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Legal weapon that gives corporations the edge on governments

Author: Bibi van der Zee, Guardian [UK], Published on: 4 November 2011

The investor state dispute mechanism (ISDM) is...being used by Philip Morris to sue the Australian government over its plans to discourage smoking...There is growing concern among legal experts and the countries hit by these legal cases that the investment regime, made up of a patchwork of bilateral investment treaties and multilateral agreements, favours corporations over the public interest, puts sovereignty at stake, is chronically lacking in transparency and accountability and has been mis-sold to many developing countries that only realise exactly what they have signed up for when they get sued...Stories are rife of developing countries that have signed bilateral investment treaties (BITs) containing the ISDM with no idea of the potential legal implications, though most cases are brought by corporations in the developed world against governments in the developing world. [refers to Enron Creditors, Total, Mobil, Shell, Dow Chemical, Chevron, Siemens, Cargill, Société Générale de Surveillance]

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Related companies: Cargill Chevron Dow Chemical Enron Philip Morris International Shell Siemens Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) Total