Stop ISDS!


Image: Friends of the Earth Europe

Imagine a world where transnational corporations don’t have to follow the same laws as everyone else, but instead have their own corporate courts, where the law is tailored to their interests. Not courts where the companies are put on trial, but where corporations sue governments for huge sums of money and bully countries to get their own way.

It sounds like dystopian science fiction, but corporate courts are real. Formally known as investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), these special privileges are granted to transnational companies by rules in trade and investment deals.

ISDS has enabled corporations to sue countries into the billions, for doing almost anything they don’t like – environmental protection, regulating finance, renationalising public services, anti-smoking policies – you name it, on the chance that decisions like these could affect their profits:

  • Infinito Gold is suing Costa Rica over the introduction of a ban on open cast mining for metals
  • Cargill sued Mexico when it first introduced tax on sugary drinks
  • Ethyl sued Canada over a ban on the chemical MMT in petrol, which is suspected of causing nerve damage
  • Vattenfall is suing Germany for deciding to phase out nuclear power following the Fukushima nuclear disaster
  • Lone Pine is suing Canada over a fracking moratorium in Quebec
  • Veolia sued Egypt over the introduction of a minimum wage.

ISDS is an unjust mechanism that should have no place in the UK’s trade and investment policy.

Find out more

Read our introduction to ISDS: The case against corporate courts

Investigate the impact of ISDS in our case files:

Take action

These corporate courts are written into thousands of trade and investment deals around the world. But the global fightback has started.

Across the world, countries have been rejecting ISDS: South Africa, India, Ecuador, Tanzania, Indonesia and New Zealand have all taken steps to review, limit or terminate existing ISDS deals and refuse to sign new ones. At the same time, the movement against TTIP and CETA – the EU’s trade deals with the USA and Canada – has exposed its illegitimacy. The system is vulnerable.

Campaigners all across Europe are gearing up to create an unstoppable momentum for change in our own countries. We’re at a tipping point, and if enough of us come together, we could bring ISDS down altogether.

As the UK prepares to sets its own trade policy after Brexit, we are speaking up to say ISDS should have no place in it:

  • No ISDS in new and replacement trade deals
  • Removal of ISDS in existing investment deals.

Sign the petition and join the movement to end corporate courts.

ACT NOW!

Stop ISDS!

Latest news

Government challenged to rule out 'corporate courts'

30 July 2019 - 7:30am

Government challenged to rule out ‘corporate courts’ after Brexit, following criticism by influential MPs

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  • Armenia is latest country to be threatened, with $2 billion claim by mining company Lydian over Amulsar gold mine
  • New 18-minute documentary charts story of resistance to international mining industry in Amulsar
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Liam Fox 'in denial' over huge public concern at post-Brexit trade deals

18 July 2019 - 11:15am

600,000 submissions to public consultation ‘essentially ignored’, say campaigners

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The Armenian government just green-lit a toxic gold mine. We went to the Embassy in London to say, Amulsar should r… https://t.co/qEzyh0cjtm 45 min 27 sec ago
The Armenian government just green-lit a toxic gold mine. We went to the Embassy in London to say, Amulsar should r… https://t.co/BYxZmH42iu 2 hours 58 min ago
The Armenian government gave the go-ahead for a toxic gold mine on Amulsar Mountain, caving to pressure and the thr… https://t.co/zUZqcvmv6r 21 hours 22 min ago