The costs of accessing investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) are notoriously high. International investment treaties and investment dispute settlement in particular have been primarily designed with large investors in mind – those with the means to access an international tribunal –, while small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual or vulnerable investors can face significant barriers to accessing ISDS. This article is the first in legal scholarship to identify and evaluate the diverse opportunities that exist for the establishment and operation of mechanisms allowing SMEs better and easier access to ISDS. Drawing on the wealth of comparative experience from the functioning of existing dispute settlement assistance mechanisms in international courts and tribunals, the article argues that legal assistance is a more efficient and cost-effective tool than financial assistance and presents concrete proposals for the funding and operation of such a mechanism for SMEs. Finally, the article examines the political cost involved in facilitating SMEs’ access to ISDS, in light of the fact that some states have been increasingly wary of ISDS, but it weighs this challenge against the imperative of ensuring effective access to justice.
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Fach Gómez & Titi: Facilitating Access to Investor-State Dispute Settlement for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Tracing the Path Forward
Katia Fach Gómez (Univ. of Zaragoza - Law) & Catharine Titi (Centre national de la recherche scientifique; Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas) have posted Facilitating Access to Investor-State Dispute Settlement for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Tracing the Path Forward. Here's the abstract: