Watch AFTINET and PHAA’s Webinar on Overcoming Intellectual Property Barriers to Equitable Medicines Access for Pandemics


15 April, 2024: On Tuesday 9 April at 7pm AEST, the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) and Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) co-hosted a webinar on pandemic medicines access in the context of the World Health Organisation negotiations for a global agreement to deal with future pandemics.

Professor Deborah Gleeson (Department of Public Health, La Trobe University) and Yuan Qiong Hu (Senior Legal & Policy Advisor at Médecins Sans Frontières and intellectual property) discussed the implications of intellectual property barriers to medicines access during pandemics, with concluding remarks from Dr Patricia Ranald (AFTINET Convenor and Honorary Research Associate at the University of Sydney).

How can we stop multi-million-dollar claims from foreign investors against the Australian government for public interest policy?

April 3, 2024: Australia is currently facing $410 billion in claims from billionaire Clive Palmer using an obscure legal provision, Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS is a provision in some trade agreements which allows foreign investors to sue the government if they can argue a change to law or policy reduces their profits. Palmer has Registered his company in Singapore and is Using ISDS in two trade agreements to sue the Australian government over the refusal of mining permits, Including coal mining permits, which were refused for environmental reasons.

AFTINET gives evidence to Parliamentary Inquiry on how Clive Palmer is suing Australia for $410 billion using the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement

March 25, 2024 AFTINET Media Release

“Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has exploited foreign investor rights in the ASEAN Australia -New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) by registering his mining company Zeph Investments in Singapore, claiming to be a Singapore investor and suing Australia for $410 billion in three different cases,” Dr Patricia Ranald AFTINET Convener said today. 

AFTINET urges Health Minister to support a strong, enforceable WHO Pandemic Agreement

20 March, 2024: AFTINET member organisations have sent a letter to the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler, asking him to fulfill his commitment to a meaningful WHO Pandemic Agreement built on cooperation and equity. It urges the Health Minister to support strong, enforceable provisions for trade rules to provide more equitable access to pandemic-related products for low-income countries.

Oil-refining company sues EU, Germany and Denmark for $157 million for “punitive” windfall tax despite its x12 increase in profit

18 March, 2024: Jersey-based oil-refining company the Klesch Group have used an obscure legal provision, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, to sue the EU, Germany and Denmark for at least $157 (€95m) over their windfall taxes. Governments introduced the tax after oil and gas companies saw record profits following the Ukraine invasion.

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