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Department of Law

Law theses of the month: Nevine Soliman

In the 'Theses of the month' series, the Law Department presents the remarkable work of its researchers and their impactful contributions to the field of law. This month, the Department features Nevine Soliman, who defended her PhD thesis on 8 May 2023, under the supervision of Prof. Kurtz and Prof. Hoekman.

15 June 2023 | Research

nevine-soliman_LAW theses

Nevine Soliman, an Egyptian researcher from Cairo, completed her doctoral thesis titled Developing States’ Regulation at the Intersection: The Impact of Bilateral Investment Treaties on the ICESCR Right to Food through Two Case Studies, on the specificities and challenges arising from the intersections of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and the human right to food under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Soliman's thesis delves into the question of state regulation at the point of intersection between BITs and the right to food. Focusing on developing host states, with South Africa and Egypt as case studies, her research investigates the impact of BIT standards related to expropriation and fair and equitable treatment on the right to food. After examining the possible historical drivers of these states' BIT adoption and analysing the treaties' legal texts, she discusses current and potential regulatory measures within the realms of food and agro-investment. She further explores the normative content of the right to food, advocating for a regulatory obligation based on the ICESCR to satisfy its requirements. Finally, she analyses selected international arbitration awards involving state regulation of food-related concerns to evaluate the prospects of tribunals' interpreting BITs in a manner that considers this regulatory obligation towards the right to food.

The main argument of Soliman's thesis asserts that the interaction between states' investment protection commitments under traditional BITs and their obligations towards the ICESCR's right to food does not permit to properly address the regulatory requirements and obligations of this right. The implications of her research extend to practice, policymaking, and academia. Soliman's findings can help guide the efforts of developing host states seeking to reform their BITs. By addressing the regulatory challenges posed by traditional BITs, these states can align their investment obligations with their non-investment obligations, including the realisation of the right to food.

Looking ahead, Nevine Soliman's career will involve finding a job aligned with her expertise and focusing on publishing her research findings. Her commitment to disseminating her work demonstrates her dedication to making an impact beyond her doctoral studies.

Last update: 20 July 2023

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