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"ISDS is a threat to the rule of law and democracy." - Carthy

16 September, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has slammed the European Commission (EC) after it revealed on Wednesday its proposal to create a new corporate court system to replace Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms.  Carthy said that the people of Europe had made it clear that they did not support any mechanism that allowed corporations exclusive rights to supersede democratic structures.

Speaking from Brussels, the Midlands North West MEP said,

"The Commission are calling this ‘new’ mechanism an investment court system, but it is, in fact, simply a repackaged ISDS. 

"It is an insult to the intelligence of the 145,000 respondents to the commissions own ISDS consultation.  Those respondents clearly stated that, in any form, ISDS is unnecessary for countries like the US and EU member states that have mature and trusted legal systems.

"The revised arbitration system proposed is still wholly unacceptable and ISDS in any form should be removed from the TTIP trade negotiations between the EU and US.

"The ‘diet’ ISDS that the Commission are proposing suggests a system which functions like traditional courts - but at an international and unaccountable level.  This would involve the appointment of permanent arbitrators, with similar qualifications to those of national judges, and the introduction of a bilateral appeal system.  It is unclear as to how these arbitrators would be appointed but it is certain that they will not be democratically accountable to citizens”.

"The Commission is on record of stating its wish to work towards the establishment of a permanent multilateral investment court with tenured judges, who would replace the bilateral mechanism over time. 

"This new system could set the standards for investment protection provisions and investment arbitration in international negotiations going forward.  This is a real threat to national sovereignty.

"No matter how proponents want to dress it up, the ISDS system still allows corporations rights above citizens and even governments.  It can be given a different name but it remains an outdated and regressive mechanism.

“Ireland, with trade relations with a large number of countries, has never needed an ISDS mechanism in any bi-lateral agreement and yet investors are comfortable to do business.  This is the model that the commission should be seeking to emulate."


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