Yonhap | 20 August 2020
Justice ministry forms team dedicated to int’l investor-state litigation
SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) — The Ministry of Justice has created a team dedicated to settling investor-state disputes, the ministry said Thursday, in order to more actively and effectively respond to intricate international litigation.
The ministry said during a briefing that it established a response team earlier this month for Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), a system through which investors sue countries for discriminatory practices.
The team, comprised of 14 lawyers, will either direct an outside law firm or directly represent the state in ISDS cases. It will also regularly inspect areas deemed prone to international disputes and launch an educational campaign for government officials on the issue.
In April last year, the ministry formed a task force team that has been in charge of the country’s ISDS.
Currently, South Korea has had eight ISDS cases, including one filed in 2012 by U.S. private equity firm Lone Star, which complained that it suffered losses due to the Korean government’s delay in approving the sale of KEB to Hana Financial Group. In 2018, Elliott Management, a U.S.investment management firm, filed a suit against South Korea over losses from the 2015 merger of two units of Samsung Group — Samsung CT&T Corp. and Cheil Industries Inc.
Of the eight, three were settled and five are ongoing.