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ISDS to ICS, by European Parliamentary Research Service

From ISDS to ICS, Analysis by the European Parliamentary Research Service

This research paper, ‘From arbitration to the investment court system (ICS): The evolution of CETA rules’, is available here: 

Before reading, it’s instructive to remember:

1. That the European Ombudsman has recognized that when the European Commission carried out a citizens consultation about investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), it only gave respondents the option to choose between supporting the old unreformed ISDS, or supporting the new proposal for a ‘reformed’ ISDS called the Multilateral Investment Court (MIC). The Commission’s MIC envisages one investment court for the whole world designed to replace the ISDS mechanisms in all other international trade deals. The Ombudsman ruled that there was “no maladministration”. See the full report here:

2. “Almost all of the 150,000 people who responded to the Commission’s consultation process on ISDS […] said that they did not agree that corporations should have the right to take action for compensation against sovereign governments in special courts”: 

3. That the “European Commission Rejects Citizens’ Initiative On CETA”:

The European Parliamentary Research Service’s analysis of the transformation of ISDS into ICS starts with the introduction: 

“After a public consultation on investment protection and investor-to-state dispute settlement in the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States, the European Parliament requested the replacement of the traditional arbitration framework with a new court system. The European Commission and Canada subsequently renegotiated the relevant provisions of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to institute a new investment court system (ICS). This in-depth analysis looks at the recent evolution of investment protection in the EU’s trade agreements from the classic arbitration framework to the ICS.”