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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.


Israeli investors seek damages from Hungary in international arbitration court
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), in Washington, DC, will hear a case by Israeli investors seeking more than 100 billion forints (EUR 337m) in damages from the state of Hungary because of a failed casino investment, daily Magyar Nemzet said on its website on Saturday.
CETA is more about corporate rights than free trade
Since announcing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) two weeks ago Harper’s Conservatives have repeatedly labelled those questioning the deal as “anti-trade”. But this Canada-European Union accord is one part trade and four parts ‘corporate bill of rights’.
Govt to cough up Rs90m for ICSID case
The federal government, which is facing financial crisis and seeking loans from IMF and other financial institutes, is willing to pay Rs90 million to a Pakistani law firm to plead its case in an international court.
Argentina settles five outstanding investment treaty arbitration claims in historic break with its anti-enforcement stance
Argentina has agreed to settle five separate investment treaty arbitration claims at a cost of around USD 500 million, in an historic departure from the Latin American state’s refusal to comply with awards made by international investment treaty arbitration bodies.
Canada ratifies World Bank’s ICSID Convention
Canada has confirmed its ratification of the World Bank’s ICSID Convention by depositing its “Instrument of Ratification” with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes on Nov. 1, 2013.
Pakistan seeks amendment in ICSID’s order
Pakistan has landed in hot waters following the provisional decision of ICSID (international court for settlement of investment disputes) announced on October 16 which says that government of Pakistan should allow the Karkey’s vessel based power generation unit to move from Karachi port, as Supreme Court’s verdict is quite vivid that says that unless and until Karkey gives $ 128 million to Pakistan it cannot be allowed to leave the port, Pakistan Observer has learnt reliably.
South Africa draft PPIB (2013)
Proposed legal framework to replace previous BITs
Why South Africa should send the Dutch government a letter in the next two weeks
1st of November 2013 is an important date if one wants to get rid of this outdated treaty which poses growing risk to policy making in the public interest
We reject the offers made by the Argentine government to pay the ICSID claims
ATTAC Argentina declare that we reject the offer made by the Argentine government to pay 500 million dollars to five transnational corporations that sued our country before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
TTIP Update III
Glyn Moody addresses the EU’s latest document "Incorrect claims about investor-state dispute settlement"
Arbitration panel rules for Chevron on Ecuador Amazon pollution case
Plaintiffs’ hopes for collecting a $19 billion judgment awarded by an Ecuadorean court against Chevron Corp. for oil contamination in the Amazon have suffered another potential setback.
Chevron wins major arbitration victory
In an apparent coup for the oil giant’s efforts to undermine a $19 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador, an international tribunal has suggested that the Ecuadorians’ claims in that case were all settled and extinguished in 1995
Inversiones, transnacionales y desarrollo: el caso de Uruguay
El contexto actual, pasados ocho años de gobierno del Frente Amplio en Uruguay, es particularmente propicio para reflexionar acerca de las diversas condicionantes para la aplicación de estrategias de desarrollo económico, productivo y social.
"Investment" narrowly construed under NAFTA in Apotex v. US
In a recent NAFTA Investor-State claim brought against the United States by Apotex Inc., Canada’s largest producer of generic drugs, the Tribunal upheld the US’ preliminary objections to jurisdiction on the grounds that the company’s efforts to win approval for generic drugs in the US market did not make it an "investor" under NAFTA Chapter Eleven.
Growth in global disputes brings big paychecks for law firms
Debt woes, broken contracts and soured business deals may cost global investors billions in losses and create seemingly never-ending headaches for policy makers. But there is a set of specialists profiting from such geopolitical problems: arbitration lawyers.
Trans-Pacific Partnership talks hit roadblock over anti-smoking policies
Fast-moving trade talks aimed at reaching an ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal have hit a major snag over anti-smoking policies, as divisions emerged over a proposal critics say would expose governments to lawsuits from tobacco companies.
FTAs actually restrict free trade
We are told that when trade is free, there will be more trade and nations will prosper. To achieve even freer trade the nations of the world must enter into free trade agreements.
Nurul Izzah: Don’t bow down to pressure on TPP
Malaysia’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat VP Nurul Izzah Anwar has accused the Ministry of International Trade and Industry of bowing down to pressure when it agreed to clauses on investor-state dispute settlement in negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
Karkey serves Rs33b damage notice on Pakistan; Approaches ICSID against water and power ministry
The Turkish power firm Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim (KKEU) has approached the Washington based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against Pakistan’s water and power ministry and also served a Rs33billion damage notice on the ministry, sources said on Wednesday.
Lilly ramps up NAFTA fight over loss of patents
US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. has escalated a challenge it launched last year against Canada’s patent rules under the North American free-trade agreement, and is now demanding $500-million in compensation after the company lost its Canadian patents on two drugs.