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Regulatory Autonomy in International Economic Law

The Evolution of Australian Policy on Trade and Investment Andrew D. Mitchell, Elizabeth Sheargold and Tania Voon, Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Regulatory Autonomy in International Economic Law provides the first extensive legal analysis of Australia’s trade and investment treaties in the context of their impact on national regulatory autonomy. This thought-provoking study offers compelling lessons for not only Australia but also countries around the globe in relation to pressing current problems, including the uncertain future of the World Trade Organization and widespread concerns about the legitimacy of investor–State dispute settlement.
Extent: 320 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978 1 78536 816 5
Availability: In Stock
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  • Law - Academic
  • International Investment Law
  • Public International Law
  • Regulation and Governance
  • International Economic Law, Trade Law
Regulatory Autonomy in International Economic Law provides the first extensive legal analysis of Australia’s trade and investment treaties in the context of their impact on national regulatory autonomy. This thought-provoking study offers compelling lessons for not only Australia but also countries around the globe in relation to pressing current problems, including the uncertain future of the World Trade Organization and widespread concerns about the legitimacy of investor–State dispute settlement.

Through a critical exploration of evolving patterns of treaty practice, the authors address the complex relationship between international economic law and a State’s regulatory autonomy in the key areas of intellectual property, services, and investment. This insightful investigation highlights problems of inconsistency across treaties, limited transparency and consultation in the negotiation of treaties, and increasing restrictions on policy space in intellectual property protection. These factors are all crucial in preserving a country’s ability to pursue policy objectives such as protecting public health and the environment while capturing the benefits of international trade and foreign investment.

This discerning book will prove instrumental to scholars and practitioners in the fields of international trade law, international investment law, public international law, and intellectual property. It will also appeal to government agencies and international organisations working in these areas or in matters of public health or the environment.
‘This extremely well-crafted and thoroughly researched monograph tells two stories for our time. The universal story is about the ways in which international economic law has become the main arena of global governance in fields of public concern beyond war and peace - prosperity, equality, health, the environment and more. The second, more particular but no less inspiring, is the story of Australia as a Liberal-Democracy caught in the rip-tides of globalization. Highly recommended and accessible reading.’
– Tomer Broude, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

‘With Regulatory Autonomy in International Economic Law, the authors have made an important contribution to understanding the dichotomy between fostering closer relations among nations through concluding trade and investment liberalizing agreements, and at the same time seeking to preserve the governments’ right to regulate in the public interest in such areas as protecting the environment and worker rights. While the analysis focuses on Australia, the same potential conflicts are present in the United Kingdom as Brexit begins, and in the United States under the Trump Administration. Thus, the study is equally relevant to understanding and resolving the tensions that have developed in those nations.’
– David A. Gantz, The University of Arizona, US

Contents: 1. Regulatory Autonomy and the Evolution of Australia’s Participation in PTAs and BITs 2. Intellectual Property: Increasing Protections under US Influence 3. Trade in Services: Lumbering Towards More Open Markets 4. Investment: Haphazard Responses to Expansive Obligations 5. Investor–State Dispute Settlement: Uncertainty, Inconsistency and Scope for Reform 6. Environmental Protection: Moderate Safeguards and Novel Opportunities 7. Balancing the Benefits of Liberalisation with Policy Space Bibliography Index