Investor-state dispute settlement must go to protect our environment | ClientEarth


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This year, the shape and fate of investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms (ISDS and ICS) are at stake.

Following widespread criticism by civil society, governments and academics in recent years, reforms of the controversial arbitration mechanism are underway at international level at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Real systemic reform is needed at international level. And a disappointing European Court ruling that found investment court system (ICS) in the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement (CETA) legally compatible with EU law should not distract us from this objective.

This is the chance for decision makers to sit up and make the only credible decision: get rid of ISDS and ICS mechanisms, once and for all.

Why? Because it is an anachronistic, asymmetric system that favours businesses over the general public interest. It represents a major threat to the rule of law and the protection of our environment. At a time where public authorities must act fast to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, obstacles to political or regulatory action must be lifted.

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