Akin Gump Trade Lawyers Author Article on EU’s Investment Court System

ICSID Review has published the article “The EU TTIP Investment Court Proposal and the WTO Dispute Settlement System: Comparing Apples and Oranges?,” written by Akin Gump international trade partner Stephen Kho, senior counsel Alan Yanovich, counsel Brendan Casey and associate Johann Strauss.

The article examines changes proposed by the European Union to the standard investor-state arbitration regime in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a multilateral investment and trade agreement between the European Union and the United States. The authors write that, through the changes, the EU seeks to reform investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS). Foremost among the changes would be the creation of an Investment Court System (ICS) modeled after the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute resolution system.

There are, however, key differences between the WTO and ISDS regimes that should be considered, according to the article. These include the characteristics of the disputing parties, the remedies available and the underlying objectives of the dispute resolution systems.

The article concludes by noting that these differences are so significant that certain institutional features tailored for the WTO do not translate into ISDS. As a result, these differences are likely to hinder the EU’s efforts to reform ISDS through the ICS.