Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

New report shows lawyers win in free trade battles

27 November 2012

New report shows lawyers win in free trade battles

A new report on how the legal industry is exploiting investment state disputes clauses in trade agreements shows why New Zealand must refuse to sign any trade agreement that includes these provisions, Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei said today.

Mrs Turei today launched Profiting From Injustice*, a report showing how law firms, arbitrators, and financiers are fuelling an investment arbitration boom.

The Trans-Pacific partnership agreement (TPP) being negotiated in Auckland next week would open up New Zealand Governments now and in the future to litigation from major offshore corporations through the use of investment state dispute mechanisms.

“A leaked draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement shows that New Zealand is happy with investment state disputes clauses,” said Mrs Turei.

“These clauses mean that corporate lawyers and arbitrators can make decisions affecting New Zealand’s ability to make laws protecting public health and the environment.

“Investment state disputes clauses are inherently anti-democratic.

“Profiting From Injustice’s report shows that big international law firms are exploiting these investment state disputes clauses on behalf of corporations.

“Governments around the world are paying out huge sums after losing decisions decided by unelected officials behind closed doors.

“The Australian Government has realised the dangers of these clauses and is currently refusing to sign up to the investor state disputes in the current TPP negotiations.

“New Zealand needs to support Australia in pushing back against the provision of investment state dispute settlement provisions in the current Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement,” Mrs Turei said.

“New Zealand should also take note that some of the biggest legal firms profiting from these disputes are based in the United States one of the countries involved in the TPP negotiations.

* ‘Profiting from Injustice’ is published by corporate watchdogs the Transnational Institute and Corporate Europe Observatory.

Profiting from Injustices key findings:

- The number of investment arbitration cases, as well as the sums of money involved, has surged in the last two decades.
- The boom in arbitration has created bonanza profits for investment lawyers paid for by taxpayers.

- Arbitrators tend to defend private investor rights above public interest, revealing an inherent bias.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mediaworks: Three to be sold or closed

MediaWorks has today announced that it intends to sell MediaWorks TV as well as its Flower Street property which includes its television head office and studios.

The intention is for MediaWorks to sell the television side of the business while retaining ownership of radio and QMS. The Flower Street property will also be put up for sale with a lease back option for a buyer to continue to operate television from that location.

MediaWorks Chairman Jack Matthews said that MediaWorks is committed to continuing to grow its business in New Zealand while recognising that free-to-air television operates in a challenging environment. More>>

 
 

Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>

ALSO:

Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>

ALSO:

Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>

ALSO:

‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels