“Today I warmly welcome the judgement from the European Court of Justice which makes it crystal clear that any trade agreement containing investor courts must be ratified by Member States”. Speaking in Strasbourg, Marian expressed her satisfaction that today´s ruling vindicated her stance on the exclusion of such courts in the Canadian trade deal as well as responding to the concerns of many Irish citizens who had contacted her on the issue.
“This means that every single country, including Ireland, must now agree to the setting up of these special investor courts, which are outside the jurisdiction of national courts, if they are to ratify the Singapore and Canadian trade deals. This will at the very least stimulate a debate in Ireland and in the Dáil on this hugely important issue.
“I believe the Irish Government should immediately ask the European Commission to decouple the investor courts from both the Singapore and Canadian trade deals given that the Seanad has already rejected the CETA deal. Ireland should not enter into any agreement whereby large investors have special courts where they can sue Ireland if we put legislation in place that might disadvantage their interests. Examples of such cases include Philip Morris Tobacco Company suing the Uruguay government over public health laws on smoking and an American waste company successfully suing the Canadian government for banning the export of toxic PCB waste.
“We now have an opportunity to get rid of these special investor courts. The ECJ has opened the door - all we need to do is walk through it. Corporations cannot take preference over citizens,” she concluded.