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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.


Zimbabwe offers land as compensation for 800 seized farms
The dispossessed farmers covered in the land compensation scheme are citizens of countries that have bilateral investment agreements with Zimbabwe.
Romania wins €2.36bn lawsuit against spirits producer
Romania has won the second lawsuit filed against it by brothers Ioan and Viorel Micula, who accused Romania of allowing the development of a black market for the sale of alcohol.
’Corporate courts’ and post-Brexit trade deals
An alliance of civil society groups has delivered nearly 70,000 signatures calling on the UK government to commit to keeping controversial ‘corporate courts’ out of post-Brexit trade deals.
Regional MPs call for greater transparency of RCEP negotiations
As ministers of the member countries of the RCEP meet for final negotiations over the trade agreement this week, regional lawmakers today expressed concern about the lack of parliamentary and public oversight of the deal, as well as its potential human rights impacts.
Cerro Verde to open ICSID case against Peru
Cerro Verde, a partnership between Freeport McMoran and Buenaventura, is to bring a case against Peru related to a taxation dispute at the ICSID under a US-Peru trade agreement.
US-UK trade deal: Four things you might have missed, from food standards to climate commitments
The government has not ruled out imports of US agricultural products made to lower standards than in the UK.
Nepal’s bilateral investment treaties
Nepal has signed six bilateral investment treaties that can be described as first generation i.e. a template of BITs that were championed by inves­tor-friendly Western European countries
Naturgy leaves Egypt, ending its alliance with ENI in Unión Fenosa after almost 8 years of disputes
Naturgy has agreed with Eni and Egypt to end their dispute over Unión Fenosa (UFG), in which the Spanish and Italian firms own 50% each.
Appeal in ISDS: Appealing for the host state?
The basis of a claim in ISDS is always the applicable international investment agreement. There would always be differences and inconsistencies with an appellate mechanism.
Efforts under way to get Reko Diq case penalty cancelled: AG Khalid Jawed Khan
Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan has said that Pakistan’s foremost effort in the Reko Diq mining case is to secure annulment of the $5.9 billion penalty.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.