investor-state disputes | ISDS

Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) refers to a way of handling conflicts under international investment agreements whereby companies from one party are allowed to sue the government of another party. This means they can file a complaint and seek compensation for damages. Many BITs and investment chapters of FTAs allow for this if the investor’s expectation of a profit has been negatively affected by some action that the host government took, such as changing a policy. The dispute is normally handled not in a public court but through a private abritration panel. The usual venues where these proceedings take place are the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (World Bank), the International Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law or the International Court of Justice.

ISDS is a hot topic right now because it is being challenged very strongly by concerned citizens in the context of the EU-US TTIP negotiations, the TransPacific Partnership talks and the CETA deal between Canada and the EU.

EFE | 23-Jan-2014
Ecuador’s hopes of winning a legal struggle against US oil supermajor Chevron Corp. pertaining to a multi-billion-dollar pollution judgment rest on the degree of "global solidarity" with the Andean nation, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Wednesday.
Indian Express | 22-Jan-2014
India’s bilateral investment treaty arbitration must be made more transparent.
FT | 22-Jan-2014
EU trade commissioner Karel de Gucht pledged to release a proposed negotiating text of the investment chapter of any deal in March.
Reuters | 21-Jan-2014
La Comisión Europea suspendió hoy en parte las negociaciones de libre comercio con Estados Unidos, según anunció el comisario de Comercio, Karel de Gucht, que explicó que en los próximos tres meses habrá que realizar una consulta sobre unas polémicas cláusulas para proteger las inversiones de las empresas.
ITN | 21-Jan-2014
Perhaps because so many countries in the region have faced multiple international investment arbitrations based on multi-million dollar claims for compensations, a number of alternatives to the current system of investment dispute resolution have been drawn up.
CILJ | 21-Jan-2014
Given the substantial problems with the current ICSID framework and the large number of cases currently pending against Argentina, denouncing the SID Convention and leaving the ICSID is the best course for the country.
S2B | 21-Jan-2014
Seattle to Brussels Network analysis of the European Commission’s note on “Investment Provisions in the EU-Canada free trade agreement”
The Independent | 21-Jan-2014
The European Commission is to rethink its approach to a controversial US trade deal which campaign groups in the UK have warned would fundamentally erode Britain’s sovereignty.
Euractiv | 21-Jan-2014
Le commissaire européen au commerce, Karel de Gucht, a annoncé le lancement d’une consultation publique sur le TTIP. Elle sera toutefois circonscrite à la protection des investissements.
IISD | 20-Jan-2014
Libya ordered to pay US$935 million to Kuwaiti company for cancelled investment project; jurisdiction established under Unified Agreement for the Investment of Arab Capital.

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