Report shows rapid increase in ISDS cases in 2018

May 29. 2019: The latest report by the United Nations Committee on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which monitors known cases of global corporations suing governments, shows the number of ISDS cases reached 942 with 71 new cases by the end of 2018. This continues the rapid growth in cases over recent years and it is predicted that the total number of cases could reach 1000 in 2019.

ISDS enables global corporations to bypass national courts and sue governments for compensation if they can claim that a change in law or policy has harmed their investment. Reported amounts claimed in 2018 range from $3 million to $15 billion.

The report notes that some cases can be kept fully confidential. This means the actual number of disputes filed in 2018 and previous years is likely to be higher than reported. As in previous years, there are cases against environmental regulation of mining and indigenous land rights and against regulation to reduce carbon emissions.

Of the total number of cases decided on the merits by tribunals since 1987, 60 per cent were decided in favour of the investor and the remainder in favour of the State.

See AFTINET’s latest briefing paper on the dangers of ISDS here