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.

Dow Jones | 3-Aug-2010
The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or Icsid, dismissed the claims lodged by Enron Creditors Recovery Corp and Ponderosa Assets L.P. late Friday.
Buenos Aires Herald | 2-Aug-2010
A committee of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruled in favour of Argentina and cancelled a decision by which it had been condemned to pay more than US$106 million to shareholding companies of the local Southern Gas Conveyor (TGS)
Sunday Times | 27-Jul-2010
A dispute initiated by Deutsche Bank against the government of Sri Lanka will be a test case on whether derivatives contracts should be considered ’investments’ under bilateral investment treaties
GNA | 30-Jun-2010
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has, in a landmark ruling, granted an award in favour of Ghana over an arbitration dispute instituted against her on September 24, 2007 by a German investment company, Gustav F. W. Hamester.
ITN | 12-May-2010
Anglo-Argentinean energy firm Pan American Energy has initiated arbitration against Bolivia over the nationalization of its subsidiary Chaco Petroleum by the Morales government in 2009.
Change.org | 20-Apr-2010
Litigation over the ecological disaster that is Lago Agrio has produced a decades-long narrative that rivals Finnegans Wake in complexity.
OECD | 17-Mar-2010
According to the OECD, there are 3000 bilateral and regional investment agreements in existence today yet a reluctance to enforce investor-state arbitral awards. OECD wants to draw up a "Model Investment Treaty" to harmonise things.
SF Chronicle | 12-Mar-2010
Steven Donziger, an attorney who represents the Ecuadorans suing Chevron, complained that the lawsuit’s plaintiffs won’t be able to participate in the arbitration proceeding, which will only involve Chevron and the Ecuadoran government. The plaintiffs, he said, will push forward with their lawsuit, regardless.
Reuters | 12-Mar-2010
Chevron Corp may pursue an international arbitration claim over environmental pollution allegations in Ecuador, a judge ruled on Thursday, part of a long-running case that carries a potential $27 billion liability for the second-largest US oil company.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre | 11-Mar-2010
The move is certain to be closely watched by international lawyers and policymakers alike, as it will serve as an early test-case of the little-used intellectual property protections contained in BITs.

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