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.
Campaigners say the UK and Switzerland are defending fossil fuel interests in Energy Charter Treaty modernisation talks to tempt firms to relocate their HQs.
The fossil fuel industry is the most litigious industry in the ISDS system by number of cases, accounting for almost 20% of the total known ISDS cases across all sectors.
Pakistan and Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) have agreed over 50 percent shares, likely paving way for averting a multi-billion-dollar fine imposed on Pakistan.
A new example of how this secretive corporate court system is undermining climate and environmental policies of EU member states has been brought to light.
Countries party to the Energy Charter Treaty are under yet more pressure to reform the agreement following the Cop26 climate summit, as they weigh the benefits of climate action against the likelihood of getting sued.
A committee attached to the Washington International Court (ICSID) definitively rejected the €1.8 bln claims of Romanian-Swedish investors Ioan and Viorel Micula.
The shareholders had sought the right to seize all sum or moveable property of India and/or AAI being held by the International Air Transport Association.
Pakistan federal govt officials tell lawmakers talks under way that may pave way for TCC’s Barrack to resume project.
Chile’s state-controlled Codelco requested a second international arbitration process with Ecuador and its National Mining Company (Enami EP) over the Llurimagua copper project.
Enagás considers that the future dividends of this project amount to 186 million dollars that would be added to the almost 400 million that it hopes to recover from the other arbitration.
Talks on a possible COVID-19-related TRIPS decision aimed at scaling up vaccine and therapeutics production and equitable distribution continue but investment agreements are absent from them.
European governments are losing patience in talks to modernise the controversial Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), according to leaked documents.
The Croatian government okayed the out-of-court settlement between Croatia and the American Colgate McCallum investment management company, which will see Croatia pay €40m to the company.
African nations should not be expected to take the lead in addressing a climate emergency they did not create. The priority for Africa is to receive support and investment to build resilience and adapt to climate impacts.
The EU Commission has launched infringement proceedings against seven member states over their failure to end intra-bilateral investments agreements.
Bahrain has been ordered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to pay over €200 million in damages plus costs to two Iranian banks for the unlawful moves against their operations.
Extractive companies are the most frequent users of the investor-state dispute settlement system (ISDS), making up 29 percent of all ICSID claims in fiscal year 2021.
India’s steps to better protect itself hasn’t curbed the appetite of foreign investors, suggesting that the perceived correlation between FDI and robust investor protection is overstated.
Developers of Keystone XL are seeking to recoup more than $15 billion in damages connected to President Joe Biden’s decision to yank a permit for the border-crossing oil pipeline even after construction began.
On 1 September 2021, Angola’s National Assembly ratified the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID).