Allens

International Business Obligations

Our experienced International Business Obligations legal team regularly publishes articles and updates - the full list of publications appears below. These publications provide a snapshot of the latest legislation, court cases, policy changes and contentious issues affecting International Business Obligations. If you'd like to be notified when we add new International Business Obligations publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Read about Allens' track record in this dynamic area.

International Business Obligations Publications

  • Focus: The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement

    15 April 2014

    Australia and Japan have recently concluded negotiations on an economic agreement which will reduce tariff barriers on the majority of Australian exports to Japan. In contrast to the recently concluded Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, it does not include an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Anna McMahon report.

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  • Focus: Recent anti-corruption developments in Papua New Guinea

    8 April 2014

    The Papua New Guinean Government has continued to take significant steps in progressing its anti-corruption agenda in the first quarter of 2014. Partner Allan Mana, Senior Associates Sarah Kuman and Michael Gomm and Lawyer Anthony Graham report on recent developments in Papua New Guinea and their implications.

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  • Focus: Investor-State dispute settlement under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement

    6 March 2014

    In a shift from the previous Australian Government's position, a free trade agreement between Korea and Australia, which was recently concluded by the new Coalition Government will include investor-state dispute settlement clauses. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Anna McMahon report.

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  • Focus: Corporate responsibility and anti-corruption legislation in India

    10 February 2014

    In the past 12 months, the Indian Parliament has passed two important pieces of legislation relating to corporate social responsibility and the investigation of allegations of corruption made against public servants. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Harini Amarasinghe report.

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  • Focus: More certainty for foreign corporations under Alien Tort Claims Act

    28 January 2014

    Since a landmark decision has narrowed available claims against defendants under the Alien Tort Claims Act for alleged violations of customary international law, US courts have sought to clarify exactly what geographical connection is required to justify a claim against corporate defendants. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw look at a recent US Supreme Court decision that tests the waters of the new framework.

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  • Focus: Anti-money laundering laws review announced

    8 January 2014

    A review of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws will determine whether Australia can and should strengthen its response to money laundering and terrorism financing. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Lawyers Andrew Wilcock and Arlou Arteta report.

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  • Focus: New oversight mechanism for private military and security companies

    17 October 2013

    In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of private military and security companies by corporations that have operations in conflict affected areas. Recently, the first multi-stakeholder initiative has been established to provide an oversight mechanism for the compliance of private military and security companies with international law and industry standards. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Alyse Richmond report.

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  • Focus: UK the first to release a 'Good Business' plan

    23 September 2013

    In a world first, the UK Government has released a comprehensive national action plan for the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which sets a new benchmark for the implementation of the Guiding Principles at the domestic level and is likely to serve as a model for other governments developing similar national plans. The plan makes clear the Government's expectation that UK businesses respect human rights in their operations, both in the UK and abroad, and outlines the measures it is proposing to take to support businesses to meet those expectations. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Lawyers Tessa Meyrick and Freya Dinshaw report.

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  • Audio: Human rights obligations for business in Australia

    26 July 2013

    Corporate human rights law obligations are increasing steadily in Australia and overseas. These legal reforms are informed by recent watershed international developments in this area, including global recognition of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and rigorous standards of expected business conduct. Partner Rachel Nicolson, who leads the firm's International Business Obligations group, speaks to BRR Media about the key issues and risks facing businesses in Australia.

    Listen
  • Focus: A different roadmap for investor-state dispute settlement?

    23 July 2013

    The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has identified key shortcomings of the current system of investor-state dispute settlement, and has outlined five broad paths for reform in a recent report. The negotiation and implementation of these reforms will affect foreign investors and policymakers globally. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Hilary Birks and Lawyer Laura Bellamy report.

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  • Focus: New whistleblower legislation

    15 July 2013

    Federal legislation providing protection for 'public officials' making public interest disclosures, and placing obligations on persons, companies and public agencies who receive public interest disclosures, has been passed, and can also extend to disclosures made in relation to conduct occurring outside Australia. Persons making and receiving public interest disclosures need to be aware of these protections and obligations, as Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Joel Phibbs and Lawyer Corin Morcom report.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Financial Crime Update

    3 July 2013

    The importance of separating the investigation and prosecution of anti-corruption and criminal offences from the enforcement of other administrative procedures is emphasised in this month's Financial Crime Update.

