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.

| 25-Jun-2007
A little known entity closely affiliated with the World Bank that mediates disputes between sovereign nations and foreign investors appears to be skewed toward corporations in Northern countries, according to an IPS review of pending cases and other independent analyses of the tribunals.
| 15-Jun-2007
A seven-year legal battle by the US postal carrier United Parcel Service of America (UPS) against Canada, brought under a controversial free trade agreement, has been dismissed, but advocacy groups say a provision that allows corporations to sue for lost profits should be permanently dropped.
| 14-Jun-2007
A landmark NAFTA decision this week dismissing allegations that Canada Post is competing unfairly has significantly restricted the rights of foreign investors to elbow their way into markets served by Crown corporations and other government enterprises.
| 12-Jun-2007
Ecuador is furiously lobbying members of Congress to extend trade preferences, set to run out at the end of the month, that are intended to counter narcotics trafficking.
CCPA | 23-May-2007
Table of all disputes and their status as of 1 March 2007
Jakarta Post | 17-May-2007
MNCs can always refer to Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to which Indonesia is a party and use the "umbrella clause" in the BIT to transform a problem that was originally a contractual dispute into an international investment dispute.
| 11-May-2007
A recently spawned legal battle between Slovakia and Madeta, the Czech Republic’s largest dairy processor, has led to a discovery that, for the past 10 years, Slovakia has not honored a trade agreement signed between the countries during the Velvet Divorce.
ITN | 9-May-2007
Investment Treaty News has learned that Bolivia has sent a formal notice to the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) declaring its withdrawal from the ICSID convention.
IPS | 4-May-2007
How the World Bank’s investment court, free trade agreements, and bilateral investment treaties have unleashed a new era of corporate power and what to do about tt
FPIF | 3-May-2007
When Bolivian President Evo Morales took office in January 2006, he pledged to follow through on his campaign pledge to increase Bolivians’ share of revenues from their major source of foreign income, natural gas. International gas companies, however, threatened to sue. Previous Bolivian governments had signed a flurry of bilateral investment treaties that gave foreign investors the right to bypass domestic courts and file such lawsuits through international tribunals. Morales complained that these rules made him feel like a “prisoner” in the presidential palace.

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