18 May 2018: A new book by Canadian writer Joyce Nelson, Bypassing Dystopia: Hope-filled Challenges to Corporate Rule, gives insight into the Canadian government’s dogged support of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). It has been reviewed by journalist Damien Gillis here.
ISDS allows foreign investors to sue our Government
Investor-State Dispute Settlement
May 8, 2018: According to an Inside US Trade report dated May 3, Investor-State Dispute Settlement is still a key issue at the current session of North American Free Trade Agreement talks between the US, Mexico and Canada. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer appears determined to opt out of ISDS provisions, while big business groups are frantically lobbying to retain them.
April 23, 2018: ANU academic Dr Kyla Tienhaara has published research in the Journal Transnational Environmental Law showing that mining and energy industries are the most frequent users of Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanisms heard by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investor Disputes (ICSID), one of the two main tribunal systems that hear ISDS disputes. This poses a threat to effective measures to rapidly reduce carbon emissions.
April 3, 2018: The European Court of Justice ruled in March that Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) between two EU member states, which allows corporations to sue governments for damages over changes in domestic law, has an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU law, and is therefore incompatible with EU law.
March 19, 2018: Jim Stanford from the Australia Institute writes in The Guardian that Trump’s unilateral and xenophobic approach to trade policy is dangerous and could lead to trade conflict. He argues we need an alternative to both Trump’s unilateralism and to corporate-dominated trade deals like the TPP.
March 5, 2018: The inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the rebranded ‘Comprehensive Progressive’ Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), set for signing on March 8 in Chile, puts Australia’s democracy and sovereignty at risk.
Media release, 24 January 2018: “The rebranded TPP 11 outcome announced today appears to be a mess of separate deals cobbled together to meet issues raised by Canada and others, which Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has described as “18 free trade agreements” for Australia.
22 January 2018: A report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) last week has revealed that Canada has paid out nearly $220 million in losses under the NAFTA investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS), and $95 million in legal fees defending against ISDS claims.
January 19, 2018: A new report by Greenpeace, Justice for People and Planet, uses 20 case studies of global corporations to explain how corporate power is being used to violate human rights and environmental rights. The report argues that governments should adopt 10 Principles for Corporate Accountability to curb ‘corporate capture, collusion and impunity’.
January 9, 2018: A working group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) recently held talks to discuss current concerns about the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) scheme, and possible reforms. UNICTRAL is one of the two bodies which provides panels of investment law arbitrators for ISDS disputes.