The international legal order has a contradiction at the core of its operation. There is a differential treatment regarding the protection of property and investments depending on the kind of actors concerned by the taking or limitation of property. Under international investment law, multinational companies cannot easily be expropriated, directly or indirectly, by their host state. When this occurs, multinational companies can claim substantial compensation. By contrast, local communities, which are often themselves adversely affected by multinational companies and international investment law, can be expropriated at the slightest amount of reparation. The broad argument of the paper will be demonstrated by cases taken from foreign direct investment projects in natural resources exploitation in Colombia.
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