Today, the Rule of Law Institute co-hosted an event with the Australian Institute of Company Directors, attended by leading members of the Australian legal and business worlds.
The event focused on the recent Hogan Lovells report, Risk and Return: Foreign Direct Investment and the Rule of Law, which identified Australia as the jurisdiction in the world that raised the second-most number of rule of law concerns for foreign investors. China raised the most concerns, according to the report, and Bangladesh was third.
The Institute and the AICD hosted Hogan Lovells Sydney Managing Partner Tim Lester, journalist Chris Merritt, AICD Life Fellow David Gonski AO, and Institute Vice-President Malcolm Stewart, who discussed the concerns raised by the report, and reiterated the importance of the rule of law for business leaders.
In particular, the discussion focused on the opacity of Australian political processes, at both state and federal level, and the difficulty of determining what agencies or individuals are actually responsible for making decisions, based on what criteria.
The audience, all members of the AICD or the Institute, also asked a number of questions based on their own experiences of dealing with, and trying to reassure, foreign investors.
The event was a success, drawing attention to the importance of the rule of law in a business context, and raising awareness of the ways in which business leaders can contribute to furthering the rule of law.
The Institute looks forward to continuing its collaboration with the AICD on this important issue.