Setting the Record Straight: Debunking Ten Common Defenses of Controversial Investor-State Corporate Privileges

Public Citizen

In order to counter the increased critiques of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has declared that many of the claims are “myths” but these counter-claims rely on false and misleading information. This document describes 10 common defenses used by the USTR, and explains the reality for each of these arguments.

Case Studies: Investor-State Attacks on Public Interest Policies

Public Citizen

The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system shifts the power between the government and corporations, prioritizing corporate rights. Foreign corporations have used ISDS to attack various policies, in cases ranging from tobacco to mining. This report discusses a selection of the many investor-state attacks on public policies that have occurred globally.

Best Practices Indirect Expropriation

By Suzy H. Nikiema, March 2012

This paper investigates indirect expropriation in international investment law. Indirect expropriation is when the State acts in a way that is detrimental to foreign private investment, even when it is not directly targeted at an investment. The definition of indirect expropriation is extremely important for international investment law, and it is crucial to have clear conditions in which the State may be considered as amounting to indirect appropriation. However, existing treaties do not provide an explicit definition of the concept, which requires investment tribunals to formulate their own criteria. This paper explains the concept of indirect expropriation, assesses the risks that an ambiguous definition of indirect expropriation poses to the host State of investment, and provides recommendations on the topic.

CAFTA Investor Rights Undermining Democracy and the Environment: Commerce Group Case

Public Citizen Global Trade Watch

The Commerce Group Corporation attacked El Salvador’s environmental policies under the CAFTA when the company’s environmental permits for gold mining in Northeastern El Salvador were revoked. In 2010, the company pushed a claim of compensation from the country. In El Salvador, political leaders, civic groups and local communities have increased concerns about mining issues.

Bringing Community perspectives to investor-state arbitration: the Pac Rim case

Orellana et al., 2015

There is an ongoing democratic debate in El Salvador in relation to metals mining and sustainable development. This is a description of the Pacific Rim case and the role of anti-mining organization, La Mesa, a coalition of community organizations, research institutions, and non-profit organizations advocating against metals mining in El Salvador in this investment dispute.

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