WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2015: Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement today in response to the failure to pass Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s amendment concerning Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS):
The Senate missed an opportunity to protect the rule of law and the nation’s sovereignty today when Sen. Warren’s amendment was defeated. The amendment would have denied “fast-track” authority for any trade deal that includes ISDS.
Our legal system is built upon the conviction that every individual, regardless of wealth or power, has an equal right to bring a case to court. But ISDS tips the scales of justice in favor of powerful foreign corporations, giving them the special privilege to challenge government actions they allege threaten their investments not in that nation’s courts, but before a panel of private arbitrators. And ISDS is a one-way street: while corporations can attack important public policies through expensive ISDS proceedings, neither governments nor citizen groups can bring any claims.
More than 130 legal scholars signed a letter outlining the harm of ISDS. In a second letter luminaries including Prof. Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School and Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton explained why ISDS is so harmful.
But the House can act where the Senate did not. We urge the House of Representatives to stand up for equal access to our courts and pass an amendment barring fast track authority for any trade agreement that includes ISDS.
Alliance for Justice, www.afj.org believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. Through our justice programs, we lead the progressive community in the fight for a fair judiciary, and through our advocacy programs, we help nonprofits and foundations to realize their advocacy potential.