Hypocritical Greens betray NZ sovereignty to US court decision but oppose investor state dispute settlement on sovereignty grounds

The Greens are happy to betray New Zealand’s sovereignty to a US court where New Zealand’s side of the story was not heard, New Zealand was not a litigant, New Zealand was not named in the proceedings and New Zealand had not agreed to waive its sovereign immunity under US law.

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The Greens on the other hand are hysterical about the prospect of New Zealand voluntarily submitting to investor state disputes settlement through an international treaty. International treaties normally are about trading in sovereignty: you give up some form of sovereignty return for something you value more.

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It is thoroughly hypocritical of the Greens to argue the New Zealand should bow down to a foreign court when that court rules in a way that it favours its ideological agenda but refuse to support the principle of international arbitration in circumstances where that may advance New Zealand’s national interests.

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At a minimum, New Zealand itself chose to give up its sovereignty if it agrees to investor state dispute settlement in a trade agreement. The decision was not imposed by a foreign court where it was not heard nor was a party.

Of particular concern to the Greens is international arbitration could "trump the public’s vote vote". New Zealand has repeatedly elected parties that support the alliance with America, and support a robust security and intelligence policy, including electronic surveillance as part of the war on terror.

The last week of the 2014 general election campaign was dominated by the Government Security Communications Bureau and its cooperation with the National Security Agency and the extent to which New Zealand security services engaged in electronic surveillance in New Zealand and abroad.

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The Greens want to subvert that democratic decision that has been repeated over many New Zealand elections about national security and foreign relations to defer to an American court when New Zealand didn’t even appear as a party.

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The US Court of appeal was deciding an issue of statutory interpretation of the Patriot Act. There was no constitutional issues at hand.

The Patriot Act expires in a month unless it is extended. Congress has ample opportunity to amend the renewed law to overturn the appeal court’s decision for the future operation of its security and intelligence laws.

The Greens want a Court of Appeal interpretation of the American Patriot Act to extend to New Zealand without a vote of the New Zealand people or the parliament having any say on whether to give up New Zealand’s sovereignty or waive sovereign immunity in American courts.

 

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