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The CER Agreement and Trans-Tasman Business Law Coordination: From ‘Soft Law’ Approach to ‘Hard Law’ Outcome

Gordon Walker, LLM (Adel), MBA (AGSM), SJD (Duke), is Professor of Commercial Law at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He earned his doctoral degree in Law from Duke University School of Law in the USA for a thesis on securities regulation. At La Trobe Law, he created and is Director of the LLM in Global Business Law Program and the LLM for International Students Program. Professor Walker previously taught law at Adelaide University School of Law, Sydney University School of Law, and, in New Zealand. In the 1980s, he practised law with Freehill, Hollingdale & Page in Sydney and worked in investment banking.

The CER Treaty is simultaneously a Regional Free Trade Agreement between Australia and New Zealand and the umbrella agreement for a range of downstream arrangements that better implement the CER Treaty. One of the downstream arrangements is the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of Australia on Coordination of Business Law signed in August 2000 (the 2000 MOU). This article considers the background to the business law coordination project, the trade relationship between Australia and New Zealand, the CER Agreement, the pre­cursor to the 2000 MOU, and conceptual work preceding the 2000 MOU. The concluding parts of the article consider why New Zealand will increasingly seek to adopt parts of Australian business law and the ‘Australianisation’ of New Zealand business law in the area of securities regulation.

(2003) 21 Law in Context 75

   
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