Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 February 2021
In considering the status of water as an investment under international trade agreements, the concept of grasping seems particularly on point for several reasons. First, many international trade lawyers have conceptual difficulty grasping the nature and scope of private legal interests in the use of water. Second, many water lawyers have conceptual difficulty grasping the nature and scope of investor protections under international investment and trade agreements. Then there are recent efforts of private water users to secure recognition of entitlements to water under international trade agreements. These efforts represent a type of grasping as well.
This question is also now an important focal point for academic work in the field of international law, as evidenced by Oxford University Press’ 2005 book Freshwater and International Economic Law, a collection of essays by leading international law scholars from around the world.1 The debate over the scope of private interests in water under international law is therefore global in nature.