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.

Manila Bulletin | 18-May-2006
The Philippines and Japan are moving towards adopting arbitration procedures in settling disputes to avoid lengthy and expensive court battles in protecting investments from both sides as they finalize their proposed bilateral free trade pact.
BBC | 21-Jan-2006
Students and police have clashed again in Ecuador, as protests against a possible rise in bus fares entered a second week. The students also want the government to cancel its contract with the Occidental Petroleum Corporation and for it to refuse to join the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.
San Francisco Chronicle | 19-Jan-2006
San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp. has dropped a $25 million dispute against the Bolivian government for canceling a water contract, after major street demonstrations forced a Bechtel-owned subsidiary to withdraw from Bolivia’s third-largest city.
| 5-Jan-2006
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) yesterday asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision allowing the government to take over Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) only after payment of an initial P3.002 billion to the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (PIATCO) representing the proffered value of the facilities.
Khaleej Times | 5-Jan-2006
A high powered US delegation is arriving here on 18 of this month to hold talks with the Pakistani authorities to finalise the BIT, in the absence of which, Washington was unprepared to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan.
Dow Jones | 23-Dec-2005
Ecuador’s attorney general Thursday said he expects a U.K court to rule in March on a dispute between the government and U.S. oil firm Occidental Petroleum Company (OXY).
| 16-Dec-2005
Given that CAFTA-DR passed only by a small margin, it is unclear how much support the U.S.-Andean FTA will have.
New Age | 9-Dec-2005
Experts have cautioned that bilateral investment treaties with the rich countries will ultimately lead the developing and least developed countries towards dangerous traps at the cost of their national interests.
| 19-Oct-2005
Romania has won at the International Court of Arbitration in Washington, the case brought by the American company Noble Ventures that contested the Romanian state actions in the privatization process of Resita Steel Plant (CSR).
GURN | 19-Oct-2005
Notwithstanding substantial doubts that increased FDI and economic growth are not automatically linked and that investments agreements may be less important in attracting FDI than other economic and socio-political framework conditions, the proliferation of bilateral investments agreements (BITs) goes ahead unrestrained.

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