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.

FT | 12-Jul-2006
The Kremlin will face yet another legal headache on Tuesday over its role in the break-up of Yukos after US attorneys began an arbitration proceeding in Spain on behalf of Spanish investors who were allegedly hurt by the Yukos affair.
Mondaq | 15-Jun-2006
It may be advantageous for foreign investors to pursue a claim under a Political Risk insurance policy and allow the insurers to recover subsequently under any applicable investment treaty by way of subrogation.
IPS | 26-May-2006
Showing the door to Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) and scuttling US free trade negotiations have long been agenda priorities for Ecuadorian social movements and political sectors. But following government steps that have all but made these goals a reality, the atmosphere seems more anxious than celebratory.
MarketWatch | 24-May-2006
Ecuador will oppose an arbitration suit filed last week by Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY) with the World Bank’s International Center for Investment Disputes in Washington, DC, said Ecuadorean Attorney General Jose Maria Borja.
ANTARA | 18-May-2006
The US-based Occidental Petroleum Company has filed an arbitration claim against Quito for canceling its exploration rights, a move that resulted in a suspension of free trade talks with Washington.
| 18-May-2006
US-based Occidental Petroleum has responded swiftly to a move by the Ecuadorian Government to kick the company out of Ecuador. The firm filed a request for arbitration with the Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) yesterday. The company’s claim is expected to be for at least $1 Billion (US) in damages.
Manila Bulletin | 18-May-2006
The Philippines and Japan are moving towards adopting arbitration procedures in settling disputes to avoid lengthy and expensive court battles in protecting investments from both sides as they finalize their proposed bilateral free trade pact.
BBC | 21-Jan-2006
Students and police have clashed again in Ecuador, as protests against a possible rise in bus fares entered a second week. The students also want the government to cancel its contract with the Occidental Petroleum Corporation and for it to refuse to join the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.
San Francisco Chronicle | 19-Jan-2006
San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp. has dropped a $25 million dispute against the Bolivian government for canceling a water contract, after major street demonstrations forced a Bechtel-owned subsidiary to withdraw from Bolivia’s third-largest city.
| 5-Jan-2006
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) yesterday asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision allowing the government to take over Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) only after payment of an initial P3.002 billion to the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (PIATCO) representing the proffered value of the facilities.

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