TTIP including TTP, CETA & TiSA

What can we do to change the minds of decision makers and people in general to actually do something about preparing for the forthcoming economic/energy crises (the ones after this one!)?

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johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

Try reading the links that I have provided. They give the details of the current EU proposals which involve open courts.

OTOH never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.
Little John
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Post by Little John »

I've already read them. They are "proposals". They mean nothing. Neither is there any mention in these "proposals" about how the arbitrators are selected in advance.

But, in any event, even if, in the extremely unlikely event that all tribunals, without exception are held in public and all arbitrators are selected transparently, this still leave an utterly unacceptable democratic deficit in that such arbitration judgements will be in a position to potentially completely usurp the democratic will of the citizens, in terms of their own internal governance, of the country on which the judgement has been made. On that single, in-principle point alone, TTIP is an abomination
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

You clearly haven't read them. Try again.
Little John
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Post by Little John »

johnhemming2 wrote:You clearly haven't read them. Try again.
Irrespective of your supercillious twattery, I can inform you I have indeed read the full overview of them as presented by them and and I am also well aware that one of the proposals is about how arbitrators may be chosen in advance instead of on an "ad-hoc" basis. However, in the absence of any mention of how that selection may be achieved and the consequent level of transparency of selection, again, this amounts to precisely nothing in terms of addressing the fundamental problem with this piece of shit.

Furthermore, are you seriously prepared to deny here that the results of such tribunals are, whether one may or may not, as an individual, agree with them, in direct potential conflict with the sovereign, democratic will of the citizens of the countries on which such judgements may be made?
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

Little John wrote:
johnhemming2 wrote:You clearly haven't read them. Try again.
Irrespective of your supercillious twattery, I can inform you I have indeed read the full overview of them as presented by them and and I am also well aware that one of the proposals is about how arbitrators may be chosen in advance instead of on an "ad-hoc" basis. However, in the absence of any mention of how that selection may be achieved and the consequent level of transparency of selection, again, this amounts to precisely nothing in terms of addressing the fundamental problem with this piece of shit.

Furthermore, are you seriously prepared to deny here that the results of such tribunals are, whether one may or may not, as an individual, agree with them, in direct potential conflict with the sovereign, democratic will of the citizens of the countries on which such judgements may be made?
As usual you write uninformed rubbish. A little bit more effort into looking at the details would really really help.

Here's a question: How many judges are selected for the tribunals and what are the conditions for their selection.

You should be able to answer this because the answer is in the document I linked to.
kenneal - lagger
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

The cat is finally out of the bag! TTIP is bad for the UK. The Government's own report says so!

A government report on the TTIP's effect on the UK has finally been published after being suppressed for three years and, surprise, surprise, it finds that it will have no benefits for the UK and may fact, harm the UK!

Please bring this to the attention of your MP, ask him/her to urge the EU to withdraw from negotiations and also ask him/her why this report was suppressed for three years.

You can find the report here (PDF) and a summary here.

Key points from the summary

(1) There is little reason to think that an EU-US investment chapter will provide the UK with significant economic benefits.
(2) There is little reason to think that an EU-US investment chapter will provide the UK with significant political benefits.
(3) There is some reason to expect an EU-US investment chapter will impose meaningful economic costs on the UK.
(4) There is some reason to expect an EU-US investment chapter to impose meaningful political costs on the UK.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

kenneal - lagger wrote:The cat is finally out of the bag! TTIP is bad for the UK. The Government's own report says so!
It is a report produced for the government not by the government.

