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UN expert says binding treaty on business & human rights is needed to curb adverse impacts of intl. trade agreements
Author: Alfred de Zayas, UN independent expert on promotion of democratic & equitable international order, Published on: 19 November 2015
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…[I]nvestor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)…threatens the existing system of justice, the concept of checks and balances, the very core of the rule of law. Its implications for the respect of human rights around the world are devastating…Far from contributing to human rights and development, the international investment regime and ISDS have resulted in growing inequality among states and within them…The system is neither transparent nor accountable and often results in aberrant judgments without the possibility of appeal…The last 25 years have delivered numerous examples of abuse of rights by investors and unconscionable ISDS arbitral awards, which have not only led to violations of human rights, but have had a chilling effect, deterring states from adopting necessary regulations on waste disposal or tobacco control. There is no justification for the existence of a privatised system of dispute settlement that is neither transparent nor accountable. The ISDS cannot be reformed. It must be abolished…No one should underestimate the adverse human rights impacts of free trade and investment agreements on human rights, development and democratic governance…a binding treaty on business and human rights is long overdue.