SP forces transparency in arbitration debate

2 September 2016

SP forces transparency in arbitration debate

Under pressure from the SP, the European Parliament's informal legal advice on the soon to be established internatioal Investment Court System (ICS) is to be made public. Publication of the relevant documents will make possible an open social debate over the proposals, leaving the way open to an official opinion from the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The Investment Court (ICS) is a variant of the controversial ISDS, and is set to become the new standard. It forms part of the proposals for CETA, the trade and investment treaty between the EU and Canada. SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur says that she is pleased with the Trade Committee's decision.

“The question of whether you can have a parallel system of law alongside the existing sstem is extremely fundamental,” she insists. It would threaten the position of our European legal systems, not only because the new investment court would be intended for foreign investors, but also because the court would be completely separated from European law. There's no possibility of appeal. So you have what amounts to a parallel judicial system.”

Mineur has been working for some time to get an official opinion from the ECJ. . “I'd really like to know what the ECJ thinks of this,'' she says. ''The informal advice from the Legal Services was strongly worded, and intended to smother the debate in the cradle. It's good that there's now the possibility of more variety of views on the question. This shouldn't be purely a political debate, but also a legal and social debate. I have strongly urged this advice note to be made public, and now that this has occurred, the debate can be conducted with the proper intensity.”

The informal advice will be published on Monday on the website of the European Parliament International Trade Committee.

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