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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.


UAH 460 mln AMCU fine is unreasonable, said the Director of Imperial Tobacco in Ukraine
Imperial Tobacco is working on available legal instruments of protection, including an international investment arbitration tribunal, to contest a fine imposed by Ukraine for anticompetitive concerted actions.
JCDecaux: €40m JCDecaux arbitration against the Czech Republic
JCDecaux SA, an outdoor advertising, invited the Czech Republic to engage in discussions, as the first step in arbitration proceedings.
Carlyle vs. Morocco: Here are the Kingdom’s arguments to ICSID
For the Kingdom, Carlyle did not justify the existence of investments in Morocco. The American group invokes the Morocco-United States free trade agreement while the contracts with Samir concern entities based in the Cayman Islands.
Mauritius: Arbitration proceedings between Thomas Gosling and others - All claims dismissed
The case concerns a dispute submitted to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on the basis of the UK-Mauritius BIT.
Naftogaz seeks nearly $8 bln for assets expropriated by Russia in Crimea
Ukraine’s joint stock oil and gas company Naftogaz said the group seeks nearly $8 billion of compensation for its assets expropriated by Russia in Crimea.
Arbitration case law update: Supreme Court lifts stay on enforcement of ICSID award: the Micula saga continues
This is far from the end of the Micula story. Enforcement proceedings continue in the United States, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden, and there are questions before the CJEU.
Exclusive: Chinese consortium Ecuagoldmining opens dispute with Ecuador over halted mine
Chinese mining consortium Ecuagoldmining has initiated a dispute with Ecuador’s government over a gold mining project that has been halted by objections from community activists.
Provisional application of the Energy Charter Treaty: Article 45(1) “Limitation Clause”
When it issued three interim awards for Yukos, the arbitral tribunal noted that the principle of provisional application of treaties was recognized under Russian law.
New arbitration between Renco Group and Peru at the PCA
The arbitration between the US mining company Renco Group and Peru in relation to the metallurgical deposit in La Oroya was reopened, at the request of the mining company.
UNCITRAL and ISDS reform: Plausible folk theories
As observers of the UNCITRAL process, we watch the debates with great interest, writing about the emergence of different camps, giving perspectives on how the process fits within broader geopolitical developments, and offering potential models for moving forward.
Court reinstates order for Russia to pay $50 bln over Yukos
A Dutch appeals court reinstated an international arbitration panel’s order that it should pay $50 billion compensation to shareholders in former oil company Yukos.
ExxonMobil, Canada enter landmark settlement in NAFTA arbitration
As a long-running dispute between Exxon Mobil Corp. and the government of Canada reached a multimillion-dollar settlement, lawyers for ExxonMobil announced.
Tanzania reviews law on mediation for investors
One of Tanzania’s concessions to Barrick in the new deal is the right to seek international arbitration in case of disputes.
Vodafone, Cairn eligible for settling disputes under tax amnesty scheme
Vodafone’s dispute relates to its $11 billion acquisition of a 67% stake in the mobile-phone business owned by Hutchison Whampoa. Cairn Energy is contesting a big tax bill that Indian government raised for a 2006 transaction.
Odebrecht takes Peru to arbitration over failed gas pipeline investment
Brazil construction company Odebrecht SA has taken Peru to arbitration over a failed $2 billion investment in a gas pipeline.
Uber ready to take dispute with Colombia to international arbitration: regional manager
The ride-hailing firm said its initial calculations suggest damages from suspending its service in Colombia will exceed $250 million.
ICSID approves Pakistan’s review plea against $6bn Reko Diq fine
The World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes has approved Pakistan’s petition for a review in the Reko Diq case in which the country was slapped with a $6 billion fine.
Rental power: Government submits dispute settlement documents to ICSID
Pakistan’s team exchanged its draft agreement with Turkish team’s draft and prepared a consensus document which will again be shared with the federal cabinet for approval before presenting it to the ICSID.
Letter from Africa CSOs and trade unions to African delegates at the UNCITRAL round
We civil society organizations and trade unions from the African continent express our concerns about the proposal presented by the European Union to establish a multilateral investment court and support further reaching reforms of ISDS.
Pakistan waives off over $1.26mn duty on Turkish company Karkey
Pakistan approved waiving off all port dues/charges amounting to Rs194,951,059 on 31-1-2020 or till the vessels leave the port accruing against Karkey.