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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.


Govt told not to collect CGT from Ncell
A US-based international court issues interim order directing the Nepal government not to impose capital gains tax on Ncell buyout deal for the time being.
Lupaka files notice of intent to submit a claim to arbitration under Canada-Peru FTA
The dispute is related to the Invicta gold mine project and the blockade erected by the community of Parán in October 2018 wherein it prevented any access to the mining site.
People power in Romania stopped a mining project. now the corporation is suing for billions of dollars
Romanian and US environmental justice activists demonstrated in Washington, DC, outside a World Bank tribunal hearing on a case brought by Canadian-based Gabriel Resources.
Beyond repair? The Energy Charter Treaty
An obscure investment agreement, the Energy Charter Treaty, threatens to undermine bold climate action to transform Europe’s energy system.
Romania agrees to pay large compensations to Romanian-Swedish investors
The Government took this decision to unlock the accounts of Romania’s air control company Romatsa, frozen by the Miculas.
Sweden sued for $1.8 billion due to environmental regulation
For the first time, Sweden has recieved a notice of arbitration for banning the exploration and mining of uranium.
US banned climate from UK trade talks
The US has banned any mention of climate change in US-UK trade talks.
Korean company starts arbitration against India
South Korean state owned power utility Kowepo has begun international arbitration proceedings against India in Singapore for not honouring a fuel supply commitment to its Maharashtra power plant.
EU governments under pressure to quit Energy Charter Treaty
Climate campaigners are demanding that European Union countries pull out of the treaty unless they can negotiate an end to the pact’s investor-state dispute mechanism.
Open letter on the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT)
We – 278 environmental, climate, consumer, development, and trade related civil society groups, as well as trade unions – believe that the ECT is incompatible with the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Civil society seeks reforms to stem trade suits losses
Civil society groups are now calling on governments to reform their investor state dispute settlement because “it is being unfairly used by investors to sue states for millions of dollars.”
Experts caution Uganda on investment treaties
Most Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) are not just used by investors to inform their investment decisions, but are increasingly becoming tools used to sue States in a foreign or international court.
How World Bank arbitrators mugged Pakistan
Thanks to the World Bank’s flawed and corrupt investment arbitration process, the rich are making a fortune at the expense of poor countries.
Spain offers green energy investors incentives to drop lawsuits
The government will offer subsidies which will allow investors that abandon litigation to maintain their current profitability rate of 7.39% until 2031.
Amulsar uncertainty continues: A local activist and diaspora armenians share their concerns
Roads to the Amulsar gold mine have been closed for a year and a half by residents of neighboring communities opposed to the mine operated by Lydian who is considering international arbitration.
Aura Energy files claim against Sweden to recover losses following uranian mining ban
Aura Energy lodged a claim against Sweden to recover the losses incurred from the Haggan uranium project following the country’s decision to ban uranian mining.
CTU concerned with "upgrade" of China Free Trade Agreement
The CTU is concerned that the "upgrade" of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement has not removed the threat of investor suits against the New Zealand government.
Pakistan escapes $1.2 billion penalty as Turkey helps resolve Karkey dispute
The Karkey dispute between the government and a Turkish ship-based energy firm has finally been resolved due to efforts of Turkish government, Prime Minister Imran Khan said.
Stop the unfair investor-state dispute settlement against Africa
Civil society and trade union statement to oppose the recent World Bank Court ruling against Tanzania.
It’s time to scrap the Energy Charter Treaty
The EU taxpayer is the main loser from the continuation of the Energy Charter Treaty which locks Europe into carbon and energy injustice at a high cost to taxpayers.