The Knowledge to Act



Howard Mann

Associate & Senior International Law Advisor

Howard Mann is the Senior International Law Advisor for IISD, where he specializes in international economic law relating to sustainable development. He is also a senior advisor to the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, and Sustainable Development (IGF). From 1999 to 2009, Howard founded and managed IISD’s Investment and Sustainable Development Program.

Howard has worked with colleagues to advise government officials from over 80 developing countries and multiple regional organizations on international investment law issues, investment treaty negotiations, investment contract negotiations in mining and agriculture, and the development of sound domestic investment laws and policies from a sustainable development perspective. Of particular importance to the globalized mining sector, Howard brings to his work unique expertise regarding the relationship between the different sources of international and domestic law. Howard was also a leading participant in the development and drafting of the Model Mining Development Agreement (MMDA) with the International Bar Association, the first internationally recognized model contract on mining from a sustainable development perspective. He also has relevant human rights experience, including serving as an advisor to the United Nations on the work of Professor John Ruggie, which led to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as well as the International Commission of Jurists.

Howard is a recognized leader in training for developing countries on international economic law, as well as mining law and contracts, having participated and led regional and national-level training programs in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
In 2017, Howard was appointed as an international arbitrator in an investor–state arbitration at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. In 2019, he was also appointed as an adjunct Professor of International Economic Law at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, and delivered the faculty’s annual public lecture on the subject of “International Arbitration and Globalization: The Battle Between Private 'Justice' and Public Law.”

Before joining IISD, he was a specialist in international and constitutional law relating to the environment as counsel with Canada’s federal Department of Justice. In that capacity, he was part of Canadian negotiation delegations on climate change, biodiversity, hazardous waste, and other international conventions. He also led the constitutional work on the development of Canadian implementation legislation for these agreements and the drafting of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. 

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