International Economic Agreements and the Rule of Law - the case of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

London | 13th October 2015

The United States and the European Union are currently engaged in negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). TTIP primarily aims to align regulation and remove non-tariff barriers between the two blocs. It also includes a chapter on the treatment of foreign investment and establishes a dedicated regime of ad hoc arbitration for the settlement of investor-State disputes. If concluded, TTIP will become a landmark agreement between two of the world's biggest and richest economic powers.

Supporters of TTIP argue that it will unleash prosperity and economic development on both sides of the Atlantic. Opponents, however, question those economic predictions and raise a number of concerns related to the rule of law, including the lack of transparency with which negotiations have been undertaken and the role of specialised investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms, like arbitration, in regulating relations between investors and the state in which they invest. Opponents further contend that TTIP may lead to lowering health, food and agriculture standards in Europe.

On 13 October, panellists will convene to discuss TTIP as it relates to the rule of law, and will consider among other things:

•Rule of Law and Accountability in the negotiation of economic agreements - what is the role of parliaments in overseeing TTIP, and what kind of national accountability mechanisms are in place? What redress mechanisms are built-in within these agreements generally, and how do these relate/not to the rule of law?

•The effect of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and ad hoc arbitral tribunals on rule of law, and the place of the Judiciary in dispensing justice.

•Costs and benefits, winners and losers, and implications for the UK.

•The impact of treaty-based ISDS on developing countries with which Europe is also presently negotiating economic agreements with investment chapters


The Briefing from the event can be found here.


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