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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.


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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 accepts $1 billion refund offer, to drop cases against India within days: CEO
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New ISDS case map launched
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.
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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.
Companies cannot use ECT to sue governments for climate progress, top court says
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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 would ‘welcome’ new arbitration in Stati dispute
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Blockading global Green New Deals
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HSBC initiates legal proceedings against El Salvador claiming breach of treaty with UK
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Russians warn of arbitration against South Africa
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French airport investors make good on earlier threat to bring treaty-based claims against Chile in relation to reduced air traffic during the COVID pandemic
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Ethiopia wins major International Court case against Israeli firm ICL
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Winshear seeks C$124,781,945 in damages from Tanzania
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The limits of sovereignty
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