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: International Arbitration - Australian courts' power to grant interim freezing orders

    2 November 2018

    The WA Court of Appeal has taken an expansive view of the power that Australian courts have to grant interim orders in support of international arbitrations. Specifically, it has confirmed that their power to grant interim freezing orders is not limited to orders that extend only until the arbitral tribunal is constituted - meaning that such an order might continue to apply whether or not the arbitral tribunal agrees that it is appropriate. Partner Jeremy Quan-Sing and Lawyer Caitlin Moustaka report.

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  • Focus: A development from the English Court of Appeal regarding legal professional privilege in internal investigations

    2 October 2018

    In a recent judgment, the English Court of Appeal reversed a controversial High Court decision that had severely limited the application of legal professional privilege in internal investigations under English law. The decision has consequences for Australian corporates conducting cross-border investigations into potential criminal misconduct, as well as more generally for the development of the law of legal professional privilege in Australia in relation to internal investigations. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Overseas Practitioner Christopher Kerrigan, Associate Charlette Bunn and Law Graduate Amelia van der Rijt report. 

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  • Client Update: The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme - from Bill to Law

    10 September 2018

    The Federal Government recently passed the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act. This is an entirely new regulatory scheme that will require persons who undertake activities on behalf of a foreign government or political organisation to register with the Attorney General's Department if those activities are intended to influence Australian governmental or political decision-making. The scheme is designed to enhance transparency around the nature and extent of foreign government influence on the Australian political process. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Clare Bradin, Associate Owen Nanlohy and Law Graduate Eugene Twomey report.

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  • Focus: Corporate governance beyond shareholder interests

    14 August 2018

    The proposed 4th edition of the ASX Corporate Governance Principles & Recommendations includes substantial changes to Principle 3 (Instil the desired culture) to focus squarely on social licence to operate, with stronger reference to stakeholders beyond shareholders, and specific recommendations on whistleblowing and anti-bribery and corruption. While the proposed amendments to Principle 3 have led to heated debate in the press, the proposal reflects the trend in Australia, and internationally, towards embedding corporate social responsibility within company culture, and of regulators' broadening expectations of companies' governance, risk and compliance practices. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Associate Holly Woodcroft report.

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  • Focus: US court holds foreign corporations not liable for human rights harms under Alien Tort Statute

    20 July 2018

    In a decision on human rights litigation that has important consequences for business, a divided US Supreme Court has held that foreign corporations will not be held liable in suits brought under the Alien Tort Statute. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Associate Shamistha Selvaratnam and Graduate Calypso Strauss report.

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  • Client Update: Modern Slavery Bill introduced - how will this impact Australian businesses?

    28 June 2018

    The Modern Slavery Bill has been introduced into Federal Parliament. If it passes, Australian entities, or entities carrying on business in Australia, with at least $100 million global consolidated revenue will be required to submit a statement on risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. We anticipate that the majority of our clients will need to lodge the first statement by 1 January 2021. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Lawyer Holly Woodcroft report.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Business Crime Quarterly

    18 April 2018

    The high level of global financial crime is a drain on corporate resources and governments around the world are attempting to stay one step ahead of the criminals with new measures to tackle corruption. In the Business Crime Quarterly Winter 2018 edition, our global alliance partner Linklaters examines some of these new measures. We contributed articles on the introduction of the best practice guidelines on self-reporting, proposed changes to foreign bribery laws and the introduction of a deferred prosecution regime.

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  • Focus: Federal Court homes in on Anti-Dumping Commission's calculation of duties on Chinese steel imports

    11 April 2018

    In a rare appellate court decision dealing with anti-dumping law, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has clarified that the Anti-Dumping Commission's ability to calculate hypothetical amounts for the purposes of determining normal value is not at large, and must conform strictly with anti-dumping legislation. Partner Louise Jenkins, Associate Chadwick Wong and Law Graduate Oliver Lloyd report on what this means for future anti-dumping investigations, in the context of an increasing global focus on barriers to free trade.

