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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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Chapter 7: Balancing the Benefits of Liberalisation with Policy Space

The Evolution of Australian Policy on Trade and Investment

Andrew D. Mitchell, Elizabeth Sheargold and Tania Voon

Extract

This chapter draws out the common themes from earlier chapters, highlighting areas in which Australia may be exposed to challenge under its preferential trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties (as well as under the law of the World Trade Organization, for example to the extent that these other treaties are inconsistent with that law). The chapter reiterates the need for balance between securing policy space for legitimate government regulation and ensuring the benefits of trade and investment liberalisation for national and global welfare. This concluding chapter emphasises the importance of considering regulatory autonomy in relation to preferential trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties holistically, taking account of how different disciplines, such as intellectual property and investment, may interact or overlap, as well as how different treaties relate to each other. The chapter provides suggestions for future treaties, including in relation to enhancing transparency in international negotiations. Keywords: international economic law, investment, policy space, public international law, regionalism, trade

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