Organisations representing millions of Australians wrote to Labor MPs last week asking them to implement their policies against harmful proposals including special rights for foreign investors to sue governments for millions over domestic laws.
The Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement and separate Investment Agreement signed still give special rights to foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in international tribunals
It has taken a second FOI case and another two years to reveal that Australian taxpayers were only awarded half of the costs of defending Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws against tobacco giant Philip Morris in March 2017.
The tribunal considered that the main and determinative reason for the 2011 restructuring was in order for the tobacco giant to bring a legal claim under the BIT Treaty, using a Hong Kong-based entity.
Despite debates about crisis in investment treaty arbitration, most emerging market economies are concluding BITs that provide for ISDS and emerging market multinational companies appear to welcome ISDS.
India has a faced a number of claims from foreign investors over the years under the BIT regime. It is presently engaged in over 20 investor-State disputes, with a number of them revolving around retrospective tax claims.