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.

PR Newswire | 12-Aug-2014
Canadian company Bear Creek Mining announces that it intends to commence an arbitration proceeding against the government of Peru under the Canada-Peru FTA.
IISD | 12-Aug-2014
What was once risky business for investors has become “risky politics” for states, critics argue.
The Guardian | 8-Aug-2014
More than two-thirds of voters in 13 battleground constituencies want to see the NHS safeguarded from a new trade deal that critics say threatens to make the privatisation of UK health services permanent.
Vox.eu | 5-Aug-2014
Despite the failure of the OECD’s MAI negotiations and the lack of agreement to put investment on the WTO’s negotiating agenda, the major source countries of FDI will eventually get close to their objective of a comprehensive web of investment agreements with increasingly stricter investment provisions with those developing countries that compete with each other as hosts of their FDI.
ECDPM | 4-Aug-2014
The US Trade Representative Michael Froman argues for comprehensive trade and investment strategy – read possibly in the future, negotiate reciprocal trade agreements, à la EU-Africa Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) but with more binding investment clauses to protect the interests of US businessmen.
The Star | 4-Aug-2014
From a Canadian perspective, the Eli Lilly case has provided a powerful reminder that the risks associated with ISDS may outweigh the benefits with legal cases that can take decades to resolve.
ABColombia | 1-Aug-2014
The UK-Colombia Bilateral Investment Treaty that was ratified by the House of Commons on 10 July 2014 poses grave risks to the achievement of human rights and the successful implementation of agreements currently being made in the peace dialogues between the FARC guerrilla and the Colombian Government in Havana.
No al TTIP | 31-Jul-2014
Esquiva las preguntas de Amaiur sobre el TTIP y el mecanismo que permite a las multinacionales demandar a estados si sus inversiones se ven afectadas. "Si la información fuera de conocimiento público crearía un gran debate ciudadano, y el Gobierno quiere evitarlo a toda costa", asegura la formación
Madhyam | 30-Jul-2014
On 28 July 2014, an international arbitration tribunal announced that Russia must pay $50.02 billion in damages to former shareholders of the now defunct oil giant, Yukos Oil Company. Analysis by Kavaljit Singh.
iPolitics | 29-Jul-2014
The German ministry of the economy has clarified its position on the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA), saying it will “meticulously” examine the agreement as soon as it’s on the table, Agence France Presse reported Monday.

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