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.
As governments take action to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent economic collapse, they could face multi-million dollar lawsuits.
Research claims top law firms are preparing to ‘cash in’ on the pandemic by helping corporations sue states for measures that have impaired profits.
On February 18, The Hague Court of Appeal reinstated an order of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which obliged Russia to pay more than $50 bln to the companies associated with former Yukos shareholders in 2014.
The Energy Charter Treaty takes an axe to climate action.
Spanish contractor Ortiz Construcciones y Proyectos S.A. lost an investment treaty arbitration against Algeria brought before ICSID.
On 5 May 2020, 23 Member States of the EU entered into an Agreement for the Termination of Bilateral Investment Treaties between the Member States of the European Union.
A global tragedy at a high cost for taxpayers.
We call on the world community for an immediate moratorium on all arbitration claims by private corporations against governments using international investment treaties.
There is an imminent threat of claims arising from emergency measures, so countries should review how investor-state disputes are handled.
23 EU Member States signed an agreement for the termination of intra-EU bilateral investment treaties.
An internal EU report claims that the UK government has pressured the Armenian government in a two-year standoff between protesters, an international mining company and the authorities.
An updated European Commission proposal to reform the Energy Charter Treaty is falling short of what’s needed to reinstate governments’ “right to regulate” in areas like climate change, activists say.
An arbitration tribunal ruled against Canadian company Edgewater Exploration in its long-standing legal battle with Spain related to the Corcoesto gold project in the northwestern region of Galicia.
In the meantime, Naturgy said it would go back to pursuing a legal claim to $2 billion in compensation its joint venture with ENI was awarded in the case by the World Bank’s ICSID in 2018.
Global companies are positioning themselves to use little-known rules in trade agreements to claim millions of dollars in compensation for restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
Joining the Energy Charter Treaty could cost developing countries money that is urgently needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.
Governments’ emergency actions in the wake of COVID-19 could prompt a wave of arbitration lawsuits for billions of dollars by multinational corporations and investment lawyers.
Peruvian officials have warned that a proposed emergency measure suspending the collection of toll fees on the country’s road network in response to the outbreak of covid-19 could result in multiple ICSID claims.
Governments are facing an imminent threat of investor–state arbitration as they take difficult decisions to support public health systems in a time of severe economic stress.
Many countries, particularly in the global south, are in the process of joining the Energy Charter Treaty despite the sweeping powers it grants to foreign investors.