The European Commission’s flawed Multilateral Investment Court System

October 16, 2017: Friends of the Earth Europe trade campaigner Fabian Flues has written a persuasive article about The European Commission’s plans for a Multilateral Investment Court system.

As an alternative to the widely criticised ad-hoc investor-state dispute settlement (or ISDS) tribunals, the European Commission is proposing a permanent Multilateral Investment Court, through which foreign investors could sue governments over trade and investment agreements. However as Flues notes, this new model, while attempting to address procedural flaws, actually entrenches a fundamentally unjust system that privileges investors over everyone else:

‘It gives those special rights to corporations without requiring them to respect national law, human rights or refrain from polluting the environment. No one else is able to submit a claim to this institution, not even domestic investors.’

Instead of establishing a permanent ‘global VIP court for corporations’ and preserving the worst features of the ISDS system, the European Commission should dismantle the harmful global investment arbitration system.