Investment Court System proposed by European Commission

On September 16, 2015, the European Commission published its proposal on Investment Protection and Resolution of Investment Disputes and Investment Court System. While aimed primarily at the EU–U.S. negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the proposal would replace the investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in all ongoing and future EU investment negotiations.

The system would be composed of a first instance tribunal and an appeal tribunal. Among the elements of the text are safeguards to states’ right to regulate, transparency of proceedings, and high qualification requirements for judges. The system would also bar forum shopping, parallel proceedings, and frivolous claims. The Commission hopes to build trust in the dispute resolution system by embedding in its proposal the inputs received through the public consultation on ISDS.

After discussing with the European Council and Parliament, the Commission will present the proposed text to the United States. It has also committed to working with other countries on establishing a permanent International Investment Court to replace all ISDS mechanisms in trade and investment agreements, both within and outside the EU context.

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