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.

Rights and Democracy | 21-Feb-2009
Profiles a series of lawsuits that have arisen between foreign investors and their host states — where state compliance with investment treaty obligations is in question and where human rights concerns have resulted from investment projects.
IPS | 13-Feb-2009
As the global economy descends further into crisis, a new report finds that U.S. trade and investment agreements with 52 countries have removed one tool that has proved effective in past crises: capital controls.
| 29-Jan-2009
The federal government has confirmed it is now playing a part to help resolve a dispute between AbitibiBowater and the Newfoundland and Labrador government.
ITN | 23-Jan-2009
The United Kingdom has formally declined to release a notice of arbitration delivered by an Indian citizen under the UK-India bilateral investment treaty, explaining that it would likely “prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and an international organisation; UNCITRAL.”
ITN | 6-Jan-2009
A tribunal has determined that it holds jurisdiction to hear a claim brought by Chevron Corporation against Ecuador for alleged violations of the Ecuador-United States bilateral investment treaty (BIT).
ITN | 24-Dec-2008
Argentina has refused calls by Siemens to suspend proceedings at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in which a committee is considering Argentina’s request to revise a 2007 award, following the admission by the German firm that it had bribed Argentinean officials.
| 24-Dec-2008
When the government of Ecuador failed to make a scheduled interest payment on private bonds this month, it was hardly the first time a country had defaulted in the middle of a financial crisis.
Upside Down World | 22-Dec-2008
A Canadian mining company intends to sue El Salvador’s government for several hundred million dollars if it is not granted permission to open a widely unpopular gold and silver mine that scientists warn would have devastating effects on local water supplies.
| 13-Dec-2008
A Canadian mining company and its American subsidiary have threatened the government of El Salvador with a lawsuit after it failed to receive regulatory approval to begin digging for gold and silver in an area some 65 km from San Salvador. The proposed mine has drawn intense opposition from civil society and church-based groups, although the mining company maintains that it enjoys broad public support in El Salvador.

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