Nigerian labour unions and civil society organizations have urged the government not to assent to the ECT, explaining that the Treaty contains provisions for an Investor-State Dispute System (ISDS), which accords investors obscene privileges.
Canada released its “modernized and inclusive” Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement Model, sending a message that it intends to continue to provide international dispute resolution protections to foreign investors.
The solution to the “regulatory chill” problem lies not in the cosmetic amendments to IIAs but in “supranational” legal regimes providing for full convergence of international investment law and human rights.
The overreach on display in the aggressive use of ISDS lawsuits by multinational corporations is just one part of a broader trend in recent decades in which the ability of states to regulate their economies in their own interests.
A plurilateral “interpretative statements,” whereby governments endorse joint statements clarifying and defining their positions on contentious clauses in their existing investment treaties would be a practical, flexible and low-cost option.