The judicialisation of the social license to operate: Criteria for international investment law

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Brill Nijhoff
"The Social License to Operate (SLO) is a non-legal term which has been widely conceptualised as meaning a particular set of interactions between investors and affected communities. Within the international investment law field, even though tribunals previously analysed situations of social conflict, the wording SLO had never been considered by an investment tribunal until Bear Creek Mining Corporation v Republic of Peru. This article argues that if the SLO of the investment is involved in a dispute, tribunals should thoroughly analyse the relationship between the investor and the affected community and establish (judicialise) a standard of review for the investor's conduct which should only include those aspects of the relationship that might be considered as affecting or forming part of the national public interest. In addition, this article puts forth the criteria for the judicialisation of the SLO in investment disputes, drawing upon the Bear Creek scenario as relevant background."