ISDS – What you don’t know will hurt you.
ISDS in 2012 marked a new record, as there were at least 62 new investment arbitration cases being initiated against sovereign nation states. The highest number of known treaty-based disputes ever filed in one year. 2013 has the second highest number of treaty disputes, numbering 57 cases.
2012 also had the highest pay out to a corporation (US$1.77 billion) in Occidental vs. Ecuador. The Ecuadorian government stripped Occidental Petroleum Corporations of its oil concessions in 2006 over an alleged breach of contract. Occidental Petroleum made a complaint and the panel found in their favour, at the cost of almost a couple of billion dollars to the Ecuadorian people.
In 2013 and we find that a Kuwaiti corporation successfully swiped the Libyan government to the tune of US$935 million. The Al-Kharafi v. Libya case ranks as the second highest known award ever. Al-Kharafi originally made a complaint for US$55 million and then changed it to reflect their theoretical losses for the next 83 years, amending it to US$1,144,930 billion in September 2012.
The Libyan government disputed that the Al-Kharafi corp. were supposed to provide a 10% deposit on their investment for a tourism project, but had only transferred 0.1% of the funds and no construction of the tourist complex ever began. Nonetheless, the tribunal found that the 0.1% transfer was enough and there was no legal obligation for the Kuwaiti corporation to have transferred the 10%. Unfortunately, the Libyan side did not defended their position well enough. Al-Kharafi had hired firms with “good reputations” and the Libyans did not present the “same level expertise”. It was also a good way for the tribunal to reassure Arab investors, since the country was bombed back into the stone age, by the American war machine.
How does ISDS affect the 99%
If enough complaints are made to the government, we could stop fracking in this country and halt the continuing corporate parasitisation of the NHS.
The problem is that the Fracking companies and Corporate health care companies WILL take things to a tribunal that the 99% of people have no access and more than likely find in their favour, costing the tax payer millions and even billions. Or we have to buy out the contracts.
Fracking companies are looking to have license to frack in areas of London, Bromley, Croydon, Wandsworth. If they gain the licenses, they would have a contract to frack the area, poisoning the water supply, causing earthquakes with the resultant lowering of house prices and insurance rocketing up.
The National Health Service is a £100 Billion industry, with the corporations like Virgin Healthcare and United Health salivating at the thought of having money from nothing at all. The NHS contracts have been opened up to corporations and they bid on the most lucrative operations like Hip and knee replacements . Leaving things like Cancer treatment, which are the most expensive, to the NHS. We now also pay 300% more for our pharmaceutical needs compared to Europe. We have to remember that those with health insurance from BUPA will still end up on the NHS, if there are complications on their operations. Heads they win, tails we lose.
All those contracts will need to bought up costing the tax payer, without the fracking corporations or corporate healthcare having to do a thing. Or we pay even more through a Corporate tribunal with no democratic oversight. All due to having the power of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT (ISDS)
An unusually high number of cases (almost half of the total) were filed against
developed States; most of these have the Member States of the European
Union as respondents.
You can also search all ICSID cases by country here (International Centre for Settlement of Disputes)