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“The investor-state dispute settlement puts companies’ rights ahead of human rights. Its effects are devastating for developing nations – we must abolish it”, wrote Alfred de Zayas, United Nations’ Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, in an article published by The Guardian on November 16th.
Under the title “How can Philip Morris sue Uruguay over its tobacco laws?”, de Zayas deeply questioned the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism and considered that “it is time for the UN general assembly to convene a world conference to put human rights at the centre of the international investment regime”.
The author of the article, which did not go unnoticed for Philip Morris for instance, is also an American lawyer from Harvard, formerly employed as a commercial lawyer at Wall Street, a writer, historian, and a leading expert in the field of human rights and international law. Real World Radio interviewed him today to deepen into the reasoning behind his strong rejection against the privatized system of arbitration known as the ISDS.
The Expert meticulously explained why the ISDS violates human rights, why it is neither transparent nor accountable and why it has to be abolished. He also took time to defend the need of a legally binding treaty on business and human rights, and proposed other alternatives for developing nations and for the struggles for justice by civil society groups around the world.
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