What it says is that there are potentially all sorts of problems with ISDS. That, of course, is true. The details of the equivalent to A1P1 (ECHR) protection would be perhaps my main concern about any potential treaty.
In none of our former reports have we made explicit policy recommendations for the UK
government, and neither will we here. However, our assessment does raise questions whether
the UK government might consider one of two options in negotiating an EU-US investment
treaty. The first is to exclude investment protection provisions from the agreement, and solely
focus on investment liberalization. Recall that to our knowledge British investors have not
expressed general concerns about their legal protection in the US. A pure liberalization
agreement would thereby allow the UK government to focus on the actual concerns of British
investors – market access – without at the same time exposing the government to potentially
expensive and controversial investment treaty claims. An alternative option is to include
investment protection provisions, but exclude comprehensive ISDS from the agreement. As
noted, the US (hesitantly) agreed to this in its FTA with Australia, which could provide a
model for an EU-US investment treaty as well. This, too, would imply that the UK would be
able to support an EU-US investment treaty overall, without being exposed to the types of
investment disputes that otherwise could result in net costs for the UK government.
kenneal - lagger
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

"For" the government or "by" the government! If the government wasn't going to listen to what was said why did they bother to commission the report in the first place?

And why was it suppressed for three years. Negotiators have been wasting much of their time, then, negotiating on something that was deemed not good for Britain. Or was it part of the secret negotiations and not something that the public need to be worried about.

It hasn't worked well for Australia as Philip Morris is suing them over plain packaging for cigarettes!
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

kenneal - lagger wrote:"For" the government or "by" the government! If the government wasn't going to listen to what was said why did they bother to commission the report in the first place?
It actually does matter whether it is for or by. It makes a big difference.

The fact that you listen to something does not necessarily mean you do what it says BTW.

However, I think the report makes a good critique of ISDS.
snow hope
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Post by snow hope »

Little John wrote:Furthermore, are you seriously prepared to deny here that the results of such tribunals are, whether one may or may not, as an individual, agree with them, in direct potential conflict with the sovereign, democratic will of the citizens of the countries on which such judgements may be made?
Hemming will not answer this question as can be seen by his replies. Enough said.... :evil:
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johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

Its all a question of whether government should be subject to the rule of law. I personally think it should.

Obviously that means at times independent courts decide that what the government has done ("the sovereign, democratic will of the citizens of the countries ...") is wrong and not in accordance with the law.

Where the European Court of Human Rights constitutional structure goes wrong is in not having a legislature. Hence there are serious conflicts there which cause much more stress.

There is then a second more complex question as to what property rights should be supported by the law and to what extent private individuals impacted by government decisions potentially have a right of claim. I think the Article 1 Protocol 1 approach of the European convention is about right. I think the Canadian ISDS approach goes to far in protecting investors.
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UndercoverElephant
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

johnhemming2 wrote:Its all a question of whether government should be subject to the rule of law. I personally think it should.
Depends who makes the laws in question. If it is a quango of unelected business-friendly people who make decisions behind closed doors?

If the law states that US cigarette manufacturers can sue the Australian government for requring tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging, then something has gone wrong with the law. Laws should exist for the general good of society, not to benefit US big business at the expense of the people of Australia.

What this comes down to is whether or not a democratically elected government should be free to implement laws designed to protect people, without being able to be sued by businesses whose profits might suffer.

The government is there to serve the people, not big business.
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

I would assume, however, that when the government compulsorily purchases land you would accept that the government should pay a reasonable value and not just take the land.
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UndercoverElephant
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

johnhemming2 wrote:I would assume, however, that when the government compulsorily purchases land you would accept that the government should pay a reasonable value and not just take the land.
Yes, but that's not a relevant an analogy to the situation we are discussing.

If a company makes a pesticide that is discovered to have previously unknown long-term consequences, like causing cancer or killing bees, then governments have to be free to ban its use regardless of the harm it might do to the profits of the company that makes it.

It comes down to a very simple question: what is more important, public safety or corporate profits? The current situation is that public safety is more important. TTIP would change this, and make corporate profits more important. It is fundamentally anti-democratic and immoral.
johnhemming2
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Post by johnhemming2 »

UndercoverElephant wrote:If a company makes a pesticide that is discovered to have previously unknown long-term consequences, like causing cancer or killing bees, then governments have to be free to ban its use regardless of the harm it might do to the profits of the company that makes it.
I agree with you about this which is why I don't think we should agree to anything that makes it easier than it is at the moment for investors to take legal action against the government.

It is, however, the case that we already have property rights (against the government) and I would not wish to get rid of those that we have.
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