Defragmenting Investment disputes


Never was there a time whereby investment dispute settlement came to the forefront of every possible communication outlet, from academia and mainstream news to civil societies and an outright protest of the public. TTIP and CETA brought ISDS to a broad daylight scrutiny in many parts of Europe getting the attention of law and policy makers at EU and national level. The criticisms and anxiety over ISDS relates to divergent interpretation of similar or identical International Investment Agreements (IIAs) provisions that lead to inconsistency and unpredictability of decisions, lack of transparency in investment disputes, lack of independence and impartiality of arbitrators, the elite group of arbitrators, costs, diversions of public money from public goods and services, ‘chilling effect’ on state regulatory powers and bypassing national judicial systems. 

With a view to establish and tackle the problem with a meaningful solution to the legitimate concerns and anxieties, the EU, with its competence to conclude the Investment Agreements, attempted to create two mechanisms. The inclusion of Investment Court System (ICS) in newly concluded IIAs and the creation of a multilateral investment court. 

This article will assess the three systems together, i.e. the ISDS, ICS, and the multilateral investment court, in terms the pros and cons and attempt to envisage the policy shortcomings or benefits under any of the systems.