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.

ETUC | 1-Jul-2014
Bernadette Ségol the General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation says trade unionists are “particularly concerned at statements from DG Trade implying that the consultation is about a reform of the ISDS system and is not open to a decisive rejection.”
JOL Press | 30-Jun-2014
Un mécanisme de « règlement des différends entre investisseur et Etat » est devenu un instrument aux mains des multinationales pour contester les politiques publiques jugées contraires à leurs intérêts et apparaît dans le traité de libre-échange entre Washington et Bruxelles. Vers quoi s’achemine-t-on ?
No to ISDS | 17-Jun-2014
Outil qui vous aidera à participer — avant le 6 juillet 2014 — à la consultation de la Commission européenne sur mécanisme de règlement des différends investisseur-Etat (ISDS en anglais) du TTIP en disant NON à ISDS!
No to ISDS | 17-Jun-2014
Web tool to participate — until 6 July 2014 — in the EU consultation on investor-state dispute in TTIP and say NO to ISDS!
BBC | 12-Jun-2014
Should foreign businesses have the right to take a sovereign state to arbitration to seek compensation for a change in the law or government policy? And if so, in exactly what circumstances?
FFII | 28-May-2014
ISDS gives the US an unfair advantage — we can not expect EU companies to win ISDS cases against the US.
No al TTIP | 26-May-2014
La decisión de la Comisión Europea de llevar a Consulta la inclusión del mecanismo de Solución de Controversias Inversionista-Estado en el capítulo de Inversión del Tratado Transatlántico de Comercio e Inversiones (TTIP), es claramente el resultado de la creciente preocupación y presión de las organizaciones sociales europeas y de la ciudadanía en general.
Reuters | 23-May-2014
This week, for the first time, the Ecuadorean government disclosed the results of water and soil testing conducted in 2013 by its experts — the US environmental, engineering and infrastructure consultant Louis Berger Group — at five sites once operated by Chevron predecessor Texaco.
DW | 23-May-2014
The TTIP trade agreement between the US and the EU is continuing to cause a major row in Europe. Economist Christoph Scherrer tells DW that the corporations’ right to file lawsuits will be particularly problematic.
PTI | 15-May-2014
With tax authorities pressing with over Rs 21,000 crore in unpaid dues, Finnish telecom major Nokia has invoked the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) India has with Finland to resolve the dispute.

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