Tag: Civil Law

Trade agreement musn’t allow corporations to sue governments

Press Release – Green Party The New Zealand Government should take controversial and outdated Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions off the table in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade negotiations in Auckland this week, the Green Party …RCEP trade agreement must not allow corporations to sue governments The New Zealand Government should take controversial and outdated Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions off the table in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade negotiations in Auckland this week, the Green Party said today. Trade Minister Todd McClay has been reported as saying that RCEP should include ISDS provisions, which allow foreign corporations to sue governments in secretive extra-judicial tribunals. “ISDS rules that allow foreign corporations to sue governments have no place in 21st century trade deals,” Green Party trade spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham said. “ISDS rules can have chilling effects on governments and even local councils, when the threat of potential litigation stops them from doing what’s right for their citizens. “ISDS is about much more than trade, it’s about rewriting the rules of international relations to take power away from governments and give it to corporations. “India is against ISDS in RCEP and New Zealand should be too. “The European Union has been very clear that ISDS is outdated and we need new ways to balance the protection of investors’ rights with the democratic right of...

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The TPPA is the China FTA on Steroids!

Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey 30 January 2016 Do your homework Export NZ: The TPPA is the China FTA on Steroids! Claims by Export NZ that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is basically no different from the NZ-China FTA shows appalling ignorance of both agreements, …30 January 2016 Do your homework Export NZ: The TPPA is the China FTA on Steroids! ‘Claims by Export NZ that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is basically no different from the NZ-China FTA shows appalling ignorance of both agreements’, says University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey. ‘Presumably the corporate lobbies are trying to discredit the Labour Party, which negotiated the China FTA and has now come out against the TPPA because of its impacts on regulatory sovereignty. Anyone familiar with the agreements knows that Export NZ is plain wrong.’ Professor Kelsey notes that the China agreement does include many non-trade rules that extend the constraints on governments that were introduced when the World Trade Organisation was created in 1995. ‘I was highly critical of those developments for that reason, but the TPPA makes the China deal pale into relative insignificance’. The starkest example is the intellectual property chapter. The China FTA simply affirms both countries’ obligations under the WTO. The TPPA contains unprecedented new rules on marketing exclusivity for biologic medicines, extends copyright for 20 years, imposes new rules on patents,...

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Ministers to sign TPPA in NZ on 4 February 2016

Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey Offshore confirmation: Ministers to sign TPPA in NZ on 4 February 2016 The ministers from the twelve countries who negotiated the the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will sign it in New Zealand on 4 February, a government spokesperson from …Offshore confirmation: Ministers to sign TPPA in NZ on 4 February 2016 The ministers from the twelve countries who negotiated the the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will sign it in New Zealand on 4 February, a government spokesperson from Chile has confirmed.[1] The New Zealand government has made no formal announcement, despite reports that it would host the meeting since the APEC summit last November. ‘Consistent with the government’s obsessively secrecy throughout the TPPA process, we have to get confirmation of what is happening in our own country from offshore’, says Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey, who has led legal action to challenge the government’s failure to release information on the TPPA. ‘Polls have shown the government doesn’t have popular support for the deal. Presumably it wants to limit the chance for New Zealanders to make their opposition heard’, Kelsey said. ‘We were reliably told by offshore sources some time ago that the meeting is in Auckland, but we expect the government to try to keep the actual venue secret until much closer to the day’. A series of high profile public meetings has...

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High Court can’t make Groser provide TPPA information faster

Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey High Court says it cant make Groser provide TPPA information faster for now This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Grosers stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement …High Court says it can’t make Groser provide TPPA information faster ‘for now’ ‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. The Minister took a month to respond to the court’s decision, despite the urgency of the request and the imminence of the signing of the TPPA. He then set out a process for reviewing the request, rather than an actual response. The ministry had so far located just one category of information: New Zealand’s negotiating mandates dating back to the start of the negotiations. However, the officials were too busy and the Minister was overseas, so no response could be provided until 5 February 2016, conveniently the day after the expected signing of the agreement. The applicants asked the court to order the Minister to provide the information by mid-December. In a decision released yesterday, Justice Collins acknowledged...

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New Zealand’s Most Powerful Lawyers Named

Press Release – LawFuel Ministry of Justice CEO Andrew Bridgman (No. 1) takes the top spotout of 50 on LawFuels inaugural rankinig of New Zealands most powerful lawyers.New Zealand’s Most Powerful Lawyers Named: Justice Ministry Head Tops the List Wellington (November 16, 2015) – LawFuel.co.nz – Ministry of Justice CEO Andrew Bridgman (No. 1) takes the top spotout of 50 on LawFuel’s inaugural rankinig of New Zealand’s most powerful lawyers. The “LawFuel Power List” ranks 50 lawyers throughout the public and private sectors in New Zealand,ranking their influence and affect upon the practice, administration and perception of law in the country. Among the top 10 are retiring Solicitor General Michael Heron QC, while sitting in the number 2position is the Commerce Commission chief,Mark Berry. The top ranking woman in the LawFuel power list is head of the Auckland Council’s legal division, Kathryn Anderson while high profile woman lawyer Mai Chen sits at Number 14 on the list. In total the Power List has 15 women with Number 50 at the tail lend being the staunch opponent ofthe Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and Auckland university academic Jane Kelsey. The top ranking barrister is Auckland QC Alan Galbraith who is closely followed by Wellington QC and Supreme Court appellate lawyer David Goddard QC. The growing importance of in-house legal teams is reflected in the increased number of lawyers working in both...

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