AFTINET briefing paper on ISDS

Australian Fair Trade and Investment (AFTINET) updated briefing paper on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), January 2024

AFTINET has produced an updated briefing paper on ISDS. It provides background and the latest evidence on ISDS cases including Clive Palmer’s three cases against the Australian government, which total nearly $410 billion. It documents other case studies and explains how the flawed ISDS system has undermined human rights and environmental standards, including government action to reduce carbon emissions, and why many governments are now excluding it from new agreements and reviewing it in existing agreements.

Governments are responding to global movements against ISDS by withdrawing from ISDS arrangements. The Labor government elected in May 2022 has a policy against including ISDS in new trade agreements, and to review it in existing agreements.

Implementing this policy for existing agreements has become more urgent since Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer has used ISDS provisions in the AANZFTA and the Singapore-Australia FTA, as discussed above, to claim a total of nearly $410 billion from the Australian government. Two of his three claims are for refusal of mining licenses on environmental grounds, including the impact on carbon emissions.

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