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

Stop the Arms Fair 2019: Stop Arming Israel

17 July 2019 - 5:00pm

Take action at the DSEI arms fair to #StopArmingIsrael!

Read more

Join the conversation

We expect Ian Austin MP to use his new role as trade envoy to call for the immediate suspension of trade with Israe… https://t.co/R11UfibsaG 14 hours 11 min ago
RT : NOW: machines are being used by Israeli occupation forces demolishing 100 homes in Wadi Al Humus in… https://t.co/tzDem0G090 15 hours 40 min ago
The UN's damning statement: "Had there been concrete action to ensure respect for these principles, and for interna… https://t.co/tnyIq89M0U 15 hours 57 min ago