Over the past decade, some states have become sceptical of investor-state dispute settlement (‘ISDS’) mechanisms. One of the recurring themes in the current debate around investor-state dispute settlement clauses is that they are tools of crafty multinationals or big capitalist investors, looking to dictate policy to governments or impede their sovereign regulatory power.
There are also debates surrounding the inclusion of ISDS clauses in major Free Trade Agreements (‘FTAs’) such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (‘TTPA’) under negotiation between several groups of states in the region and Bilateral Investment Treaties (‘BITs’). The discussion reveals that ISDS mechanisms, particularly in Europe within the context of the now not so successful attempt a trade pact, namely, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (‘TTIP’).
The ISDS an arbitration regime has developed as a global response to the uniqueness of multinational investment dispute amidst the effort to grow global trade and investment. There is discernible shift in the approach to ISDS in Asia. The focus is on the debates surrounding the inclusion of ISDS clauses agreements, the role institutions can possibly play in ISDS education, fostering the trust and confidence of states and investors in ISDS mechanisms. I am pleased to share the Malayan Law Journal publication entitled “Trends in Investor-State Dispute Settlement in the Asia Pacific: Reassessing the Role of AIAC  3 MLJ cxvi” which discusses some of the issues.
Datuk Professor Sundra Rajoo
President of the Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution (AIADR)
21 September 2020
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