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.
While the tribunal has yet to make a decision about compensation to be paid, Eco Oro Minerals is claiming nearly $700 USD million.
A Canadian company’s successful challenge to a precautionary mining ban in Colombia shows how little investor–state dispute panels care about the right to regulate.
In pursuit of growth in Africa, British American Tobacco and others use intimidatory tactics to attempt to suppress health warnings and regulation, including accusing governments of breaching trade agreements.
Given the potential for wider use of the ISDS mechanism, strategies to protect public health policy space in the context of both international trade and investment treaty and dispute settlement contexts remain important.
Houston-based Talos Energy intends to fight the decision by the Energy Ministry to designate the state oil company Pemex as the operator of the Zama field, which contains almost 700 million barrels of oil.
Cairn Energy will drop litigations to seize Indian properties in countries ranging from France to the US, within a couple of days of getting a $1 billion refund resulting from the scrapping of a retrospective tax law.
The map is an interactive tool that brings together 60 significant ISDS cases globally to support social movements, researchers, journalists and policy makers to analyse the impact of the ISDS mechanism.
AfCFTA roundtable brought together business leaders, academia, government representatives, trade, and legal experts to discuss and deliberate on dispute issues in implementing the agreement in Nigeria.
Environmental organisations have hailed a court decision that could mean the end of a little-known legal mechanism that poses a massive threat to climate action.
The investment fund Titan Consortium has taken legal steps after the expropriation of Aerolineas Argentinas in 2008, which resulted in an arbitration award against Argentina.
The new resource extraction regime continued to consolidate through the approval of new development plans, new standards, and the signing of international investment agreements.
Kazakhstan has welcomed what it calls an opportunity for an independent arbitral tribunal to carry out “a free and fair review of the Statis’ fraud”.
As governments try to phase out coal and leave fossil fuels in the ground, lawsuits from industry investors are starting to pile up around them.
Governments must urgently terminate all international investment treaties in force, in particular the Energy Charter Treaty, and stop negotiating new ones.
Slovenian environmental NGOs have called on infrastructure minister Jernej Vrtovec to use the country’s EU presidency to propose a political discussion on the bloc exiting the Energy Charter Treaty.
Tackling trade and investment agreements must be an essential step in achieving justice-oriented action on climate change, health inequities and economic injustice.
HSBC Holdings said the banking group has initiated legal proceedings against El Salvador for what the company called a breach of the nation’s investment treaty with the UK.
RUSSIAN attorneys have warned they will institute international arbitration proceedings against South Africa for failing to protect their client Transasia Mineral’s investment after the company was allegedly defrauded of R458 million by a local businessman.
Two French airport companies, Aeroports de Paris (ADP) and Vinci Airports, have initiated treaty-based arbitration proceedings against Chile, invoking the Chile-France bilateral investment treaty (BIT).