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  • Focus: New EU financial disclosure requirements for resources and logging sectors

    24 April 2013

    Companies listed in the EU and large private companies in the EU that operate in the extractives and logging industries will need to report on payments made to host governments, both on a country and project basis, under a new EU legislative proposal that is part of a trend towards improving transparency in the extractives sector. Compliance costs will be significant and companies need to start preparing now, as Partner Anthony Patten, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Raquel Dos Santos report. 

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  • Focus: US Supreme Court reins in scope of Alien Tort Claims Act

    19 April 2013

    In the much-awaited decision of Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, the US Supreme Court has determined that the Alien Tort Claims Act cannot be used to bring claims for alleged violations of customary international law where the relevant conduct occurs outside the US. The court remained silent on the question of whether corporations can be held liable for breaches of customary international law under the statute. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw report. 

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  • Linklaters Insights: The evolution and current state of play for the definition of 'US person' for purposes of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act

    30 January 2013

    As the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulators have worked to implement Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, uncertainty has arisen with respect to the extraterritorial scope of Title VII and its application to cross-border derivatives transactions and international market participants.

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  • Linklaters Insights: World Bank to publish contract details in anti-corruption push

    14 December 2012

    The World Bank has moved to make its dealings more open and transparent, as part of a global initiative to fight corruption. It hopes that a new on-line database giving details of World Bank-financed contracts will reduce corruption and increase value for money.

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  • Focus: Victoria's new anti-corruption commission

    5 December 2012

    As part of the State's integrity reforms, Victoria has created its first anti-corruption commission. Two Bills representing the final legislative instalment in the reforms were introduced into the Victorian Parliament last month. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Jess O'Brien report.

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  • Focus: Australia volunteers to join security and human rights initiative

    28 November 2012

    The Federal Government will apply to join the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, an extractives sector initiative that addresses human rights issues associated with the security of companies' operations both in Australia and overseas. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Catie Shavin report.

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  • Linklaters Insights: US Treasury issues final determination respecting FX swaps

    28 November 2012

    On 16 November 2012, the US Treasury issued a final determination with respect to FX swaps and FX forwards under the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act. The Final Determination will become effective as soon as it is published in the Federal Register.

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  • Linklaters Insights: European proposals to increase number of women on boards

    28 November 2012

    The European Commission has announced its proposals for improving gender balance in Europe's board rooms, with a target of 40 per cent of non-executives by 2020.

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  • Focus: Guide on US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Relevance to Australian business

    23 November 2012

    The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have issued a resource guide to US foreign corrupt practices legislation. It provides helpful regulatory direction on the enforcement of the legislation, including on issues relevant to its application to Australian business. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyers Stuti Sethi and Rebecca Grover report.

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  • Focus: Consolidation of Federal anti-discrimination laws

    21 November 2012

    The Federal Government has released draft legislation consolidating federal anti-discrimination laws. Partner Simon Dewberry and Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson report.

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  • Focus: Review of project financing principles

    26 September 2012

    The Equator Principles, which promote environmentally and socially responsible project financing, are in the process of being updated. Although, initially, it may seem that the revised principles will increase signatories' obligations, their enhanced alignment with other international standards will facilitate a streamlining of financial institutions' policies and processes. Partner Louise Jenkins and Lawyers Catie Shavin and Loren Atkins report.

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  • Focus: New conflict minerals and extractive sector payments rules

    21 September 2012

    The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted new rules requiring companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals which originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country and to disclose payments made to the US Government or foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or other minerals. Special Counsel Debra Counsell, Lawyer Dora Banyasz and Law Graduate Sheree Rubinstein, report.

