The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership involving 16 nations from Asia-Pacific will impact the lives of over three billion people, yet a new study reveals how the deal fails international standards of transparency and public engagement.
With a global trade war looming and public faith in corporate globalization at an all-time low, secrecy in trade deals cannot be accepted. People have a right to know what is being negotiated in their name.
The high costs and potentially high damages characteristic of ISDS cases have made it a new and highly attractive market for third-party funding.
Globalisation is in crisis because of its almost totalitarian outreach to all areas of everyday life. People feel a loss of control, because their way of life is perceived as subject to trade requests solely for the benefit of globally acting firms.
The takeaway from the UNCITRAL’s process for its so-called "reform" discussions is that lawyers making millions in ISDS cases are welcomed, while the voices of the millions of people whose lives are harmed by ISDS cases brought by multinational corporations are barely an afterthought.
Following calls for openness and public participation, the European Commission now advertises its trade negotiations as transparent and inclusive. But crucial information about EU trade deals are still kept from citizens. Even member state governments regularly complain about being left in the dark. At the same time, corporations continue to call the shots on EU trade talks.
Although advances have been made in some chapters, reports suggest that virtually the whole of the agreement’s IP chapter remains up in the air.
Kahale uses examples from his own experience to argue that the ISDS system based on commercial arbitration principles is not fit to arbitrate cases in which international companies seek compensation from governments for changes in health, environment or other public interest laws.
We urgently need a new trade regime which can help address global challenges and tackle problems like accelerating climate change, a broken agricultural model and loss of trust in democratic processes.
I thought it would be both exciting and challenging to follow clients into this new area of investment claims practice. What I didn’t know was that I was entering the Wild Wild West of international practice.
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.
Why are countries so gripped in their quest for economic growth that they are empowering multinational corporations at the expense of their citizens?
It is now time we open up the dialogue on the kind of trade agreements that we want to see in place.
Observers of the ISDS debate in Europe should be concerned when the official position of an Advocate General before the European Court of Justice can be tied to the ISDS industry.
This legislation for post-Brexit Britain is not just bad law, it’s dangerous, allowing for deals without parliamentary scrutiny.
We stand against the plunder of peoples’ resources by multinationals and financial capital and against all forms of discrimination and racism.
Secrecy in the outcomes of investment arbitration remains high in part because parties have found ways to use settlements to hide relevant information.
IISD researchers identified 90 investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases in which sitting ICJ judges have worked–or are currently working–as arbitrators. The true number may be higher given that many ISDS cases are not public.
"The government may prevent us from coming to Buenos Aires, but they won’t stop us from mobilizing our local communities," said one organizer whose visa was denied.
Activists are keen to see what is happening in detail throughout the negotiations, not just some top-level view at the start, or the initial textual proposals for each chapter, but nothing afterwards.