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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.


One hundred years of expropriation without compensation
On 29 July 1918, the British judiciary proffered the Empire’s most expressly and egregiously racist justification for the land dispossession of indigenous peoples. Today, an ICSID tribunal continues that mission. No matter which way Zimbabwean’s turn at the polls, they’re still paying for their invasion and occupation by Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa company...
Asia’s evolving ‘free’ trade deal may not benefit workers
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Swiss foreign investor claims it suffered US$264 million in damages caused by South Korean government
This is the fourth ISDS dispute this year in which the South Korean government is embroiled.
India’s model bilateral investment treaty: Are we too risk averse?
India’s Model BIT is "pro-state with limited rights to foreign investors" according to the US thinktank Brookings
Dar faces legal suit at international tribunals over tax, investment policies
Civil society organisations are pushing for a review of the BIT between Tanzania and The Netherlands which they say does not serve the best interests of Tanzania.
Community groups say no to the TPP-11 at Senate inquiry
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RCEP agreement puts future of Thai people at risk
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US trade deals mean justice for some, not justice for all
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Rwanda faces suit over cancelled mining concession
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Investor vs state interests debate heats up
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Elliott starts ISD suit against Korea, claiming $770m in damage
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Turkish government taken to international tribunal
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime accused of illegally seizing company assets and breaching investment treaties involving Britain and other EU states.
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Enagás demands an arbitration against Peru before ICSID
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Should Canada reject NAFTA? Yes
NAFTA is a corporate rights agreement, not a free-trade agreement in the original sense.