Australian Joint Standing Committee on Treaties approves new investment treaties between Australia, Hong Kong and Indonesia

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (“JSCOT“) of the Australian Parliament has just released Report No. 186 examining three treaties: the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Hong Kong, China (“HK-FTA“), the Investment Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China … Read more

HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA RULES ON INTERPRETATION OF ARBITRATION CLAUSES

In an important and clarifying decision, the High Court of Australia has handed down its decision in Rinehart & Anor v Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd & Ors.1 The decision is significant for the conduct of international arbitration in Australia because: the High Court held that the phrase “any dispute under this deed” in an arbitration clause … Read more

AUSTRALIA AND INDONESIA SIGN COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

On 4 March 2019, Australia and Indonesia signed the Australia-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (“CEPA“). In this post, we briefly consider some of the noteworthy features of the CEPA chapter on investment and in particular its provisions regarding investor-State dispute settlement (“ISDS“). Indonesia and Australia signed a bilateral investment treaty (“BIT“) containing ISDS provisions in … Read more

AUSTRALIA AND HONG KONG SIGN NEW TRADE AGREEMENT CONTAINING INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROVISIONS

On 26 March 2019, Australia and Hong Kong signed the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A-HKFTA) and its associated Investment Agreement (Agreement). These agreements were negotiated against the background of a heated political debate in Australia regarding the benefits and risks of investment treaties. This debate occurred as a result of an arbitration brought against … Read more

New Zealand signs side letters with five CPTPP members to exclude compulsory investor state dispute settlement

New Zealand has recently signed “side letters” to exclude compulsory Investor State Dispute Settlement (“ISDS“) with five members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP“) – Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Peru, Viet Nam and Australia. This demonstrates the evolving approach to ISDS in the Asia Pacific region and is of particular interest both … Read more

The English Court of Appeal substitutes one anti-suit injunction for another (more limited one)

The English Court of Appeal is the latest court to weigh in on this long-running dispute spanning multiple jurisdictions between Messrs Emmott and Wilson, relating to an agreement to establish a “quasi-partnership”. Following an appeal brought by Mr Emmott against the High Court’s decision (which we reported here), the question for the Court of Appeal was whether … Read more

The Federal Court of Australia recognises and enforces ICSID award

  The Australian judiciary has again proven that Australia is a pro-arbitration destination, by recognising and enforcing an award and decision rendered under the rules of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). In Lahoud v The Democratic Republic of Congo [2017] FCA 982 (Lahoud), the Federal Court of Australia highlights that applicants … Read more