New report examines how companies use intl. investment rules to undermine citizen & govt. action to protect social & environmental issues

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11 June 2013

[PDF] Unfair, Unsustainable, and Under the Radar - How Corporations Use Global Investment Rules to Undermine a Sustainable Future

Author: Thomas Mc Donagh, Democracy Center

This report is about one of the most important yet little understood weapons that these corporations have constructed to defend themselves from challenge: a vast global web of international trade and investment agreements and a corporate-friendly tribunal system designed to enforce the rights that those agreements grant to corporations...The report...examines this conflict between sustainable development and international investment rules...Described by leading law academics as lacking fairness and balance, including basic requirements of openness and judicial independence, the investor-state dispute arbitration system effectively operates as a privatised justice system for global corporations...[D]ozens of…legal actions that have been taken by corporations against governments on issues ranging from mining to water to nuclear power…In these cases and many others the corporate rights established in international law through trade and investment agreements and enforced by international arbitration tribunals are compromising countries’ s sovereign right to regulate in the public good through a democratic process…[Refers to A.P. Moller-Maersk, Andarko, Cargill Chemtura, Entrx, Maersk (part of A.P. Moller-Maersk), Matalclad (part of Entrx), Occidental Petroleum, Philip Morris International, Vattenfall]

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Author: Thomas Mc Donagh, Centro para la Democracia

Este informe trata de una de las armas más importantes y todavía poco entendidas, que estas corporaciones han construido para defenderse: una vasta red mundial de acuerdos de comercio e inversión internacional y un sistema de tribunales favorable a las corporaciones, diseñado para hacer valer los derechos que los acuerdos conceden a las corporaciones…El informe…analiza este conflicto entre el desarrollo sostenible y las normas internacionales de inversión…[El sistema de arbitraje]…Es descrito por destacados académicos en leyes como carente de imparcialidad y equilibrio…[y] funciona efectivamente como un sistema de justicia privatizada por corporaciones globales…[D]ocenas de demandas judiciales…han sido adoptadas por corporaciones contra gobiernos en temas que van desde la minería, el agua, a la energía nuclear… En estos y muchos otros casos, los derechos corporativos establecidos en el derecho internacional a través de acuerdos de comercio e inversión y que los tribunales de arbitraje internacional hacen cumplir, ponen en peligro el derecho soberano de los países de regular el bien público a través de un proceso democrático…[Se refiere a A.P. Moller-Maersk, Andarko, Cargill Chemtura, Entrx, Maersk (parte de A.P. Moller-Maersk), Matalclad (parte de Entrx), Occidental Petroleum, Philip Morris International, Vattenfall]

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Article
29 May 2013

New Report! Unfair, Unsustainable, and Under the Radar

Author: Democracy Center

In ‘Unfair, Unsustainable, and Under the Radar’, the Democracy Center sheds an urgent light on the system of international investment rules that is giving corporations the power to compromise countries’ sovereign right to regulate in the public good through a democratic process. We look at how the international investment rules system is being used to punish El Salvador for blocking poisonous gold mining, against Germany for stopping nuclear power, and to attack public health regulations for the tobacco industry in Uruguay. And we flag the next target for the system: government ability to regulate ‘fracking’. Unfortunately, wide knowledge of this system and how it works doesn’t really exist beyond a small collection of lawyers and advocates…[T]his report explains what seems to many a highly technical issue for a non-technical audience, and in so doing aims to help put a much wider public spotlight on this corporate power grab while there is still time to fight it. [Refers to Bechtel, Doe Run (part of Renco), Pacific Rim Mining, Philip Morris International]

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