw light on the issues for this theme?

Papers were produced to frame the discussions, drawing on experiences from four countries: