ISDS

ISDS, the notorious Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism, is also known as Corporate Courts. It means that corporations can sue governments for policies that they deem will effect future profits. It is the means by which Veolia, the French waste disposal corporation, is suing the Egyptian government for raising the minimum wage, and by which Phillip Morris, the US tobacco giant, is suing the Australian government for introducing plain packaging on cigarettes in order to dissuade its citizens from smoking.

It is part of many mega-trade deals such as TTIP, CETA and TPP.

Eyes wide shut on ISDS - implications of the Bilcon vs Canada case


30 April 2015

Recent agreement among congressional leaders on a “fast-track” bill may have been a victory for the Obama administration’s trade agenda.

So TTIP won’t stop public services being run in the interests of ordinary people? Tell that to Argentina


16 April 2015

Another week, another victory for big business over a government in a secret pseudo-court. This time it’s the turn of private water giant Suez, who successfully sued Argentina for reversing the privatisation of Buenos Aires's water supply.

If you want to know why TTIP would be a nightmare, look what just happened in Canada


25 March 2015

If anyone tries to convince you that TTIP is no threat to a government’s ability to protect its people, just point them to Canada.

Will Labour MEPs back up their words on TTIP with action?


05 March 2015

Labour Party MEPs are claiming victory over pulling the Socialist and Democrats group in the European Parliament to a “very strong position paper on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), opposing the inclusion of the controversial mechanism in trade deals with both the US (TTIP) and Canada (CETA).” We should, however, be wary about rushing to congratulate them on a fantastic victory.

The extent of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’s (TTIP) unpopularity across Europe was exposed today as the European Commission published the results of its largest public consultation in history.

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The hustles in Brussels – MEPs vote to block legal scrutiny of toxic trade deal


23 November 2016

One of the most controversial aspects of the toxic trade deals being pushed by the EU is the system of corporate courts.

Big Tobacco lost to Australia over plain packaging - but that doesn't mean that corporate courts 'work'

Late last year tobacco company Philip Morris International’s (PMI) attempted to sue the Australian government for billions over the introduction of plain packing of cigarettes. This court case happened in a secretive court system, just like the one that they are trying to introduce in the EU-USA trade deal, TTIP.

If we support fairtrade, then we must oppose unfair trade deals like CETA and TTIP


02 March 2016

Supporting fairtade is surely a no brainer - and I've yet to meet a politician who doesn't think it's a good thing.  But ignoring (or worse still supporting) mega trade deals TTIP and CETA could threaten decades of good work to ensure that fairtrade supports small-scale producers. 

Five reasons why the TTIP talks are looking a bit wobbly


22 February 2016

The twelfth round of negotiations for TTIP, the biggest trade deal of them all, starts today in Brussels. The impacts of TTIP are disturbing and well documented elsewhere on this site, but we are seeing signs of panic setting in on the pro-TTIP side of the fence. They’re right to panic.

If you’re worried about our sovereignty, read the German judges’ damning indictment of TTIP


03 February 2016

A group of German judges have just dealt a serious blow to the European Commission’s desperate TTIP ‘compromise’.

‘Corporate courts’ have taken from the poor and handed to the rich – TTIP will turbo-charge this redistribution


19 January 2016

Huge corporations and the seriously wealthy will be the big winners from the controversial US-EU trade deal known as TTIP.

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How TTIP threatens people and planet

February 2016

Negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and USA began in July 2013. If agreed, it would be the world’s biggest trade and investment deal outside of those negotiated within the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

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Taxes on trial - how trade deals threaten tax justice

February 2016

Demands for tax justice have resounded worldwide, with inequality at historic and unsustainable levels and increased attention towards the tax practices of  major multinational corporations from Google to Starbucks. We believe that governments must be able to change their tax systems to ensure multinationals pay their fair share and to ensure that critical public services are well funded. States must also be able to reconsider and withdraw tax breaks previously granted to multinationals if they no longer fit with national priorities.

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Fighting TTIP, CETA and ISDS: Lessons from Canada

October 2015

Maude Barlow, Canadian activist and author, has written this paper as a warning to Europeans who care about the health of their people, the resilience of their communities, the fate of their public services, and the protection of their natural resources.

Latest news

As the UK trade minister Greg Hands visits the United States for trade talks (1), an alliance of civil society groups this morning delivered nearly 70,000 signatures to the Department for International Trade calling on the UK government to commit to keeping controversial ‘corporate courts’ out of post-Brexit trade deals.

Campaign groups Global Justice Now and War on Want have called for Boris Johnson’s government to rule out so-called ‘corporate courts’ after Brexit, following a report today by parliament’s International Trade Committee describing the investment provisions as “hugely controversial”.

European parliamentary leaders are attempting to block a move for the controversial new corporate courts system in the EU Canada trade deal (CETA) to be scrutinized by the European Court of Justice.