Call for papers for workshop and publication on “Natural resources grabbing: Erosion or legitimate exercise of State sovereignty?” 

4th and 5th October 2013
University of Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy)
Aula Magna del Rettorato

Deadline for submissions of abstracts: 15 June 2013

The Theme addressed

The growing demand for natural resources has triggered a “race” to their exploitation and possession, especially in developing countries. This research project aims at addressing, from an international law perspective, this very complex challenge for the international community.

The more requested resources are water (freshwater and groundwater), land, forests, raw materials (oil, gas, mineral resources and precious stones), fisheries and genetic resources.

Among the “buyers” there are emerging economies and Western States, as well as multinational corporations and international financial institutions.

While this demand creates investment opportunities in countries with a low attractive investment profile, on the other side, these initiatives often threaten local communities’ interests and environmental protection. In particular, they aggravate the risks of food, water and energy security and, in the long term, they may generate dangerous imbalances, if they strike at the roots the territorial sovereignty of host countries. Governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-state actors have a key role to play in promoting responsible investments and in developing procedural and substantive principles and rules that contribute to the establishment of a transparent and accountable natural resources governance.

The Call

We welcome submissions that describe new (previously unpublished), cutting-edge research in the following focus areas:

The international legal framework: relevant customary and treaty law for the exploitation of natural resources

Investment and Trade Law
Environmental Law
Human Rights Law
Law of the Sea
Energy Law

The role of International Organisations

Financial institutions, Development Banks and UN Agencies (such as, the International Fund for Agricultural Development – IFAD, United Nations Development Program – UNDP and others)

The responses at the regional and domestic level (constitutional rights, customary law, reforms) on behalf of investor and recipient countries, and their interaction with the international legal order

European Union partnerships and investment programs
African, Asian and South American experiences

The role of non-state actors

Multinational corporations
Non-governmental organisations
Standard-setting associations

The contractual dimension: the negotiation of private agreements and the protection of public interests

Oil & gas contracts
Bioprospecting contracts
Investment contracts
Agri-investment, land deals

Please submit to a 500-word abstract in English, French or Spanish, with indication of the author(s), their affiliation and full contact information. The Workshop

Selected papers will be presented at an international Workshop, which will be held in Cagliari (Sardinia) on the 4 th and 5 th October 2013. Each session of the workshop will be moderated by an invited keynote speaker and will include 3 additional contributors, selected through this call.

There will be no registration fee for participants in the workshop.

Researchers and practitioners from developing countries are welcome and we will be able to contribute in part to their travelling and accommodation expenses in Cagliari.


Closing date for abstracts’ submission: 15 June 2013

Acceptance of abstracts: 30 June 2013

Deadline for draft papers’ submission: 15 September 2013

Deadline for selected final drafts’ submission: December 2013

Should you have any questions about the call or the workshop, please contact Dr. Romanin Jacur at

From International Law Reporter
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