City Research Online

Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessments for Foreign Investment Projects: A Canadian Perspective

Collins, D. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-5517-6949 (2021). Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessments for Foreign Investment Projects: A Canadian Perspective. In: De Brabandere, E., Gazzini, T. & Kent, A. (Eds.), Public Participation and Foreign Investment Law. (pp. 229-256). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.


This chapter considers the status of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) under international law and as obligations based on foreign investors completing projects which may have an environmental impact. It explores the specific component of public participation in EIAs, which are also very common across the world, although the precise nature of this involvement differs from state to state. Noting some of the goals and justifications of public participation in EIAs as understood by the academic literature, this chapter goes on to explore the specific example of Canada and its Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, which calls for meaningful public consultation in conjunction with EIAs. The failure of a number of project proponents to fulfil this requirement has led to the proposal of a new regime for EIAs under Canadian law contemplating enhanced public participation, in particular from Indigenous groups. The chapter concludes by suggesting that express reference to EIAs, including public participation, in the text of international investment agreements (IIAs) might help foreign investor better prepare for this requirement in their future projects.

Publication Type: Book Section
Publisher Keywords: environmental impact assessment, public participation, public consultation, international investment agreement, investor-state dispute settlement, Indigenous peoples
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
J Political Science > JX International law
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > International Law and Affairs Group
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