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

 

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news