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  • Focus: Best practice guidelines for self-reporting of foreign bribery

    9 February 2018

    Best practice guidelines for self-reporting of foreign bribery and related offending by corporations have been published by the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. This follows hot on the heels of a Bill tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament which, if passed, will amend foreign bribery laws and introduce a deferred prosecution agreement regime to Australia. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, and Senior Overseas Practitioner Chris Kerrigan, Senior Associate James Campbell and Overseas Practitioner Francesca Bonner-Evans report.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Anti-bribery and corruption law and enforcement across the globe

    24 January 2018

    Understanding the global reach of anti-bribery and corruption regulation, as well as the application of it within a specific jurisdiction, is key to managing risk for international businesses. Our global alliance partner, with input from Allens, examines 24 jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Americas and provides at-a-glance answers to eight key questions, as well as updates on new legislation and penalty increases.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Business Crime Quarterly

    19 January 2018

    In the Business Crime Quarterly Autumn 2017 edition, our global alliance partner Linklaters examined the extent to which international regulators and prosecutors are increasingly working together to tackle economic crime. We contributed summaries on the recently published judgment in the Tabcorp civil penalty proceedings for breach of the AML/CTF regime and the proposed changes to Australia's whistleblower framework.

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  • Client Update: Proposed Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme to shine light on foreign interests lobbying

    20 December 2017

    The Federal Government has introduced into Parliament legislation that, if passed, will create the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme, which will require persons and entities who have arrangements with, or undertake activities for, foreign principals to meet certain registration obligations. The scheme is intended to enhance transparency around the foreign influences on Australian politics and has been introduced alongside a suite of reforms in relation to national security. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Associate Katie Gardiner and Lawyer Jamil Diu report.

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  • Focus: Australian Modern Slavery Act: Final Report recommends mandatory supply chain reporting with penalties for non-compliance

    14 December 2017

    After a year-long inquiry, a parliamentary committee has recommended that Australia establish a Modern Slavery Act, including mandatory reporting for large businesses on modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains. The introduction of a Modern Slavery Act is set to be a game-changer, with prescriptive reporting requirements to come in as early as next year. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Associate Freya Dinshaw and Lawyers Karina Plain and Shamistha Selvaratnam report.

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  • Focus: Christmas comes early for the AFP and CDPP: Bill introduced to reform foreign bribery laws and introduce DPA scheme

    8 December 2017

    The Australian Government has introduced the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2017 into the Senate, which, if passed into law, will significantly strengthen Australia's foreign bribery laws and introduce a Deferred Prosecution Agreement scheme for resolving corporate criminal misconduct. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Overseas Practitioner Christopher Kerrigan and Lawyers Shamistha Selvaratnam and Emma Moore report.

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  • Client Update: Significant overhaul of measures to combat corporate crime

    6 December 2017

    Today the Federal Government will introduce legislation that will significantly overhaul Australia's foreign bribery laws and will also establish a deferred prosecution regime that is intended to provide an incentive for companies to self-report a range of serious white-collar crime matters. The Allens International Business Obligations group look at the changes.

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  • Client Update: Draft whistleblower legislation puts onus on big business

    25 October 2017

    Big business should be aware of mandatory publishing requirements for whistleblower policies and a reverse onus of proof for compensation, which is among a raft of whistleblower reforms contained in draft legislation released following a Senate inquiry report. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Associate Katie Gardiner analyse some of the proposals.

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  • Focus: Senate calls for rewards and increased protections for whistleblowers

    3 October 2017

    A broadened definition of 'whistleblower', reforms to establish greater protections for whistleblowers and increased sanctions for retaliatory conduct are some of the recommendations by a Senate committee looking into whistleblower protections in the corporate, public and not-for-profit sector. We expect new laws to be introduced that will result in more corporate whistleblowing and companies should start preparing now. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, and Lawyers Zainab Mahmood and Sarah Lunny report.

