Document Type : Article


Ph.D. in International Law, Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


This paper deals with the legal status of the right to water in international law and also its protection through the precedent of water-related international investment tribunals and domestic judicial ones. Right to water has not yet been recognized in a universal treaty but the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognized it in General Comment No. 15 as a separate right. This was further buttressed by both UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions in 2010. This right while facing ambiguities in terms of content, scope and judicial enforcement but the increasing attempts by the States to incorporate it into their national statutes and the supervisory mechanisms adopted by the Human Rights Council all implying that this right is legal and binding. This claim is also reinforced by international customary law. In the end, the author explored the recognition of this right in light of some water-related investment arbitrations to show that how tribunals applied both the right to water and foreign investors’ rights in parallel and with the same weight.


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