The proposal for a multilateral investment court: a work in progress

In my recently published comment in Borderlex, I assess the current situation regarding the proposal of the European Commission for a a multilateral investment court (MIC).

This assessment is based on the stakeholder meeting, which took place on 27 Feb in Brussels.

My conclusion is that lot’s of important issues remain unclear, for example, about the selection process of the judges and their qualifications, the lack of direct effect, the access to the system for SMEs, etc….

Lucas Granach, the Older
“Justice as a naked woman with sword and scale” (1537)

These and many more issues still need to be addressed in a more detailed proposal.

The main question at this point in time is whether this proposal will gain any significant traction with other important countries, such as the US, Japan, China, India to name but a few.

The stakeholder meeting also showed that the anti-trade NGOs continue to reject any reform of the current ISDS system as insufficent. Instead, they continue to aim to destroy the whole system of investment/investor protection and arbitration.

But also the business community is not happy with the reform push of the Commission. It seems that the Commission is pushing too much and too quickly, forgeting about the systemic and institutional issues as well as the substantial protection standards.

So, the conclusion is: there is still a lot of work to do.