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  • Focus: Supply chains and modern slavery: reporting on the rise

    18 September 2017

    The release of the Attorney-General's consultation paper on modern slavery in supply chains and the recent interim inquiry report on establishing an Australian Modern Slavery Act reflect how international standards around corporate respect for human rights are becoming enshrined in law. Australian companies, and companies operating in Australia, are likely to see increased supply chain reporting requirements in relation to modern slavery as early as next year. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Associate Freya Dinshaw and Lawyer Shamistha Selvaratnam report.

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  • Unravelled: Australian Government proposes new foreign bribery offences

    7 August 2017

    Australia's lack of enforcement of foreign bribery legislation has attracted increasing criticism in recent years, but the Federal Government is expected to soon table legislation proposing wide-ranging reforms. We look at two key proposed changes for Australian companies.

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  • Focus: Human rights: The questions your board and executives should be asking

    21 June 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues such as bribery, sanctions, human rights and anti-money laundering. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the last of a five-part series, Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate Christopher Holland, Associate Freya Dinshaw and Lawyer Sarah Rennie look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking about human rights.

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  • Focus: Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing: Key questions for boards and executives in 2017

    16 May 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues including bribery, sanctions, human rights and anti-money laundering. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the fourth of a five-part series, Partner Peter Haig and Associates Andrew Shetliffe and Glyn Ayres look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking about anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing in 2017.

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  • Focus: Anti-bribery laws and deferred prosecution agreements

    20 April 2017

    The Australian Government is, via two new consultations, proposing wide-ranging reforms to tackle the challenges that it faces in detecting, and prosecuting, serious corporate crime. Through proposed amendments to foreign bribery laws and the introduction of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement regime, the Federal Government is seeking to remove obstacles to prosecuting foreign bribery and increase the incentives for companies to self-report this and other misconduct. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associates Christopher Kerrigan and James Campbell, and Lawyer Malak Johnson report.

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  • Focus: Business risk in international trade and investment

    31 March 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues including legal, commercial, political and reputational risk issues. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the third of a five-part series, Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate Chris Holland and Associate Freya Dinshaw look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking about the security of their foreign investments in 2017.

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  • Focus: Sanctions: The 5 questions your board and executives should be asking in 2017

    16 March 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues including bribery, sanctions, human rights and anti-money laundering. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the second of a five-part series, Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate Christopher Holland and Lawyer Malak Johnson look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking themselves about sanctions in 2017.

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  • Focus: Anti-bribery & corruption: Key questions for boards and executives

    6 March 2017

    Australian boards and senior executives are expected to maintain oversight of risk and compliance issues including bribery, sanctions, human rights and anti-money laundering. In-house counsel perform a central role in supporting this oversight and maintaining compliance. In the first of a five-part series, Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate Tim Farhall and Lawyer Shamistha Selvaratnam look at the key questions that Australian boards and senior executives should be asking themselves about anti-bribery regulation and compliance practice in 2017.

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  • Focus: Supply chains in the spotlight: Establishing an Australian Modern Slavery Act

    21 February 2017

    The Australian Government has announced the launch of a broad inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia. The inquiry will consider whether the introduction of anti-slavery legislation would strengthen and improve Australia's current regime to combat slavery. If introduced, a Modern Slavery Act would have significant implications for Australian businesses and their suppliers abroad. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Associate Freya Dinshaw and Lawyer Shamistha Selvaratnam report.

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  • Focus: The Rolls-Royce bribery case and its implications in Australia

    30 January 2017

    A Deferred Prosecution Agreement in the United Kingdom, which will see the Rolls-Royce company pay more than £500 million to settle charges of foreign bribery, is the most significant UK DPA to date. It is likely to influence the approach and expectations of the Australian Government and law enforcement agencies, which are considering a suite of measures aimed at facilitating a more effective response to corporate crime, particularly those that encourage self-reporting of foreign bribery. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Peter Haig, Senior Associate James Campbell and Lawyer Malak Johnson report.

