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Experts and politicians discuss ISDS

The International Law Association Swedish Branch (ILA) recently organized a panel discussion about the dispute resolution mechanism ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement).

The invited speakers were Anne Ramberg, Secretary General of the Swedish Bar Association, Carl Schlyter, former member of the European Parliament and member of the Green Party in Sweden, Christofer Fjellner, member of the European Parliament and member of the Moderate Party, and Annette Magnusson, SCC Secretary General.

Ove Bring (professor emeritus in international law) moderated the discussion.

The topic of the debate was whether ISDS represents a threat to democracy or an opportunity in environmental protection and sustainable development.

Anne Ramberg and Annette Magnusson addressed the criticism that ISDS circumvents national courts.

 “Investment arbitration or ISDS is not a new phenomenon but is an established dispute resolution method enabling predictability and legal certainty” said Ms Ramberg.

Annette Magnusson also noted that it’s important to separate the ISDS mechanism from the substantive part of an investment agreement:

“ISDS does not define policy – ISDS merely enforces the law and policy as decided upon between the parties”.

Mr Schlyter argued that ISDS is a system favoring investors and multinational corporations.

Mr Fjellner noted that there is no overrepresentation of investors winning in ISDS disputes, investors prevailed in a minority of the known ISDS cases.

Annette Magnusson pointed out that ISDS could provide an efficient enforcement mechanism for international environmental agreements:

 “ISDS is an effective and established dispute resolution mechanism that could lend force to the words in the international agreements on sustainable development”.

On the topic of transparency, Annette Magnusson remarked:

“ISDS under the new UNCITRAL rules on transparency is more transparent than many, even most, national courts in the EU, including Sweden.

Want to know more about ISDS?

The Stockholm Chamber of commerce blog on ISDS

ISDS Q&A – The SCC answers the most frequently asked questions about ISDS