Special Update on Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Facts and Figures

The IIA Issues Note on investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) presents ISDS facts and figures as of 31 July 2017.


During the first 7 months of this year, investors initiated at least 35 treaty-based ISDS cases, bringing the total number of known cases to 817.

As new information came in, the number of known cases for 2016 was adjusted to 69. In 2015, investors filed a record high of 77 known investor-State arbitrations pursuant to international investment agreements.

The new ISDS cases in 2017 were commenced against 32 countries. Five countries and economies – Bahrain, Benin, Iraq, Kuwait and Taiwan Province of China – faced their first (known) ISDS claims. Developed-country investors brought about two thirds of the 35 known cases.

Looking at the overall outcomes of some 530 cases concluded as of 31 July 2017, about one third were decided in favour of the State and one quarter in favour of the investor (the remaining cases were settled, discontinued or decided in favour of neither party).

On average, a successful claimant was awarded some $522 million, corresponding to about 40 per cent of the amount claimed.

Claimants alleged breaches of fair and equitable treatment (FET) in about 80 per cent of ISDS cases for which such information was available, followed by indirect expropriation with 75 per cent. In the decisions holding the State liable, ISDS tribunals most frequently found breaches of the FET and indirect expropriation provisions.