Artists against TTIP, and how the new ICS differs from ISDS (spoiler – not much)

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Posted Mar 3 2016 by Linda Kaucher of Stop TTIP uk

‘Corporate interests have got to stop coming first’ – well said, Juliet Stevenson. A group of artists including actors Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott and Juliet Stevenson and designer Vivienne Westwood are fronting a campaign ( to raise public awareness of the trade deal TTIP (pronounced tee-tip) which is being secretly negotiated between the EU and the US.

Here’s a video they’ve recently put out, that starts ‘you may never have heard of TTIP’ – although I hope you have by now. Here’s a beginners guide if you haven’t, and here’s a lot more information.

That’s a pretty good introduction, really.

It’s mentioned in the video that multinational corporations will be able to sue elected governments that introduce any policies that can be shown to reduce their profits – even if those policies are to protect public health or the environment. This is called the investor-state dispute settlement – more here.

The EC and the US have taken on board people’s concerns, and done the right thing (i.e. the right thing for corporations) – they’ve changed the name from ISDS to ICS (investment court system – more here), because the acronym ISDS was starting to become toxic.

Now the Corporate Europe Observatory have produced a report outlining the differences / similarities between ISDS and ICS. Their conclusion is that ICS is a ‘zombie ISDS’ – brought back from the dead.

Here’s the full report, and below is a checklist of ISDS concerns that have or have not been addressed by the change to ICS.


Friends of the Earth agree. They’ve produced a document – Investment Court System: ISDS in Disguise – ten reasons why the EU’s proposal doesn’t fix a fatally flawed system.

If you’d like to join the fight against TTIP, these are the people to talk to: