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.

Polaris Institute | 24-Aug-2007
French media and telecoms group Vivendi said on Tuesday it had been awarded $105 million in compensation at the end of a decade-long dispute with Argentinian authorities about a former water concession.
PDI | 19-Aug-2007
The World Bank has dismissed the claim for compensation from the Philippine government over the Naia Terminal 3 project of Germany’s Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide (Fraport)
The Guardian | 17-Aug-2007
Tanzania was glad to secure the services of a British-led consortium to run the newly privatised water system in its capital Dar es Salaam. But then the price of water started to rise
| 5-Jul-2007
With Seoul and Washington concluding their renegotiation of the Korea-US free trade agreement (FTA), it has been confirmed there were some ‘‘unfair parts’’ added to the economic deal under which investors of both sides are not treated equally in their respective countries.
| 25-Jun-2007
A little known entity closely affiliated with the World Bank that mediates disputes between sovereign nations and foreign investors appears to be skewed toward corporations in Northern countries, according to an IPS review of pending cases and other independent analyses of the tribunals.
| 15-Jun-2007
A seven-year legal battle by the US postal carrier United Parcel Service of America (UPS) against Canada, brought under a controversial free trade agreement, has been dismissed, but advocacy groups say a provision that allows corporations to sue for lost profits should be permanently dropped.
| 14-Jun-2007
A landmark NAFTA decision this week dismissing allegations that Canada Post is competing unfairly has significantly restricted the rights of foreign investors to elbow their way into markets served by Crown corporations and other government enterprises.
| 12-Jun-2007
Ecuador is furiously lobbying members of Congress to extend trade preferences, set to run out at the end of the month, that are intended to counter narcotics trafficking.
CCPA | 23-May-2007
Table of all disputes and their status as of 1 March 2007
Jakarta Post | 17-May-2007
MNCs can always refer to Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to which Indonesia is a party and use the "umbrella clause" in the BIT to transform a problem that was originally a contractual dispute into an international investment dispute.

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