It is the 19th complaint to date against the Spanish state over its cuts to renewable energy subsidies, propelling Spain to third place in the global leader board of nations facing Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) suits. In fact, the only two countries facing more suits are the two bugbears of international capital Venezuela (24 complaints) and Argentina (20).
As I wrote in The Global Corporatocracy is Just a Pen Stroke Away From Completion, the “investor-state dispute settlement” provision is what would give the new generation of trade treaties such as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) their “claws and teeth.”
It effectively allows privately owned overseas corporations to sue entire nations if they feel that a law lost them money on their investment… Cases do not get heard in a court of law, under the scrutiny of a judge and jury, but rather in front of arbitration panels made up of three professional arbitrators — one representing the company, one representing the country and the other chosen by the first two to sit as president of the panel.
None of these arbitrators are trained judges; they are private individuals often representing some of the biggest international corporate law firms, mostly from the U.S. and Europe.