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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.


Barrick to appeal lost challenge over PNG mining rights
Barrick Gold Corp has lost a court challenge in Papua New Guinea over rights to a highlands gold mine and intends to appeal to the country’s Supreme Court.
Knezevic warns Darmanovic he will sue the state before the international court of arbitration
Knežević and the Atlas Group’s affected companies have the right to initiate arbitration proceedings against Montenegro, according to the arbitration rules of UNCITRAL, ICC or ICSID.
Barrick to fight PNG’s attempt to grant Porgera lease to state-backed miner
Canada’s Barrick Gold said it would challenge the Papua New Guinea government alleged move to grant a 20-year lease for the Porgera gold mine to a state-backed firm.
Investor-state disputes arising from COVID-19: balancing public health and corporate wealth
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments globally are engaging in a difficult balancing act of protecting public health, mitigating economic damage and avoiding interference with private rights.
Bridgestone V. Panama
The US subsidiaries of Bridgestone Corporation lost a $20 million plus arbitration claim against the Republic of Panama filed by under the US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.
Mining injustice through international arbitration
El Tambor is a controversial gold mining project in Guatemala. After years of local protests and litigation, it was halted in 2016 for lack of prior consultation with Indigenous people.
Juggling crisis
Latin America’s battle with COVID-19 hampered by investment arbitration cases.
BITs and bonds: The international law and economics of sovereign debt
Recent jurisdictional decisions suggest that sovereign debt will be subject to bilateral investment treaties for the foreseeable future.
ISDS enables making more money from losses
Predatory international law firms are encouraging multimillion-dollar investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) lawsuits citing Covid-19 containment, relief and recovery measures.
Global firms expected to sue UK for coronavirus losses
Governments around the world – including the UK – face a wave of lawsuits from foreign companies who complain that their profits have been hit by the pandemic.
Investment disputes from below: whose rights matter?
Mining, environment and livelihoods in Colombia.
Treaty claims against the Republic of Slovenia by Ascent Resources Plc and Ascent Slovenia Ltd
Ascent Resources Plc and its subsidiary Ascent Slovenia Ltd have formally notified Slovenia of the existence of disputes under the UK - Slovenia bilateral investment treaty and the Energy Charter Treaty.
The Covid-19 pandemic and liability under investment treaties
COVID-19 can increase liability for countries under international investment treaties. Developing countries face imminent challenges under such treaties.
Nigeria begins reforms of international investment agreements
Nigeria is undertaking series of reforms of the country’s bilateral investment treaties to attract responsible, inclusive, balanced and sustainable investments.
USD4.65 million litigation funding secured
Funding will support legal costs associated with the claim against Tanzania regarding the the expropriation of the Ntaka Hill Nickel Project.
Why is Malaysia still committed to the CPTPP fraud?
It is now abundantly clear that the CPTPP has not only proved irrelevant in the face trade protectionism but would actually strengthen IPRs, raising the costs of Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.
US glass maker seeks to seize Venezuela-owned oil tanker to collect award, court papers show
US glass manufacturer O-I Glass Inc is seeking to seize an oil tanker owned by Venezuela to collect part of a $500 million arbitration award it won.
Canadian miner’s multi-million dollar suit against Kazakhstan dismissed
An international tribunal has dismissed a nearly $1 billion claim against Kazakhstan brought by a Canadian junior miner over a botched deal to operate gold mines in the country.
Zimbabwe to pay white farmers $3.5 billion over Mugabe land reforms
Some of the dispossessed farmers were from countries such as Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland whose properties were protected by investment treaties between Harare and the Western countries.
Lupaka secures financing for its arbitration claim under the Canada-Peru free trade agreement
Lupaka Gold Corp. reports that it has entered into an arbitration funding agreement for up to USD$4.1 million to support the company’s arbitration claim against Peru.