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sovereignty | democracy


Corporate lawyers hijack UN meeting, while civil society is sidelined
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.
Quiet on the set! The EU is negotiating trade deals...
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.
Solutions for a stalled NAFTA: Stop pushing so hard on IP, and release the text
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.
Legal expert slams ISDS as “wild, wild west” of international law
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.
Setting course for sustainable trade – a new trade agenda that serves people and the environment
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.
ISDS: The wild, wild west of international law and arbitration
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.
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.
Sacrificing sovereignty and human potential in the name of economic growth
Why are countries so gripped in their quest for economic growth that they are empowering multinational corporations at the expense of their citizens?
Towards a peoples charter on international trade agreements
It is now time we open up the dialogue on the kind of trade agreements that we want to see in place.
The ISDS legal industry and the European Court of Justice
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.
The Tory trade bill would usher in the worst bits of TTIP – it must be stopped
This legislation for post-Brexit Britain is not just bad law, it’s dangerous, allowing for deals without parliamentary scrutiny.
A declaration from North Africa: food sovereignty is a right
We stand against the plunder of peoples’ resources by multinationals and financial capital and against all forms of discrimination and racism.
Against secrecy: The social cost of international dispute settlement
Secrecy in the outcomes of investment arbitration remains high in part because parties have found ways to use settlements to hide relevant information.
Sitting International Court of Justice judges worked as arbitrators in at least 90 investor–state cases: study
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.
Neoliberal Argentina bans NGOs from WTO summit in last-minute ’unprecedented’ move
"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.
A tale of two transparencies: why the EU and activists will always disagree over trade deal negotiations
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.
Ten principles for trade
The current global trade and investment regime imposes high social and environmental costs on people and planet.
EU court slams EU Commission for blocking anti-TTIP movement
The General Court of the European Union passed a ruling in support of public initiatives critical of EU legislation. The court said that movements like "Stop TTIP" could contribute to public debates on pressing issues.
Why are my highly educated friends so ignorant about trade?
Local Futures’ Isabel Marlens discusses why many people know so little about trade issues, and what can be done about it.
Free trade agreements not the great deal we’ve been sold
Australian governments of late seem only to listen to the din of money as though that equates with national interest.