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.

EFE | 6-Feb-2010
The Ecuadorian government said Occidental Petroleum deserves no compensation for the cancellation of its massive oil concession in the Amazon region, arguing that the decision was taken after the U.S. company broke the law and its contractual obligations by handing over a stake in that project to a Canadian firm.
SR Sentinel | 22-Jan-2010
Chevron has submitted a legal motion and supporting authorities to dismiss a lawsuit that was filed by the government of Ecuador in an attempt to block a Chevron arbitration claim made under international treaty la
Courthouse News | 19-Jan-2010
Now, Texaco is asking a panel of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, which works in cooperation with the World Trade Organization, to release it from environmental liability, the communities say.
ITN | 13-Jan-2010
Spanish firms Abengoa, S.A. and COFIDES, S.A. have launched a claim with ICSID against Mexico over the stalled opening of a toxic waste disposal plant built by them in the municipality of Zimapán, approximately 200 kilometres north of Mexico City.
WSJ | 7-Dec-2009
The government of Ecuador asked a US court on Friday to intervene in its long-running environmental battle with oil giant Chevron Corp.
ITN | 7-Dec-2009
German investor Reinhard Unglaube, a resident of Costa Rica, has commenced arbitration against his host country over the latter’s refusal to grant the appropriate permits to extend his eco-tourist hotel complex in Playa Grande, Costa Rica.
ITN | 5-Nov-2009
Chilean Química e Industrial del Bórax Ltd. (“Quiborax”) will continue with its claim against Bolivia at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (“ICSID”), despite reports of a settlement agreement and Bolivia’s renunciation of the ICSID convention. The case will likely shed the first light as to the effects of renouncing the ICSID Convention, a controversial topic over which no tribunal has yet to rule.
Dow Jones Newswires | 31-Oct-2009
Occidental is seeking $3.2 billion in damages for Ecuador’s May 2006 decision to cancel the company’s operating contract
IISD | 9-Oct-2009
Mexico has suffered another loss in a series of investor-state arbitral disputes involving its sugar industry.
IISD | 6-Oct-2009
Marking a final setback for Argentina in its protracted dispute with US-based water services firm Azurix Corp, on 1 September 2009 an ad hoc committee denied Argentina’s application to annul an ICSID tribunal’s previous decision awarding Azurix approximately US$165 Million for breach of Argentina’s obligations under the US-Argentina Bilateral Investment Treaty.

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