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  • Focus: Learning from the Securency bribery prosecutions

    4 September 2012

    The former CFO and company secretary of Securency International Pty Ltd was sentenced recently after entering a plea of guilty to a charge of false accounting. This is the first conviction secured in the long-running investigation into Securency and Note Printing Australia and is the first tangible example of Australia's anti-corruption regime at work. Partner Ross Drinnan, Senior Associates Stephanie Wee and Tom Randall, and Lawyer Roslyn Stein report on the case.

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  • Focus: More nations ease sanctions against Myanmar

    23 August 2012

    We recently reported on the easing of US sanctions against Myanmar. In this follow up article, we report on changes to the Australian, EU and Canadian sanctions against Myanmar. Allens Partner Anthony Patten, Linklaters Partner Satindar Dogra and Allens Law Graduate Laura Bellamy provide a brief overview of the changes to these sanctions regimes.

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  • Focus: US eases sanctions on Myanmar

    27 July 2012

    The US has recently eased its Myanmar sanctions regime to make it possible for US entities and individuals to invest in, and export financial services to, Myanmar for the first time in 15 years. In this article our Myanmar Group provides a brief overview of the changes to the US sanctions regime and anticipated further developments relating to Myanmar.

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  • Focus: Australia considering security and human rights initiative

    25 July 2012

    The Federal Government is considering whether Australia should join the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, an extractives sector initiative that addresses human rights risks associated with the security of companies' operations. Partner Louise Jenkins and Lawyers Catie Shavin and Raquel Dos Santos report on these developments

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  • Focus: New autonomous sanctions against Iran proposed

    14 June 2012

    Australian individuals and companies that have business dealings with Iran in relation to a range of industries, notably oil and gas, financial services, and diamonds and precious metals, should be aware of the Federal Government's proposed new autonomous sanctions against that country. Partner Anthony Patten, Lawyer Roslyn Stein and Law Graduate Tim Farhall look at the changes to Australia's autonomous sanctions regime

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  • Video: The global corruption crackdown

    4 April 2012

    Allens has the expertise to advise companies operating multinationally on the best ways of managing their legal, commercial and reputational risks. Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson speaks to BRR Media about the main issues in this area.

    Watch
  • Focus: Victorian Government commits to human rights

    23 March 2012

    The Victorian Government has expressed a strong commitment to human rights, and will retain and improve the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act. Partner Alex Cuthbertson and Lawyer Catie Shavin report

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  • Focus: Arbitral award enforced against a company in administration

    30 November 2011

    In two recent related decisions, the NSW Supreme Court has lifted the statutory moratorium on proceedings against a company in administration and allowed a plaintiff to enforce an arbitral award against the company. Partner Michael Quinlan, Special Counsel Nicola Nygh and Lawyer Jonathan Adamopoulos report

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  • Client Update: Possible changes to Australia's foreign bribery laws

    16 November 2011

    The Federal Government has announced possible changes to Australia's laws concerning foreign and domestic bribery. The changes, if adopted, will strengthen anti-bribery legislation in Australia and bring it into line with UK anti-bribery legislation. Partner Ross Drinnan, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Allen Clayton-Greene report on this development

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  • Audio: Key bribery defence under review

    15 November 2011

    The Federal Government has released a discussion paper that raises the possibility of removing the facilitation of payment defence in regards to the law relating to the bribery of a foreign public official. Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson spoke to Boardroom Radio about the current role of the defence and what companies can be doing now in lieu of the proposed change

    Listen
  • Focus: US Supreme Court to hear appeal on corporate liability under the Alien Tort Claims Act

    21 October 2011

    The US Supreme Court has announced that it will hear an appeal against last year's decision in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum that corporations cannot be liable under the Alien Tort Claims Act. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Peter Haig and Lawyer Dora Banyasz report

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  • Focus: New rules to streamline arbitration process

    13 October 2011

    New International Chamber of Commerce Rules of Arbitration will streamline the arbitral process and aid its efficiency. The new rules also take into account the increasing complexity of arbitrations by better accommodating multiple parties and contracts. Partner Duncan Travis, Special Counsel Nicola Nygh and Law Graduate Edmund Robinson report

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  • Focus: Comment sought on Autonomous Sanctions Regulations draft

