POSTS BY Steffen Hindelang

Investor-state dispute settlement – Pulling the chain tighter

Since the 1970s, almost any bilateral and regional investment treaty has provided for investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”). Based on these agreements, foreign investors can commence international arbitration against their host states, claiming administrative, regulatory, or judicial measures are in violation of substantive investment protection standards.

At a global level rising numbers of investor-state disputes and newly signed investment agreements suggest the continuous importance and attractiveness of this dispute settlement mechanism. Yet, we also see contestations. A few countries did not renew or even terminated existing investment instruments. Others have withdrawn from the ICSID-Convention.

What does this mean for the European Union? Simply carrying on appears no sustainable option anymore. Since the 1970s, almost any bilateral and regional investment treaty has provided for investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”). Based on these agreements, foreign investors can commence international arbitration against their host states, claiming administrative, regulatory, or judicial measures are in violation of substantive investment protection standards.

At a global level rising numbers of investor-state disputes and newly signed investment agreements suggest the continuous importance and attractiveness of this dispute settlement mechanism. Yet, we also see contestations. A few countries did not renew or even terminated existing investment instruments. Others have withdrawn from the ICSID-Convention.

What does this mean for the European Union? Simply carrying on appears no sustainable option anymore.

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