This study examines the reforms to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) advocated by the European Union and recently incorporated into the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). European and Canadian trade officials say the changes adequately address concerns about the harmful impact of ISDS on public interest regulation.
The study puts that claim to the test by examining the potential impacts on five controversial ISDS cases. It finds that, in each instance, the supposed reforms would not have prevented foreign investors from challenging government decisions to protect health and the environment. Nor would they have stopped arbitrators from deciding in investors' favour or from ordering governments to pay compensation for enacting legitimate public policy measures.