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Abstract

Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) has given rise to systemic issues of power and control that entails a possible new direction to be taken in its future development. This article explores three alternative solutions to the problems of ISDS. The first solution is to follow the EU proposal in the establishment of the Investment Court System (ICS) as a standing body, to settle disputes between foreign investors and host governments. The second possible solution is to consider the work done by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in reforming the ISDS system through adoption of the Mauritius Convention approach. The third possible solution is to establish a regional bloc-based approach proposed by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) countries. This article argues that, as things stand today, the EU proposal is the most likely future direction for ISDS. This is because, in delineating the rights for investors and host states, the establishment of the ICS reflects the primary role that ISDS was designed to play. It is argued that the certainty and efficiency within the EU approach, when compared to the complexity inherent in the regional bloc-based approach and in the still nascent UNCITRAL’s Mauritius Convention approach, makes for a better framework upon which future developments in ISDS can be based.

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