Foreign investment in general, and investor-State dispute settlement in particular, together form one of the most controversial aspects of the trade and investment law regimes in both Australia and New Zealand. The chapter outlines core aspects of Australia and New Zealand’s international investment agreements (IIAs), taking account of the traditional approaches in bilateral investment agreements (BITs) as well as the more modern approaches in investment chapters of preferential trade agreements. In doing so, the chapter identifies patterns and developments over time and assesses the extent to which the negotiators of both countries have drafted these treaties so as to protect their governments’ regulatory sovereignty with respect to matters such as public health and other non-trade/investment policy objectives. Therefore, first Australia and New Zealand’s IIA provisions are reviewed in respect of three key substantive investment obligations, then the two main types of ‘exceptions’ to investment obligations and ISDS.
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The decision-making governance of the European Central Bank (ECB) has evolved with the creation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). The Supervisory Board is nested in a semi-rigid institutional setting of the ECB, where different decision-making procedures steer the operations and strategies of the SSM. The legal framework of ECB decision-making and its legal nature are contextualised in EU secondary law and SSM law, including a comparison with the European Commission’s decision-making procedures. The evolutions observed are all geared towards ensuring efficiency in the ECB decision-making governance, in a context of inflation and diversity of supervisory decisions. Thus, decision-making arrangements cover not only a standard non-objection procedure from the Governing Council but also a second path with a delegation framework. This alternative route, operational since 2017, allows the delegation of decision-making powers to ECB’s management for specific types of supervisory decisions. Finally, the ECB’s responsibility for the oversight over the functioning of the system is essential in the SSM governance. The Chapter looks at diverse supervisory actions and tools the ECB uses in its relationships with the National Competent Authorities to ensure an effective and consistent functioning of the SSM.
Alberto de Gregorio Merino
The European Banking Union (EBU) is the most innovative development of European administrative law since the Single European Act of 1986. It reshapes all the main parts of administrative law: general principles, organisation, procedure and guarantees. Yet, the incompleteness of the EBU (the “third pillar” is missing) makes the model incoherent. Other features must be solved soon, as the particular complexity of the regulation and the scope of judicial review. The first implementing experience of the EBU law shows some tensions among the ECB, the new SSM and SRB boards and the EU institutions; and also between the new European regulation and national rules, demonstrated by the first resolution cases. Despite the inevitable problems of a system established in a very short time with special characters, the EBU marks boldly the integration process. Its accountability must be considred in an original way, the “output legimitation”, distinct from the abused point of view of “democratic” legimitation.
The introduction of an unconditional basic income (UBI) has been a long-lasting debate in most of the modern welfare states. Although it has not yet been implemented anywhere it generates a lot of interest. Independent of its actual implementation, a UBI consists of the idea of a unitary social transfer to everyone in society, replacing many if not all existing transfers. This new transfer is no longer means tested. Hence, it is not subject to the household situation or even the willingness to work. The arguments for this include an increase in social justice, a reduction of poverty, and a raise in individual freedom. The arguments against focus mainly around the abandonment of the subsidiarity principle. Critics also fear that an unconditional payment would reduce labour market participation especially for low-income households. Furthermore, given the nature of a negative income tax scheme, full poverty extinction combined with high incentives to work could not be financed.
Jan M. Bauer and Lucia A. Reisch
High obesity levels are an increasing concern for policy-makers as they are associated with high costs in the health care system, reduced well-being, and impaired individual health. Hence, there is a growing interest in governments to foster healthier lifestyles. Based on recent comprehensive literature overviews of available behaviourally informed policy tools that aim to influence individual food choices towards healthier choices, this chapter suggests a research agenda for the closely related fields of economic psychology and behavioural economics in the field of healthy food choices. The research agenda is developed based on the current understanding of the interplay of individual food choice and governmental intervention in general, and the policy approach of behaviourally informed regulation in specific.
Belgium’s social concertation model is extraordinarily resilient. Social dialogue is institutionally firmly embedded and the social partners continue to wield significant influence in shaping social and economic policy. Belgium is also among the few rich countries not to have seen growing income inequalities. Belgium maintains just about the most equal wage distribution in the capitalist world – including one of the smallest gender pay gaps – and there is little evidence of precarisation of work. The key argument of this chapter is that robust social dialogue has helped to contain inequality. The Belgian experience thus provides a powerful antidote to views that growing inequalities are inevitable. However, Belgium’s labour market is not as inclusive as we would wish and this, too, has to be seen, at least in part, in the context of the institutional rigidities and insider biases inherent in an extensive social concertation model such as Belgium’s.
Klaus Hoeyer, Aaro Tupasela and Malene Bøgehus Rasmussen
In recent years, cross-national collaboration in medical research has gained increased policy attention. Policies are developed to enhance data sharing, ensure open access, and harmonize international standards and ethics rules in order to promote access to existing resources and increase scientific output. In tandem with this promotion of data sharing, numerous ethics policies are developed to control data flows and protect privacy and confidentiality. Both sets of policymaking, however, pay limited attention to the moral decisions and social ties enacted in the everyday routines of scientific work. This chapter takes its point of departure in the practices of a Danish laboratory with great experience in international collaboration regarding genetic research. We focus on a simple query: What makes genetic material and health data flow, and which hopes and concerns travel along with them? We explore what we call the flows, the nonflows, and the overflows of material and information, and we document the work producing the flows of health data and biomaterial. We call this work “ethics work” and argue that it is crucial for data sharing though it is rarely articulated in ethics policies, remains inadequately funded, and lacks acknowledgement in policies promoting international data sharing. The quest for Big Data is dependent on adequate maneuvering in local contexts and grand solutions of harmonization of ethics rules cannot replace the detailed ethics work aimed at acknowledging local concerns.
Big philanthropic foundations constitute prominent agents of transnational policy circulation, furthering new approaches to policy formation and delivery in the context of development. This chapter presents a case study on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest representative and driver of contemporary philanthropy in development. The chapter explores the comparative advantages and distinct limitations experienced by philanthropic donors as policy suppliers and identifies the particular approaches to policy circulation deployed by the Gates Foundation in the global development community and one of its aid-receiving countries, Tanzania. The findings offer valuable insights on the unique factors hampering and facilitating policy circulation by big philanthropies as well as their sources and uses of power as transnational policy agents.
Timothy Caulfield and Blake Murdoch
From a research perspective, interest in biobanking continues to intensify. Governments and industry have invested heavily in biobanks, as exemplified by initiatives such as the UK Biobank and the United States’ Precision Medicine Initiative. But despite this enthusiasm, many profound legal and ethical challenges remain unresolved. Indeed, there continue to be disagreements about how best to obtain consent and the degree and nature of control that research participants retain over donated samples and health information. Emerging social trends - including concerns about commercialization and perceived rights of continuing control (“biorights”) - seem likely to intensify these issues.
Peter K. Yu
This chapter aims to provide a brief survey on three distinct sets of issues, all related to biobanks. The first set concerns the human rights involved in the collection, processing, use, or storage of the biological materials collected by biobanks. The second set pertains to the human rights issues implicated by the development of scientific productions utilizing the collected materials. The third set relates to the human rights obligations of three types of biobanks: public biobanks, private biobanks and biobanks formed out of public-private partnerships (PPPs).The goal of this chapter is not to provide detailed analyses of these three sets of human rights issues. Instead, it aims to offer preliminary sketches of the various human rights issues that can be implicated by biobanks. It is my hope that this chapter will highlight the complexities concerning human rights issues in the area of biobanking and thereby generate greater interest and attention from the medical community, biobank operators and funders, policymakers, regulators, commentators, and the mass media.