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1 Apr 2019

Lise Johnson,
Jesse Coleman,
Brooke Güven,
Lisa Sachs

Report: Alternatives to Investor-State Dispute Settlement

"...Here, we consider four alternative approaches to ISDS – whether under ad hoc arbitration or a more permanent body, such as an “investment court” – that, when used alone or in combination, might better serve the oft-stated objectives, looking in particular at how those alternatives might advance revisited objectives, aligned with 21st century priorities. These alternatives include:

  • strengthening domestic legal systems,
  • the use of risk insurance by investors,
  • using state-state cooperation and dispute settlement mechanisms, and
  • using existing human rights mechanisms for certain kinds of redress.

The actual and potential roles of these alternatives raise questions about continued reliance on ISDS, challenging assumptions that ISDS is necessary or even optimal for sound investment promotion or governance aims. Rather than continuing to integrate ISDS within investment treaties, it is therefore important to take a closer look at these alternatives, their complementary functions, and their advantages and disadvantages as tools to support modern, and even traditional, objectives."