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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

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.
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Acknowledgements

The Evolution of Australian Policy on Trade and Investment

Andrew D. Mitchell, Elizabeth Sheargold and Tania Voon

This book was written with generous funding from the Australian Research Council pursuant to the Discovery Project scheme for the project Revisiting Australia’s preferential trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties to safeguard regulatory autonomy (DP130100838). Much of the work was conducted at the University of Cambridge, where Andrew and Tania were hosted in 2016 by the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and Clare Hall. The Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge also provided assistance to Tania through the Herbert Smith Freehills Visitor Scheme. Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne fully supported this project, including through the Office for Research, the Academic Research Service, the Law Library, the Melbourne Collaborative Project Fund, and the Research Support Funds available to higher degree research candidates.

By way of disclosure, Andrew is a member of the Australian government’s Expert Advisory Group for Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products (an honorary position). He and Tania are also the recipients of two major grants (from the Australian Research Council and the Australian National Preventive Health Agency) to conduct independent research in collaboration with the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer (a joint initiative of Cancer Council Victoria and the Union for International Cancer Control) on the interaction of international economic law with the regulation of common risk factors for non-communicable diseases including tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy diet.

For helpful comments on our research leading to this volume we thank the participants in events at which we presented parts of this research, including at the Attorney-General’s Department of the Commonwealth of Australia (Office of International Law, November 2013), the Finance Canada Legal Retreat (Ottawa, July 2014), the Joint Asian International Economic Law Conference (Bali, July 2015), Sydney Law School (Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law and Korean Society of International Law, December 2015), the University of Oslo (PluriCourts, September 2015 and August 2016), Melbourne Law School (Global Economic Law Network, November 2015 and May 2016), Clayton Utz (Brisbane, March 2016), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (May 2016 and November 2016), the University of New South Wales (China International Business and Economic Law, June 2016 and April 2017), the Australian National University (Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law Annual Conference, June 2016), the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Society of International Economic Law, July 2016), and Georgetown University (International Economic Law Interest Group, American Society of International Law, September 2016).

Parts of Chapter 3 first appeared as Tania Voon, ‘Balancing Regulatory Autonomy with Liberalisation of Trade in Services: An Analytical Assessment of Australia's Obligations under Preferential Trade Agreements' (2017) 18(2) Melbourne Journal of International Law.

We are grateful to the many experts who kindly read drafts of our work and shared their insights, including Rudolf Adlung, Andrew Christie, Peter Gallagher, Jarrod Hepburn, James Munro, Luke Nottage, Sam Ricketson, and Matthew Rimmer. We also benefited from valuable research and editorial assistance from Luisa Borg, Philip Hainbach, Ridhi Kabra, Pei Xuan Liu, Neha Mishra, and Ana María Palacio Valencia. Any views expressed here are our own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or other entity. Any errors are also ours.

Finally, we thank our families for their ongoing caring and patience.

Andrew D. Mitchell

Elizabeth Sheargold

Tania Voon

18 April 2017