Fracking, Sovereignty over Natural Resources and International Investment Law

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksContributions to collected editions/anthologiesResearch


The exploitation of natural resources such as oil, coal, and gas that are contained in the soil of the territory of States is generally considered to be subject only to the domestic regulation of the State in question. Due to the permanent sovereignty over natural resources, states are free to determine whether and how they wish to exploit these resources. The role of international law is limited, but only to the extent that concerns of foreign investors are not negatively affected. This contribution assesses the relationship between certain sub-sections of international economic law, investment law and trade law, and answers the question whether the case of shale gas extraction by means of fracking is merely another example of the tension between the rules that govern international economic relations and domestic policy considerations, or whether it represents a potential turning point in the way the international community perceives these constraints on domestic policy making. This is done by considering the Lone Pine Inc. investment arbitration against Canada. This arbitration takes place against a background of increasing public discontent with investor-state dispute settlement and a reconsideration of this concept by several states.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Yearbook of International Economic Law 2018
EditorsM. Bungenberg, M. Krajewski, C.J. Tams, J.P. Terhechte, A.R. Ziegler
Number of pages27
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-97751-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-97752-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Law