EU's proposed Multilateral Investment Court will further expand corporate privileges at the expense of human rights, says NGO report

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Article
4 December 2017

World Court for Corporations is a "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"–New report exposes dangers of proposed Multilateral Investment Court

Author: CIEL

new report...warns that the European Commission’s proposed Multilateral Investment Court (MIC) threatens to lock in an undemocratic investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) scheme that undermines national democratic authority and prioritizes corporate profits above all else. Authored by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B), and the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation, A World Court for Corporations: How the EU Plans to Entrench and Institutionalize Investor-State Dispute Settlement reveals that the EU’s proposal for a global investor court is a dangerous effort to salvage the controversial investor-state dispute settlement system by replacing it with a rebranded copy...

...The report comes just as countries wrapped up...discussions about ISDS reform at the UN Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), where the EU hopes the MIC can be negotiated...While countries were frank about the significant threats posed by ISDS to their domestic laws and courts, few demonstrated the political appetite to confront the concerns with the system...

...The report analyzes how the MIC would address suits currently in the ISDS system, details eight specific dangers posed by a world court for corporations, and provides ten reasons (of many) why EU Member States should oppose the MIC. States will meet again in April [2018] with the goal of coming to an agreement about how ISDS should be reformed...

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Report
1 December 2017

A World Court for Corporations: How the EU Plans to Entrench and Institutionalize Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Author: CIEL, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, & Seattle to Brussels Network

...The European Commission...[has proposed]..a multilateral mechanism for investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)--referred to by the Commission as a Multilateral Investment Court...The proposed global investor court threatens to lock in the highly controversial ISDS system, an undemocratic scheme that undermines national authority and prioritizes corporate profits above all else...[T]he proposed investor court is just one in a long line of efforts made by the EU to enshrine and expand the current system of corporate privilege...

[There are] many reasons to oppose the Multilateral Investment Court..Institutionalizing ISDS on a global level will legitimize and entrench a parallel legal system designed to empower transnational corporations...By allowing corporations to bypass domestic legal systems, the court would subsidize the cost of corporate litigation used to protect private property interests while undermining the sovereignty of national courts...The global investor court would allow international businesses to enforce legal rights without requiring them to fulfill their legal obligations...The global investor court would deny access to those harmed by foreign investors...The court would further deter states from regulating in the public interest...The adjudicators would be the same biased arbitrators who have decided past ISDS disputes...A global institution for ISDS will exacerbate the elevation of investor’s rights over international human rights and environmental laws...

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