The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement includes proposals for special rights for foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals over changes in domestic law or policy, if they can claim “harm” to their investment. This is known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
ISDS tribunals have no independent judiciary and no system of precedents or appeals, structural flaws criticised by many legal experts including Australia’s High Court Chief Justice French. The President of the World Health Organisation says tobacco companies are using ISDS cases to discourage tobacco regulation.
This two-minute video explains how the Philip Morris tobacco company has been suing the Australian government since 2011 for damages over Australia’s tobacco plain packaging law.