Clive Palmer tries to silence MP on Palmer’s use of “dodgy international tribunal system”

February 19, 2024: Clive Palmer has attempted to persuade an international tribunal to issue an order which would silence criticism of ISDS from Labor MP Josh Wilson, Chair of the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. Palmer’s lawyers told the tribunal that Wilson should be prohibited from “making public remarks” on the Investor-State Dispute System (ISDS) after he made comments labelling it “dodgy”.

A missed opportunity for accessible medicines: WTO drops TRIPS waiver extension

February 15, 2024: After more than a year and a half of negotiations on extending the June 2022 decision on for a partial waiver on some aspects of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has formally announced that it is dropping discussions. This comes as a blow to countries such as India and South Africa which have been advocating for a TRIPS waiver extension to allow the production of more accessible COVID medicines.

Mexico sued for billions after rejecting marine mine due to environmental concerns

February 12, 2024: As reported by the Guardian, Mexico is currently facing a US$2.36 billion Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) case from US company Odyssey Marine Exploration after rejecting a seabed mining permit due to environmental concerns. The permit would have allowed Odyssey Marine Exploration to dredge nearly 270,000 hectares of shallow Mexican coastline for phosphate. However, widespread community concerns about marine life and the local fishing industry eventually led Mexico to reject the permit.

New policy brief finds that the TRIPS waiver extension is a chance for the WTO to increase access to medicines and retain legitimacy

February 10, 2024: A policy brief by Rachel Thrasher from Boston University  asserts that the upcoming World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC13) is a crucial window for WTO members to act to increase access to medicines by extending the Waiver to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

International Chamber of Commerce former arbitrator says ISDS has “lost battle of public opinion” and “legitimacy”

February 1, 2024: In a lecture earlier this month Alexis Mourre, the former president of one of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) arbitration systems, run by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said that defenders of ISDS had been “defeated” by civil society movements and “lost the battle of public opinion," and, "to a large extent, the battle of legitimacy."

US retracts support for equity provisions in recent WHO Pandemic Agreement negotiations

January 31, 2024:  In recent Pandemic Agreement negotiations at the World Health Organisation (WHO), the US has rejected proposals to loosen intellectual property rules in the event of a future health emergency. These rules prevent developing countries from quickly making affordable versions of vaccines and other medicines in a future pandemic.

The effectiveness and equity of the WHO Pandemic Agreement threatened by late-stage EU access and benefit sharing proposal

January 29, 2024: At the end of last year, the Third World Network (TWN) reported that the EU circulated a proposal on access and benefit-sharing provisions within the Pandemic Agreement which threatened to undermine its effectiveness and equity. The proposal asserted that access to some genetic resources were to be shared “without conditions.” This has created concerns that the agreement will enable the continuation of inequitable conduct seen during the COVID pandemic by allowing developed countries to repeat unfair historical practice of unilaterally claiming rights to genetic resources from developing countries, without receiving anything in return.

AFTINET’s updated ISDS briefing explains Clive Palmer’s cases against Australia and much more

January 24, 2024: AFTINET has produced an updated briefing paper on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (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 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.

Pakistan agrees to new ISDS provisions, despite previous policy to terminate ISDS agreements

23 January, 2024: Pakistan has agreed to include Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, with some conditions, in a proposed trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council. This decision is at odds with Pakistan’s previous policy, initiated in 2021, to terminate its bilateral investment treaties to avoid further ISDS cases by international investors.

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