A number of multilateral institutions rule on investor-state disputes, such as the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands or the London Court of International Arbitration, but one of the most important is the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Founded in 1965 as part of the World Bank, ICSID has 163 members, all of whom have agreed to recognize the legitimacy of their arbitration system. The aim of this InBrief series is to provide a summary of the chapters of the ten free trade agreements recently concluded by the European Union with developing countries, as well as, if necessary, other relevant trade agreements. Each letter provides a detailed and schematic overview of a number of trade and trade provisions of these agreements. This congressional Research Service report describes the history and process [PDF] of international investment agreements. These bodies deal with two types of disputes overall: the state, where governments question the trade policies of other governments, and the investor state, where individual investors file complaints against governments. Meanwhile, the public controversy over ISDS has led governments around the world to experiment with alternative approaches to investor protection [PDF]. One option is to withdraw ISDS entirely from certain agreements, as countries such as Australia have done, which has led companies to meet the challenges of the national legal system and then, if this has not been successful, to allow the resolution of government disputes. The USMCA proposes a leaner model: jurisdiction will be limited to smaller cases, investors will first have to exhaust all local courts, and all trials and documents will be public. Szepesi, 2004.
Comparison of EU free trade agreements: dispute settlement . (Letter 6G). Maastricht: ECDPM The rules for resolving disputes between partners are among the elements that determine the overall credibility of any international agreement as an instrument that can be applied effectively. In trade agreements, an effective dispute resolution mechanism can help demonstrate that the parties are committed to removing trade barriers and will not adopt unilateral measures contrary to the agreement. If the parties to an agreement are unequal partners in political or economic power, a good dispute resolution mechanism can prevent disputes from being resolved on political or economic lines. An effective and recognized dispute resolution mechanism can also help clarify the interpretation and scope of certain conditions of an agreement, leading to more coherent implementation, as shown by the development of the multilateral trading system. Duplication of obligations between two jurisdictions occurs when the same parties participate in two separate regimes and the two regimes simultaneously resolve the issue at issue. There may be overlap between WTO agreements and a free trade agreement or between different free trade agreements. A dispute arises when a member government believes that another member government is violating a WTO agreement.
The complaining member must submit a “request for consultation” defining the agreements he considers to be in the state. A dispute can and will often be placed under more than one agreement. The list below outlines the agreements mentioned in the consultation request.