Parliamentary debate on investor rights to sue governments (ISDS)

March 7, 2023: In November 2022, the Trade Minister confirmed Labor’s policy to exclude Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in new agreements and to review it in existing agreements. The policy was first adopted under the Gillard government in 2011 in response to community campaigning by AFTINET and others when the Philip Morris tobacco company sued the Australian government over our plain packaging law.

Kevin Hogan, National Party member for Page and Shadow Trade Minister, moved a private member’s motion in the Federation Chamber on Monday March 6, 2023, criticising the government policy and praising ISDS.

Labor members successfully defended the policy against ISDS, using examples of ISDS cases against health, environment and wages policies. See the speech by Josh Wilson, MP, Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties,