Does the EU’s “Investment Court System” put an end to ISDS?
The European Commission recently released a proposal to reform the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, one of the most controversial aspects of the ongoing EU-US trade talks (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP).
According to the European Commission, the proposed “Investment Court System” will address the system’s current loopholes. In particular, it insists that the system will be based on principles of fairness and impartiality, with independent judges to rule on the cases, and provisions to guarantee right of governments to regulate in the public interest.
The event provided the opportunity for a critical discussion of the European Commission proposal, as well as its implications for the ongoing TTIP talks, the almost finalised EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and other ongoing investment negotiations with Southern countries. Questions discussed included: Does the European proposal put an end to privileges for foreign investors? Is the right to regulate preserved under the new proposal? Are attacks on public health or environmental regulations still possible?
Organised by Seattle to Brussels Network and its members Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe, PowerShift and Transnational Institute
Co-hosted by MEPs Marie Arena (S&D), Pascal Arimont (EPP), Ska Keller (Greens/EFA), Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL) and Tiziana Beghin (EFD)
Professor Gus Van Harten, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada and Rupert Schlegelmilch, European Commission, Directorate General for Trade
Moderated by Claire Provost
You can download Prof. Van Harten's working paper highlighting the key flaws in the European Commission’s proposals for foreign investor protection in TTIP: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2692122