    11 October 2011

    In brief: The exposure draft of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations, which specifies conduct that will contravene Australia's new autonomous sanctions regime, has been released for public comment. Partner Louise Jenkins, Senior Associate Peter Haig and Lawyer Jess O'Brien report

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  • Client Update: Arbitration, religion and discrimination

    6 October 2011

    Could an arbitration agreement stipulate the religion of an arbitrator without breaching anti-discrimination laws? Partner Stephen McComish, Lawyer Kristian Maley and Law Graduate Samantha Lord report on an important decision of the UK Supreme Court that could have ramifications for businesses within our region

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  • Focus: High Court upholds validity of Victorian human rights legislation

    22 September 2011

    The High Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Victoria's human rights legislation but the six separate judgments provide varied guidance as to how the Victorian legislation should be applied in practice. Partner Annette Hughes, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Mark Hosking report

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  • Focus: Enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Australia

    15 September 2011

    The Victorian Court of Appeal has clarified a number of important issues regarding the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Australia. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associate Andrew Barraclough and Lawyer Tim Maxwell report

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  • Focus: Whistling up a reward - new US SEC whistleblower rewards rules

    15 September 2011

    The US Securities and Exchange Commission has introduced rules that reward individual whistleblowers who provide information that leads to a successful prosecution for breaches of US securities laws including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Partner Matthew Skinner, Senior Associate Tim Robinson and Lawyer Roslyn Stein look at the new rules

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  • Focus: Adjourning the enforcement of a foreign arbitral award

    12 September 2011

    A recent Federal Court decision gives insight into the circumstances under which a court may adjourn the enforcement of a foreign arbitral award that is the subject of an appeal in the courts of the seat of the arbitration. Partner Nick Rudge, Special Counsel Nicola Nygh and Lawyer Tom Levi report on a case that deals with the uniformity of recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards

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  • Focus: IFC updates its social and environmental standards

    8 September 2011

    The World Bank's International Finance Corporation has released its updated social and environmental standards that take effect from the beginning of 2012. Partner Annette Hughes, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Swee Leng Harris report on the changes

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  • Focus: Corporates can be liable in the US for international law breaches

    1 August 2011

    Two recent decisions by different US Circuit Courts of Appeal have reaffirmed that plaintiffs can bring actions against corporations under the US Alien Tort Claims Act for alleged violations of international law, entrenching the conflict between Circuit Courts on this issue. Partner Annette Hughes, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Dora Banyasz report

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  • Focus: Hong Kong's new Arbitration Ordinance

    27 July 2011

    The new Arbitration Ordinance simplifies Hong Kong's arbitration law, unifying the different regimes for 'domestic' and 'international' arbitration. This should strengthen its status as a leading jurisdiction for international dispute resolution. Partner Simon McConnell and Senior Associate Kieran Humphrey discuss the key changes

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  • Focus: Moral damages in investor-state arbitration

    21 July 2011

    A recent award provides a useful reminder that moral damages are available to individuals and corporations in extreme cases and a clear summary of the standard that must be met if they are to be justified. Partner Matthew Skinner and Lawyer Tim Maxwell report

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  • Focus: UN endorses Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights

    29 June 2011

    The United Nations Human Rights Council has now endorsed the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, entrenching them as an authoritative standard for the conduct expected of both States and business. Partner Annette Hughes, Senior Associate Peter Haig and Lawyer Jess O'Brien report

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  • Focus: Managing the risks of Australia's new autonomous sanctions regime

    7 June 2011

    Businesses with international operations, customers or suppliers should be aware of new legislation that strengthens and expands Australia's autonomous sanctions regime. Partner Annette Hughes, Senior Associate Peter Haig and Lawyer Michael Gomm report on the implications for business

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  • Focus: Updated OECD Guidelines focus on human rights

    26 May 2011

    The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises have been updated for the first time in a decade and introduce a distinct human rights focus. Partner Annette Hughes, Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Georgina Dimopoulos report on the changes and their implications for business

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  • Focus: UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights

    6 April 2011

    Recently, the United Nations Special Representative for business and human rights released the final text of the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. Senior Associate Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Jess O'Brien look at the Principles and their implications for business

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