The European Court of Justice ruled today that controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in the Netherlands-Slovakia bilateral investment treaty are not compatible with EU law, raising fundamental questions about the legality of other EU trade deals which include the measure. 
While the ruling applies to intra-EU trade deals, it could have a significant impact on the future of the EU-Canada trade deal, CETA, which includes a similar measure – the Investment Court System. After a request from the Belgian government, the ECJ will rule on whether the Investment Court System is compatible with EU laws.
Paul de Clerck, trade campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said, “This ruling confirms what citizens across Europe have been saying for years – there is no place for corporate courts to supersede the public interest. It also makes it even more uncertain if trade deals that include parallel legal systems like the EU-Canada agreement CETA are even legal under European law. National parliaments across the EU should pull the plug now and reject these unfair trade deals.”