Investment Court System Put To The Test: New EU proposal will perpetuate investors’ attacks on health and environment

By Natacha Cingotti, Pia Eberhardt, Nelly Grotefendt, Cecilia Olivet and Scott Sinclair, Published by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory, German NGO Forum on Environment and Development and the Transnational Institute, April 2016

The European Commission claims that its new investment proposal—the Investment Court System (ICS)—will protect governments’ abilities to regulate on crucial matters such as public health and environmental protection. However, a close review of five of the most controversial arbitration cases in recent years (Philip Morris v. Uruguay, TransCanada v. United States, Lone Pine v. Canada, Vattenfall v. Germany, and Bilcon v. Canada) shows they could still be launched under the current proposal. Each of these cases can still prosper under ICS, because the new system still grants investors ample and ill-defined rights. When put to the test, the ICS, proposed to replace the flawed investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, fails to protect the right to regulate. Available at