Public participation in the investment treaty-making process has increased over time. Historically, public participation has been the subject of scholarly discussion in the field of democratic theory and has been most commonly observed in societies and political systems giving effect to the ‘rule by the people’ principle. Public participation has been practised in some form or another since the dawn of human civilisation and it has been a feature of democratic government decision making in various forms for centuries. Traditionally in democracies, the public may influence government policy by electing governments who are responsible for negotiating treaties. Moreover, when treaties are proposed or being negotiated, the public may comment in the media or lobby ministers to encourage the government to adopt a particular stance in negotiations. More recently, however, there has been an explosion of avenues for participation by the public in the treaty-making process. As this chapter demonstrates, there are now numerous ways for the public to be involved in the process that leads to the negotiation and conclusion of treaties by a government.
‘Public Participation in Investment Treaty Making’ is a chapter in Public Participation and Foreign Investment Law, co-authored by Sarah Spottiswood and Chrysoula Mavromati. An online version is available here.