November 2023

Plastic Pollution Treaty

Lexbridge Partner, Damien van der Toorn, attended the third negotiation meeting for the development of the UNEP led Plastic Pollution Treaty in Nairobi in November 2023. Damien was pleased to assist Pacific nations with their legal issues prior to and during this meeting. The meeting saw delegates move into substantive discussions on the zero draft, with many hundreds of proposals put forward. The fourth meeting will be held in April 2024.

June 2023

Plastic Pollution Treaty

The Second Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution (INC 2) took place in early June 2023 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. This meeting was the second of five negotiating sessions that are tasked with concluding a plastic pollution treaty by the end of 2024.

INC 2 saw several days of procedural skirmishes before substantive work began, but achieved a mandate for the UNEP Secretariat to produce a ‘zero draft’ of the treaty text prior to INC 3.

Lexbridge, in collaboration with WWF, coordinated the Plastic Treaty Legal Advisory Service in support of developing nations.

November 2022

Plastic Pollution Treaty – Legal Advisory Service:

Lexbridge is currently involved in an exciting major initiative in Environmental Law.

Lexbridge along with Monash University’s Law Faculty are working with WWF to support plastic pollution treaty negotiations by establishing a global Legal Advisory Service.

Many of the countries most adversely affected by plastic pollution have limited access to on-the-ground legal expertise. These countries potentially have the most to gain from a treaty that includes effective up-stream measures to reduce plastic production, consumption and pollution.

The Legal Advisory Service aims to provide pro bono legal support to developing countries and small island developing states with limited timely access to legal expertise. It will aim to maximise substantive engagement in negotiations and enable the most ambitious states to push for the most ambitious outcome.

The first negotiating conference will occur in Uruguay between 28 November and 2 December 2022.

January 2021

Outline of Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill:

The Bill establishes a novel and complex regulatory regime, which is summarised in broad terms by this outline. If passed in its present form, the Bill will have a significant impact on the State and Territory entities that fall within its scope. These entities will need to understand their obligations under the Bill and the consequences of not meeting those obligations.

Download Lexbridge’s full briefing paper here, which includes insights into the Bill’s new obligations for States and Territories.

July 2020

Lexbridge welcomes new Special Counsel, Mark Jennings:

Lexbridge is pleased to announce that Mark Jennings will be joining Lexbridge as Special Counsel.

Mark is a consultant with decades of experience in international law, specialising in trade and investment law. He has worked previously at the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, both in Australia and abroad, on a broad range of major international law matters. Highlights include his time as the Senior Counsel (Assistant Secretary) in the Office of International Law at the Attorney-General’s Department and serving on the legal teams representing Australia in the World Trade Organization before the dispute panels and the Appellate Body in US – Lamb, US – Offset Act (Byrd Amendment), EC – Export Subsidies on Sugar and Australia – Apples. He was also involved closely in the defence of Australia’s first investor-state arbitration claim in Philip Morris Asia v Australia. We are delighted to welcome Mark to the Lexbridge team.

July 2020

Inquiry into the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Response – Potential Legal Mechanisms and Implications:

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of infections and widespread fatalities, impacted our way of life, and triggered a global economic crisis. This has prompted an inquiry into the World Health Organization’s response to the pandemic. In this briefing paper, Lexbridge looks at the potential mechanisms for such an inquiry and implications for international health legal frameworks.

Download Lexbridge’s full briefing paper here, which includes details of WHO’s regulatory framework and response to Covid-19, WHO inquiry resolution, and potential inquiry mechanisms and implications.

April 2020

Lexbridge’s Response to Covid-19:

Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Lexbridge continues to provide a full suite of professional and reliable services to its clients. Lexbridge has transitioned to working remotely and is making every effort to listen to client needs and respond as quickly as possible to ensure those needs are met.

November 2019

Navigating through the South China Sea – International Legal Issues:

The South China Sea has been the scene of geopolitical rivalry and tension over recent years, and this has attracted much media attention. Less mainstream focus has been on international legal issues arising in the area, including in relation to territorial and maritime claims, as well as the rights to freedom of navigation through these waters.

Download the full briefing paper here, which includes details of territorial and maritime claims, freedom of navigation and key lessons.

November 2019

Consular Protection for Foreign Businesses in Asia – Rights and Challenges:

Doing business in the dynamic economies of Asia is critical for companies of all shapes and sizes. This looks set to increase as economies open up to greater trade and investment as a result of new trade deals. However, serious challenges can arise if foreign staff run into difficulties with the local legal system, especially if they are arrested or detained. These issues can arise either during a fleeting business trip of only a few days, or during more extended stays. In this briefing paper, Lexbridge looks at the international legal regime for providing consular assistance in these situations, and some important cases that have arisen in recent times in Asia.

Download the full briefing paper here, which includes details of the applicable international legal framework, recent cases and key lessons.

October 2019

Lexbridge Lawyers among leading law firms included in new Whole of Government Legal Services Panel:

Lexbridge Lawyers is proud to announce their appointment to the Australian Government’s Whole of Government Legal Services Panel. Inclusion on the panel means Lexbridge, among others, will be providing the bulk of the Australian Government’s external legal services until 2024. The firm will use its considerable expertise to lend short to medium term legal support services to Australian Government agencies in need of external assistance. “This is an exciting time for the firm,” says Lexbridge partner, Damien van der Toorn. “Lexbridge is thrilled to be able to expand our services into new areas, and to forge relationships with new clients. It’s a big step forward.”