Utility corporations have used investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions found in trade and investment agreements to challenge state attempts to regulate privatized public services such as water, social security or other services.

In response to several governments which have tried to lower public services rates for poorer populations or in face of a significant economic crisis, foreign companies have initiated ISDS disputes, claiming they were treated “unfairly”, due to their loss of profits.

Potentially, any significant reforms of standards in relation to major infrastructure or utilities and associated services could be the target of ISDS.

As of end of June 2015, 6% of all ICSID disputes concerned water services issues.

Most well-known disputes include:

• Azurix (US) v. Argentina: US$165 million awarded in 2006 to the investor, a water company. The dispute arose from the contamination of a reservoir, which made the water undrinkable in the area. The firm claimed the government had expropriated its investment and denied the firm “fair and equitable treatment” by not allowing rate increases and not investing sufficient public funds in the water infrastructure (Argentina-US BIT invoked).

• Tampa Electric Company “TECO” (US) vs. Guatemala: the US-based energy company challenged Guatemala’s decision to lower the electricity rates that a private utility could charge. TECO was awarded US$25 million in 2013 (CAFTA invoked).

• TCW (US) vs. Dominican Republic: the US investment management corporation that jointly owned with the government one of the Dominican Republic’s three electricity distribution firms, sued the government for failing to raise electricity rates and to prevent electricity theft by poor residents. Case settled in 2009 for US$26.5 million paid to the investor (CAFTA invoked).

(November 2015)

TNI | 23-Jun-2017
A democratic decision to regulate a privatised essential service or to return it to public control could potentially trigger international investment arbitration if a country is bound by an international investment treaty.
CIAR Global | 10-May-2017
El pasado 5 de mayo, el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones, Ciadi, rechazó la solicitud de anulación del laudo del arbitraje Suez, Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona S.A. y Vivendi Universal S.A. contra la República Argentina.
La Nación | 9-May-2017
Es un reclamo iniciado por la empresa francesa Suez luego de la estatización del servicio de agua y saneamiento, en 2006.
Global Justice Now | 24-Apr-2017
A new briefing has outlined the likely elements of a UK-US trade deal and argues that it would contain more extreme forms of all the controversial elements of the deal that was being negotiated between the EU and the USA.
AITEC | 18-Apr-2017
L’objectif de ces nouvelles négociations est d’amener l’instrument commercial liant l’UE et le Mexique au niveau des accords commerciaux comme le CETA, référence désormais brandie par la Commission européenne pour l’ensemble de ses négociations futures.
La Nación | 31-Mar-2017
Se trata de la demanda de Suez ante el Ciadi y del contrato de 1978 para construir un gasoducto.
Lexology | 7-Mar-2017
District court denies request to vacate award, finding that arbitrator was not partial and that tribunal did not exceed its authority in awarding damages for lost profits.
Nueva Tribuna | 13-Feb-2017
El Parlamento Europeo podría estar en vías de ratificar un acuerdo que es ilegal, además de faltar a su deber de asegurar que los tratados europeos respetan los principios fundamentales y leyes de la UE.
Télam | 19-Jan-2017
La demanda era por supuestos incumplimientos en la concesión del servicio de agua potable y saneamiento en la provincia de Buenos Aires.
El País | 12-Jan-2017
Empresas y gobiernos protagonizan conflictos entre los intereses económicos y los derechos humanos.

0 | ... | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 60 | 70 | 80 | 90 | ... | 110