The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada, which has been in provisional application since 2017. One of the key aspects of the agreement is the establishment of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Investment Court (CAEIC).
The CAEIC is a permanent court that will replace the ad hoc arbitration panels commonly used in investor-state dispute settlements. The court will consist of 15 judges appointed by the EU and Canada, and cases will be heard by three judges. The CAEIC is designed to ensure that disputes are resolved in a fair and impartial manner, and provide greater transparency and predictability for investors.
The agreement has been controversial, with critics arguing that it gives too much power to multinational corporations at the expense of national governments and citizens. Supporters, on the other hand, argue that the agreement will boost trade and investment between the EU and Canada, and provide benefits to consumers.
One of the key benefits of the CAEIC is that it will provide a transparent and impartial mechanism for resolving disputes between investors and states. This is particularly important for smaller states with limited resources, which may struggle to defend themselves in traditional litigation or arbitration proceedings.
In addition, the CAEIC will encourage investment by providing greater certainty for investors. By establishing clear rules and procedures for dispute settlement, the court will reduce the risk of disputes arising in the first place, and provide a clear framework for resolving disputes that do occur.
Overall, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is a significant development in international trade law, and the establishment of the CAEIC is an important step towards greater transparency and accountability in investor-state dispute settlement. While the agreement may face challenges and controversies in the years ahead, it represents an important effort to balance the interests of investors and states in an increasingly globalized economy.