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Workshop

Consultations on a Concerted Response to COVID-19 Related ISDS Risks

In May 2020, IISD conducted virtual consultations on a concerted response to the risk of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) challenges to COVID-19 related measures. 
May 3, 2020 8:00 pm - May 30, 2020 8:00 pm

(Open to public)

In May 2020, IISD conducted virtual consultations on a concerted response to the risk of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) challenges to COVID-19 related measures. 

The consultations sought views on the idea of a multilateral or bilateral suspension of ISDS for COVID-19 related measures and discussed potential forums to take up such an initiative. IISD also sought inputs on draft language for such a suspension (also available in French and Spanish). 

In June 2020, IISD revised the draft language for a suspension agreement to reflect verbal comments and written submissions provided by developing country investment negotiators, international law experts, and civil society organizations during the consultation period. The revised language is available in EnglishFrench, and Spanish.  

The level of engagement in the consultation process reflected a growing concern among governments that ISDS could be used to undermine their ability to take emergency public health and economic policy measures to respond to COVID-19 and its impacts. Even as the pandemic continues to disrupt lives and societies, international law firms and litigation funders continue to publish guidance on how these measures could be challenged using treaty-based ISDS. One government has already been threatened. IISD is continuing to work with governments, regional economic communities, and other partners to raise awareness of this threat and provide options for how it can be mitigated.  

Workshop details