On 16 September 2015 Cecilia Malmström, the European Union’s Commissioner for Trade, put forward a proposal to change the current policy on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The proposal was to replace the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which is about allowing corporations to sue governments over laws which might affect their profits, with another system that would be used for all ongoing and future deals by the European Union (EU). This will be known as the Investor Court System (ICS).
TTIP is still being negotiated behind closed doors – in secret – so that the public find out as little about it as possible. Economic barriers between the EU and the United States are relatively low in any case, but the EU negotiating mandate of June 2013 for TTIP covers market access for goods and services by removing custom duties and gaining easier access to public markets and making it easier to invest. The hope is that it will produce jobs and growth. However, previous similar agreements with other areas have only showed slight benefits and real risks.
The agreement texts are being developed by 24 joint EU/US working groups who each consider a separate part of the agreement, in secret. Negotiations are held in cycles between the USA and Brussels with the first taking place from 7 to 12 July 2013 and the latest, the tenth took place from 13 to 17 July 2015. The EU is now producing reports on each negotiation, but these are little more than a very brief summary – not providing any detail at all. Worthless!
Many will find it incredible that Malmström has had to propose an alternative to ISDS at all. What is wrong with the existing courts that companies and corporations use all the time? Why set up any special system at all? There can only be one answer to that and it will certainly not support justice as we know it.
See Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons on 15 January 2015 when TTIP was debated: [Here]