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  • Linklaters Insights: A cross-border guide to starting a business

    23 December 2016

    Our global alliance partner Linklaters has compiled a guide for foreign investors who are looking to start a business in selected jurisdictions.

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  • Focus: Increased whistleblower protections, and more to come...

    24 November 2016

    The Federal Parliament has passed an industrial relations bill that includes significant increases to the whistleblower protections applicable to unions and employer organisations. In what would be a comprehensive overhaul of Australia's whistleblower laws, the Federal Government has separately agreed to support the introduction of equivalent (or better) whistleblower protections in the public and private sectors. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Chris Holland and Lawyer Karina Plain report.

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  • Focus: Road map to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing reform

    4 November 2016

    The Federal Attorney-General's Department has released its draft Project Plan for the implementation of the wide-ranging recommendations arising from the recent statutory review of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime. Partner Peter Haig, Associate Andrew Shetliffe and Lawyer Russ Marshall report.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Corporate Criminal Liability report

    4 October 2016

    As pressure from prosecution authorities increases, it is becoming ever more important for international companies to be aware of the potential impact of criminal conduct committed by their executives and employees and the risks and liability the company may face as a result – not least in order to be able to fine-tune and reinforce their compliance programs. Our global alliance partner Linklaters, with input from Allens, has reviewed the risk companies face in 24 jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Investing in Europe: What do Europe's new market abuse rules mean for investors?

    9 August 2016

    If you have investments in European listed companies, you should be aware of the EU’s new Market Abuse Regulation and how it may impact you, wherever in the world you are based.

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  • Linklaters Insights: Business Crime Quarterly

    3 August 2016

    In the latest edition of Business Crime Quarterly, our global alliance partner Linklaters, with input from Allens, looks at issues including the release of the Australian Government's long-awaited report on the statutory review of the Anti-money Laundering and Counter-terrorism Financial Act; a number of convictions for fraud and corruption, particularly in the UK; the Libor prosecutions that are set to take place in the US; the EU's enhanced package to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing; and financial crime on the increase in Australia.

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  • Unravelled: The end of the AML/CTF regime as we know it?

    2 June 2016

    The past year or so has been an action-packed one for devotees of anti-money laundering policy and the recent release of the Report on the Statutory Review of the AML/CTF Act 2006 may herald the most significant changes to our regime since it was introduced a decade ago.

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  • Focus: Anti-bribery and corruption regulation developments in 2016

    16 March 2016

    2016 looks to be a busy year for directors, executives and legal and compliance teams who need to be aware of developments in Australian anti-bribery law and compliance practice. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Tom Bland report.

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  • Audio: Anti-bribery developments in 2016 - what to know to avoid being exposed

    9 March 2016

    The forecast for the year ahead for Australian anti-bribery laws and compliance is a busy one, with a Senate inquiry, new laws and a continued focus on suspected foreign bribery offences.

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  • Focus: New legislation introduces criminal offences for false accounting

    23 February 2016

    The Federal Government has proposed new legislation that introduces two new criminal offences for false accounting into the Commonwealth Criminal Code. The proposed false accounting offences are designed to help Australia comply with the OECD's Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Senior Associate James Campbell look at the relevance of these developments to your business.

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  • Focus: Australia has lifted certain sanctions on Iran

    18 February 2016

    In response to recent confirmation that Iran has met its international nuclear commitments, the Australian Government has lifted all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against that country. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Sarah Jenkins report on what has changed and the potential opportunities for Australian businesses.

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  • Focus: The investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    14 December 2015

    The release of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has renewed the debate about the ability of foreign investors to sue governments under investor-State dispute settlement mechanisms which are commonly part of international trade agreements or investment treaties between States. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Chris Holland report on the investment protections available in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and how the parties have attempted to strike a balance between a State's right to regulate and the rights of foreign investors.

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  • Focus: Senate inquiry on foreign bribery - corporate culture to take centre stage

    25 June 2015

    The Senate has this week referred a broad-ranging inquiry into foreign bribery to the Senate Economic References Committee. The terms of the reference provide for a substantial review of Australia's foreign bribery laws and enforcement regime, with a particular focus on corporate culture issues and facilitating enforcement outcomes. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Associate James Campbell report.

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  • Focus: What next after FATF's mixed review of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime?

    11 May 2015

    The Financial Action Task Force has released its report on the effectiveness of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime, focusing on the extent to which it complies with international standards. The report's findings and recommendations come at a key stage in the evolution of Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing framework, and are likely to guide future developments. Partner Peter Haig, Senior Associate Edward Martin, Associate Andrew Shetliffe and Lawyer Glyn Ayres consider the potential impact of the report on the regulatory and enforcement landscape.

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  • Focus: OECD releases report on Australia's anti-bribery enforcement

    28 April 2015

    The OECD Working Group on Bribery has issued a follow-up report on the extent to which Australia is meeting its obligations under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The OECD has recommended further law reform and other measures to boost enforcement of foreign bribery offences. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Tessa Meyrick and Lawyer Chadwick Wong discuss the implications of the report.

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  • Focus: United States implements novel sanctions regime to combat cyber threats

    22 April 2015

    President Barack Obama has issued an Executive Order enabling the US Department of Treasury to implement targeted sanctions against foreign individuals or entities whose cyber-enabled activities result in significant threats to the national security, foreign policy, economic health or financial stability of the US, irrespective of their nationality. Partners Rachel Nicolson and Gavin Smith, Associate Andrew Wilcock and Law Graduate Alice Crawford report on the possible implications of this novel measure.

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  • Focus: Australia implements expanded sanctions against Russia

    2 April 2015

    Australia has imposed sector-wide prohibitions on a range of imports to, exports from and commercial activities with Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Associate Andrew Wilcock and Law Graduate Alice Crawford report on how these sanctions will impact on companies engaged in business in these regions.

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  • Focus: The changing landscape of international investment agreements

    3 March 2015

    A recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report identifies recent trends in international investment agreements and investor-state dispute settlement - among them, a rise in the integration of sustainable development objectives, including via more careful regulation by states of investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Anna McMahon report.

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  • Focus: The year to come for Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing regime

    27 February 2015

    Having recently acquired a new CEO and a significant funding boost, AUSTRAC is being closely watched by reporting entities for an indication of its future direction and priorities, both at the policy and the enforcement level. In light of this, and with major review reports pending, 2015 promises to be a significant year for Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing regime. Partner Peter Haig, Senior Associate Edward Martin and Associate Andrew Shetliffe consider the year ahead.

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  • Focus: Investor-state dispute settlement and the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

    21 November 2014

    The Australian and Chinese governments have concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement that will reduce tariff barriers on the majority of Australian exports to China. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed that the treaty will include an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Anna McMahon report.

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  • Focus: A new tool in the fraud and anti-corruption kit

    19 August 2014

    The Federal Government has established a new Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre to deal with allegations of white-collar crime. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Tessa Meyrick and Associate Freya Dinshaw consider the impact of the new federal body and the changing enforcement landscape in Australia.

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  • Focus: UN resolution could be the start of a binding treaty on business and human rights

    13 August 2014

    The UN Human Rights Council has recently passed resolutions that provide for the establishment of a working group to develop an international legally binding human rights instrument for transnational corporations, as well as commissioning a report on the pros and cons of this approach. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Associate Freya Dinshaw consider the implications of a new binding treaty for business and human rights.

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  • Focus: Russia imposes sanctions against Australia

    11 August 2014

    Russia has imposed sanctions against Australia and certain other countries (including EU member states and the US) prohibiting certain food imports, and may impose further sanctions restricting access to its airspace. Partner Rachel Nicolson and Associates Andrew Wilcock and Freya Dinshaw report.

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