Written by Tim Flitcroft
On Sept 25th anti-TTIP activists gathered outside 70 Fleet st EC4 to protest against the imminent implementation of the Trade agreement between Canada and the EU called CETA (Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement) Amongst other things this would allow corporations to sue governments for loss of profits in highly secretive private arbitration tribunals via the ISDS Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses (ISDS).
A roll call of the worst cases of ISDS were read out to a drum roll with chants from protesters. Talks were given by Linda Kaucher from STOP TTIP and Guy Taylor for Global Justice Now. A letter of support from the Council of Canadians was also read out. Many leaflets were handed out and people seemed very interested. It gave an unusual flavour to lunch in the heart of the legal district of London. The City of London police looked on without disturbing the protest.
70 Fleet street is the home of the International Dispute Resolution Centre (IDRC) set up in 1999 which houses the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) established by the City of London in 1883. Its modern international form dates from 1985. In 2011 the LCIA handled 224 international cases with 16% valued at over £20million (some far higher) In these cases “the parties shall be taken to have waived any right of appeal or review in respect of any determination and decision of the LCIA Court to any state court or other legal authority.” and they are completely secret “The parties undertake as a general principle to keep confidential all awards in the arbitration, together with all materials in the arbitration”
The Chairman of IDRC Michael Clayton of IDRC is also Chairman of Clyde & Co which earned $460 million gross in 2011 and was involved in 10 trade treaty cases. Also on the board of directors is a former Mayor of the City of London, Sir David Wooton . The Corporation of London has given its support and is a shareholder, as are the LCIA and CEDR. (http://www.idrc.co.uk)
In two cases this court has already awarded nearly £1billion against the UK government, to US tech and weapons giant Raytheon and to Fujijitsu for loss of profits – in cases where the government had found the companies to be negligent in providing the services they had agreed to. If even negligence is not grounds for denying a claim for loss of profits, it is hard to see any claims by corporations under CETA and TTIP not succeeding in a system which seems inherently biased. For further information http://www.buzzfeed.com/solomonhughes/what-is-the-lcia and http://www.lcia.org/
Stop CETA now!! Stop TTIP now!!