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Bridging traditional divides?

9th September 2015

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Kyla Tienhaara

Dr. Kyla Tienhaara is a research fellow in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and co-director of the Climate and Environmental Governance Network (CEGNet), Australian National University.

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Published in The Green Agenda, this essay by Kyla Tienhaara, titled Resisting the law of greed, is based on a chapter in the forthcoming RegNet collection, Regulation, Institutions and Networks edited by Peter Drahos and published by ANU e-press.

In the essay, Kyla Tienhaara gives a rundown on the history of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses in investment treaties. She argues that ISDS is not, as it was originally envisaged, a cheaper or faster option for resolving disputes. She also argues that the growing scope of arbitrators to decide ‘who is protected by investment treaties and what such protection entails’ is concerning considering the real incentives for arbitrators to ‘push the limits of what is within their purview’.

She concludes that, ‘strong reactions against ISDS are no longer confined to ‘radical left-leaning’ governments in Latin America; steps to withdraw from investment treaties or limit their application have been taken by governments with very different perspectives on broader issues of globalization and trade liberalization. And complaints about ISDS from civil society are also not limited to one end of the political spectrum…As such, there is real potential for this issue to bridge traditional political divides and for common sense to prevail.’

Read the entire essay on The Green Agenda.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet