Rumana's doctorate thesis is titled as ‘Re-conceptualizing the ‘fair and equitable’ treatment in International Investment Treaties: Sustainable Development of Least Developed Countries in Context’. Here she outlines her research:
I started my PhD from October, 2010 in the School of Law. I did my LL.B (Hons) and LL.M from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Then I did LL.M (specializing on Commercial Law) from University of Cambridge, UK in 2005-2006. My research is funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. My PhD study is supervised by Tony Cole. Before starting my PhD I was teaching in the Department of Law, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Coming from a developing country like Bangladesh makes me much inclined and motivated with my research topic. My thesis is based on the proposition that the present state of ‘fair and equitable treatment’ (FET) standard in International Investment Agreements (IIAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) are inadequate to focus on the social differences of the developing countries and thus needs to be re-conceptualized. The FET standard has become a powerful and far-reaching tool in an investor’s BITs/IIAs armory. Indeed, it is currently a very one-sided concept, for the most part concerned with what is fair and equitable from the perspective of the investor only. To date, very few arbitral tribunals have considered the context of the investment and in particular the multiple relationships an investment creates to local governments, communities and environment. Moreover, only a small number of tribunals have paid regard to the conduct of the investor itself. For “fair and equitable” to be fair and equitable, it should be developed and applied in a manner that is fair and equitable for all stakeholders, not just one. To ignore the full context is thus to truncate its meaning and distort its application. Therefore this research also aims to point out the issues towards two ways that negotiators can bring more balance to the current one-sided nature of the standard. My research aims to contribute to the global jurisprudence on the on-going debate relating to balancing investment protection and sustainable development obligations. It further aims to bring out guidelines, standards and scope of the ‘fair and equitable’ treatment to be set out in the BITs and IIAs by the policy makers of the developing countries in order to formulate the investment treaty that would satisfy the needs of all the stake holders of the host country with a view to attain sustainable development, at present which is highly ignored.
I have not studied investment law before nor did I have carried out any research work on this area, but the fascinating issues of investment law made me interested in carrying out my PhD work on this area of law. At present the policy of the government in Bangladesh is pubic private partnership (PPP) for which international investment treaties have become an integral part. Recently there were so many divergent issues arising out of investment disputes related to Bangladesh, which also motivated me to undertake my research on this issue. After completion of my degree I would like to contribute in the field of investment law in Bangladesh. At the same time I aim to develop my academic career.
Research Interest: Investment law, investment arbitration, commercial arbitration, public international law, trade law.
Contact info: Rumana.Islam@warwick.ac.uk