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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.


Oil and gas leaders warn Trump he risks harming their industry
Trump disagrees with executives on Nafta arbitration language. Industry leaders say it provides an essential safety net.
Letter: Gambia is about to pay half a million dollars at the International Settlement Investment Dispute Court
Shocking information from insiders tells us that the authorities are about to make a payment to the International Settlement of Investment Disputes of nearly US dollars 500,000 as a prepay for the three litigations.
Fears tobacco giants will use TPP to sue Australia over plain packaging as secrecy shrouds legal costs in Philip Morris case
Political party says the newly signed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, which contains similar clauses to the Hong Kong deal, could prompt more costly challenges in The Hague
Slovakia payment to Dutch company overturned
Slovakia will no longer have to compensate Achmea B.V., the shareholder of Union ZP health insurer, for €22 million in damage.
Canada didn’t violate trade agreement in B.C. pulp mill case, NAFTA tribunal rules
A NAFTA tribunal rejects $250-million claim by Mercer International Inc. against the Canadian government.
The arbitration clause in the Agreement between the Netherlands and Slovakia on the protection of investments is not compatible with EU law
That clause removes from the mechanism of judicial review of EU law disputes which may relate to the application or interpretation of that law.
The ‘new’ TPP and our shrinking democracy
Profit is king. People are the pawns, and the Government will seem to be in favour of supra-national conglomerates if it signs this “new” TPP inclusive of the ISDS.
NAFTA a good deal for corporations, a bad deal for the country
Should the US remain in the controversial North American Free Trade Agreement?
Spain to pay compensation to renewables investors
In a second international ruling against retroactive cuts in renewables support introduced by the Spanish government in 2013, a Swedish arbitration panel has awarded a Luxembourg-based investment firm €53 million compensation.
Canadian corporation uses NAFTA to threaten proposed protection for Puget Sound
The proposed policy follows the escape of over 200,000 Atlantic salmon from the company’s fish farms, sparking outcry from Indigenous groups, environmentalists, and fishing communities.
Telefonica files complaint to ICSID over Colombia fine
Telefonica has filed an arbitration complaint with the World Bank’s ICSID against the Colombian arbitration fine for breaching a government contract for mobile services.
Cooke Aquaculture Pacific urges lawmakers to consider jobs, science-based policy, fair and equitable treatment
Will seek NAFTA arbitration if ban on Atlantic salmon farming is approved.
API supports NAFTA modernization that retains strong protections for US investors
Ongoing negotiations to modernize NAFTA must advance our role as a global energy leader by retaining US access to Mexico’s newly-opened oil and natural gas market and providing strong protections, including Investor-State Dispute Settlement.
US and Canada to drop ISDS from NAFTA. NZ should for TPPA
Canada and the US are set to agree on withdrawing the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico.
Trudeau pushes controversial investor-state dispute settlement provision on trip to India
Negotiations on a Canada-India FIPPA were launched in September 2004 and concluded in 2007, but the deal was never signed.
Kenya faces cases at International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
Kenya is facing cases at International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) with claims amounting to Sh334 billion.
Kazakhstan’s frozen billions sound alarm for sovereign funds
The case is one of several brought to courts in Europe by Moldovan businessman Anatolie Stati who is attempting to force the Kazakh government to pay up in a dispute about his energy investments in the oil-rich country.
Glencore, Randgold form group to challenge Congo law changes
Randgold is considering launching international arbitration if Congolese President gives his assent to the legislation.
Gambia gov’t spends two billion dalasis on arbitration cases!
How can the Goverment risk billions of dalasis in arbitration costs, once more, with Africa Petroleum? What money will pay for this trial?