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Australia: WTO Appellate Body Rejects Appeal Regarding Plain Packaging of Tobacco

(June 18, 2020) On June 9, 2020, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Appellate Body issued its reports on cases brought by Honduras and the Dominican Republic against Australia’s tobacco plain packaging requirements. (Australia — Certain Measures Concerning Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Other Plain Packaging Requirements Applicable to Tobacco Products and Packaging (DS435 and DS441).) The […]

Chile; New Zealand; Singapore: Digital Trade Agreement Signed

(June 17, 2020) On June 12, 2020, the governments of Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore signed the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) in an online ceremony, with e-signature tools utilized. Negotiations for the agreement were launched in May 2019 when the trade ministers of the three countries met and “discussed ways to maximize the contributions that […]

Australia: Privacy Protections Applicable to COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Enacted

(May 29, 2020) On May 15, 2020, the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Act 2020 (Cth) was enacted in Australia. The act adds a new part to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) that specifically regulates the use and disclosure of data collected when people download and use the Australian government’s COVID-19 contact tracing mobile phone […]

New Zealand: New COVID-19 Public Health Response Legislation Enacted

(May 28, 2020) On May 13, 2020, the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 was enacted in New Zealand. The act provides a new legal framework for making and enforcing orders containing restrictions and requirements for businesses, gatherings, and movement in response to COVID-19. It was enacted in time for the country’s move to “Alert […]

New Zealand: Court of Appeal and Supreme Court Issue Protocol for Remote Hearings During COVID-19 Restrictions

(Apr. 28, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Chief Justice of the New Zealand Supreme Court and the President of the Court of Appeal issued a protocol that will apply to remote hearings of the two courts while the country is subject to various restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country entered “Alert […]

Indonesia: Spread of COVID-19 Declared a National Disaster

On April 13, 2020, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) issued Presidential Decree No. 12 of 2020 on Stipulation of the Non-Natural Disaster of the Spread of COVID-19 as a National Disaster. According to the Jakarta Post, the decree “states that efforts to mitigate the outbreak are to be led by the COVID-19 Task Force with the cooperation […]

New Zealand; Singapore: New Declaration on Trade in Essential Goods for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic

(Apr. 17, 2020) On April 15, 2020, the governments of New Zealand and Singapore “launched a new trade initiative to ensure supply chain connectivity and the removal of blockages to trade in a list of essential products that includes medicines, medical and surgical equipment.” The initiative builds on a joint statement by the two countries in […]

Australia: New Senate Committee to Examine Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

(Apr. 16, 2020) On April 8, 2020, the Australian Senate “resolved to establish a Select Committee on COVID-19 to inquire into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The committee was tasked with presenting its final report to the Senate on or before June 30, 2022. The establishment of the committee was moved by […]

New Zealand: Amendments to Enhance Voter Registration and Voting Processes Passed

(Mar. 16, 2020) On March 4, 2020, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Electoral Amendment Bill, which contains various amendments to the Electoral Act 1993 and the Electoral Regulations 1996 aimed at improving “enrolment and voting processes to better enfranchise voters, uphold the integrity of the electoral system by ensuring that elections are conducted efficiently […]

New Zealand: Bill to Regulate Vaping Introduced

(Mar. 12, 2020) On February 24, 2020, the New Zealand government introduced the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill into the Parliament. The government minister responsible for the Bill, Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa, stated that it “aims to strike the right balance between making sure vaping is available for smokers who want […]