Fact Sheet: Surge in ISDS Cases Continues in 2018

28 May 2019

UNCTAD has published a “Fact Sheet on Investor–State Dispute Settlement Cases in 2018” (IIA Issues Note, No. 2).

The fact sheet provides an overview of known treaty-based investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) cases initiated in the past year and overall ISDS case outcomes.

As the surge in ISDS cases continues, the total ISDS case count may reach one thousand by the end of 2019.


- At least 71 treaty-based ISDS cases were initiated in 2018, all but one under old-generation treaties signed before 2012.

- As of 1 January 2019, the total number of known ISDS cases pursuant to international investment agreements (IIAs) had reached 942. To date, 117 countries are known to have been respondents to one or more ISDS claims.

- The new ISDS cases in 2018 were initiated against 41 countries. As in previous years, the majority of new cases were brought against developing countries and transition economies. Developed-country investors brought most of the 71 known cases.

The fact sheet is available for download here.

Save the date for UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2019, to be launched on 12 June 2019. The World Investment Report 2019 (chapter III) reviews reform-oriented provisions and new approaches to ISDS in IIAs signed in 2018 (Phase 1 of IIA Reform). It also analyses countries’ reform actions to tackle old-generation treaties (Phase 2).

Graph ISDS Cases 1987-2018