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.

World Trademark Review | 20-Sep-2014
Long-running litigation between Uruguay, which has some of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the world, and cigarette giant Philip Morris could have direct consequences for plain packaging legislation globally. Could it also pave the way for legal action in Europe?
Epoch Times | 19-Sep-2014
Canada’s Conservative government is taking heat after Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet quietly ratified a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with China after sitting on it for two years during which it was strongly criticized and protested.
Newsweek | 16-Sep-2014
Despite public outcry, Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister, ratified a controversial treaty on Friday that will allow China to sue Canada in secret tribunals to repeal Canadian laws that interfere with Chinese investments.
NJGI | 14-Sep-2014
‘A Call for the Building of an Alternative Legal Framework to the International Investment Treaties. Favoring the Public Interest while doing away with Transnational Corporate Impunity.’
ABC | 14-Sep-2014
A common provision allowing foreign investors to sue host governments has become a ticking time bomb inside trade agreements. Some countries are now refusing to agree to the provision and are questioning its legal legitimacy. Jess Hill investigates.
Red por la Justica Social en la Inversión Global | 12-Sep-2014
“Llamamiento a la construcción de un marco legal alternativo a los acuerdos internacionales de inversión. Superando la Impunidad de las Corporaciones Transnacionales a favor del interés público”.
The Tyee | 12-Sep-2014
The survival of the new trade deal hammered out in secret between Canada and the European Union is threatened by opposed Green politicians in Germany’s most populated state, writes Andrea Rexer.
EarthMedia | 10-Sep-2014
Please find below a draft letter to heads of state or trade ministers of EU Member States. It can be sent ahead of the Sept .12 meeting of the EU Trade Policy Committee where Member States have the *final* opportunity to comment on the CETA text.
The Tyee | 29-Aug-2014
Latest version of trade deal leaves too much up to non-existent commission, lawyers say.
WA Today | 29-Aug-2014
Australia risks getting swept up in a wave of litigation by foreign corporations wishing to sue over unfavourable domestic laws, experts warn, after the government rejected a bill to ban controversial trade agreements.

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