On 20 March, 2017, a treaty was tabled with the Commonwealth Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT), proposing the withdrawal of one of Australia’s two reservations to the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This reservation excludes the effect of the Convention insofar as it would require the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to change its policy excluding women from combat duties. The withdrawal of this reservation is a very welcome development in Australia’s approach to sex discrimination, and brings Australia in line with the broad aims of the Convention, by foreclosing the possibility that policy may allow service and promotion in combat roles to be dictated by sex, rather than ability.
The future of investment treaties, especially as part of “mega-regional” free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), has become very uncertain given the isolationist volte-face of the Trump Administration. This project explores the historical and likely future trajectory of investment treaties, including the sometimes politically controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) procedure, especially in the rapidly growing and diverse Asia-Pacific region. The book focuses on the extent to which Asia-Pacific economies (individually and/or through sub-regional groupings like ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) have been or are more likely to become “rule makers” rather than “rule takers” in international investment law, and in what sense.
The following draft book proposal is based mainly on papers presented at conferences comparing contract- and treaty-based arbitration of investment disputes in ASEAN member states (held in Bangkok in July 2016) and across the wider Asian region (held at USydney in February 2017, supported by SCIL and with a summary by Ana Ubilava available via Kluwer Arbitration Blog) and reproduced (without hyperlinks) on this Blog.