Simon Foote, David Turner and Samuel Jeffs of Bankside Chambers presented a paper on investor protections and investor-state arbitration mechanisms in the TPPA at the recent Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand conference in Queenstown.
They point out that New Zealand is already a party to a dozen investment treaties and free trade agreements that contain the same type of investor protections and dispute procedures as the TPPA.
In respect of the TPPA provisions, they conclude that the investor protections are narrowly framed and incorporate many important exceptions for regulatory measures affecting tax, the environment, public health and the Treaty of Waitangi.
Accordingly, concerns about restrictions on sovereignty flowing from the threat of large lawsuits against the governments of the TPPA member states are overstated. If there are such claims, the TPPA includes procedures for resolution by a neutral tribunal operating in a transparent manner under World Bank or United Nations arbitration rules.
There are also procedures designed to deal with meritless claims swiftly at a preliminary stage.
For more information contact Simon Foote.