Monday, March 26, 2018

Is CETA Toast? The European Court of Justice Strikes Down ISDS.

When it comes to free trade, our politicians have never balked at surrendering state sovereignty to the corporate sector through ISDS or Investor/State Dispute Resolution clauses.

The rules have already been successfully used by businesses to sue countries countless times. Notable cases include French corporation Veolia suing the Egyptian government for raising the minimum wage, and US tobacco giant Philip Morris suing Australia after its government brought in plain cigarette packaging. 
As these ISDS tribunals exist outside normal court system, including Europe’s judicial system, the European Court of Justice ruled that they are incompatible with EU law. 
ISDS is best known as being part of the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a planned EU-US agreement that sparked protests on both sides of the Atlantic. The rule is also found in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a similarly controversial deal between the EU and Canada, which has not been fully implemented yet because of disagreements over ISDS. 
The ruling means TTIP is now “dead in the water”, campaigners say, and it’s also hoped to “spell the end of CETA as we know it”. 
“ISDS not only violates EU law, it is also dangerous for democracy, taxpayer money and much needed policies, for example, to combat climate change. Now is the time to stamp out the excessive corporate privileges once and for all,” Pia Eberhardt, CEO of Corporate Europe Observatory, told Big Issue North. 


John B. said...

Interestingly, Stephen Harper's old pal Patrick Muttart, his expert on exploiting the low-information electoral segment, has been working as a key government relations guy for Philip Morris in Australia.

Small world in Libertopia - just not small enough.

Hugh said...

Countries asserting their sovereignty by passing laws benefitting their citizens? How dare they!

Lorne said...

It's good to know someone is not asleep at the switch, Mound. Canadians should take a lesson here, young Justins's unqualified endorsements of investor rights notwithstanding.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's promising but it has a long way to go before it crosses the Atlantic. I'll keep my fingers crossed but I will not hold my breath awaiting an Epiphany in Ottawa.

Northern PoV said...

Thanks for this excellent news. Gee I wonder why we didn't see this in our media?

The Mound of Sound said...

You pose a good question, NPoV. Especially since the Green Party issued a press release praising the decision the following day. I guess that's not mainstream enough for Canada's corporate media cartel.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps the neo-liberal order is beginning to crumble.