Patrick Grady – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for International Development

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Patrick Grady on 2016-06-15.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of investor state dispute settlement mechanisms on the ability of legal systems in developing countries to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

Mr Nick Hurd

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is an independent legal process through which investors can seek compensation if they believe a host government is in breach of provisions within a bilateral investment treaty. ISDS should not prevent any Government, which acts in accordance with due process, from changing laws, revoking or terminating contracts or regulating in the public interest. Since 2012, through the Investment and Sustainable Development Programme, DFID has provided technical and legal assistance to 24 developing countries to develop and negotiate Bilateral Investment Treaties that best reflect their own interests and understand the legal implications, including those that may lead to an escalation of an ISDS dispute.

The Sustainable Development Goals sets out several investment-related measures, including the adoption and implementation investment promotion regimes and creation of sound policy frameworks, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies that accelerate investment. The UK is fully committed to supporting the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.