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New Investment Court System 17/09/2015 The European Commission has approved a proposal for a new and transparent system for resolving disputes between investors and states – the Investment Court System.

New Investment Court System

The European Commission has approved a proposal for a new and transparent system for resolving disputes between investors and states – the Investment Court System.

The Investment Court System would replace the existing investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in all ongoing and future EU investment negotiations, including the EU-US talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The proposal for the new court system includes major improvements such as:

• The creation of a public Investment Court System composed of a first instance Tribunal and an Appeal Tribunal;
• judgments would be made by publicly appointed judges with high qualifications, comparable to those required for the members of permanent international courts such as the International Court of Justice and the WTO Appellate Body;
• the new Appeal Tribunal would operate on similar principles to the WTO Appellate Body;
• the ability of investors to take a case before the Tribunal would be precisely defined and limited to cases such as targeted discrimination on the base of gender, race or religion, or nationality, expropriation without compensation, or denial of justice;
• Governments’ right to regulate would be enshrined and guaranteed in the provisions of the trade and investment agreements.

The Commission will now discuss the proposal with the Council and the European Parliament. Once the text of the proposal has been discussed, it will be presented as an EU text proposal in the EU-US trade talks and will be used in other ongoing and future negotiations.

In addition, the Commission has announced that, in parallel to the TTIP negotiations, it will start work, together with other countries, on setting up a permanent International Investment Court.

The aim is that over time the International Investment Court would replace all investment dispute resolution mechanisms provided in EU agreements, EU Member States’ agreements with third countries and in trade and investment treaties concluded between non-EU countries. This would further increase the efficiency, consistency and legitimacy of the international investment dispute resolution system.

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