ACTA's Non-Final 'Final' Text Still Has Issues

from the of-course-it-does dept

Earlier this week, the USTR announced that a new final version of ACTA was out, to replace the old “final” version. Of course, this version is really no more final than the last version in that it still needs to go through a legal scrub where it can be changed further. Not surprisingly, many are still finding substantial problems in the text, with continued concerns over whether or not the US President has the constitutional authority to sign such a document. Of course, as we’ve seen so far, most of the players in the US government simply don’t care. They’ll finalize the document and President Obama will sign it, and then I’m sure someone will bring a lawsuit… Meanwhile, there are even more concerns over in Europe, where the EU Commission doesn’t seem to care much what the European Parliament or the European Court of Justice has to say about these things.

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Comments on “ACTA's Non-Final 'Final' Text Still Has Issues”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I think the biggest thing ACTA will bring to the world is the knowledge that if you don’t like something you get some other people to join and try to bully other into compliance.

I wonder what the other couple of hundreds of countries out there could do if they really wanted to demand something from the G7.

They are the ones that supply all the raw materials and I don’t think they realize how powerful that is.

The same tactics used to pressure them can be used to pressure a handful of countries.

Now that would be something.

This is really what is being pushed over to the world center, ways to force others into compliance and that knowledge will lead to abuse and pain and that is why it is so bad.

There is no dialogue, there is no solving problems cooperating when cooperating means achieving goals to only part of the group and not benefits to everyone involved.

Transbot9 (user link) says:

I have a suspision...

I think maybe this is one of those treaties that the US government is planning to ignore our commitments to it, while forcing other countries to comply. In other words, it’s just a bully stick for the US to use on other countries. Our nation has a long history of ignoring parts of (or entire) treaties we don’t like, but sign anyways.

Anonymous Coward says:

A fundamental underpinning of our tripartite system of government enshrined in the US Constitution is the Separation of Powers Doctrine. In the case of ACTA, the Executive Branch lacks the constitutional authority to execute an international agreement (among other types of agreements) that would infringe upon Congress’ Article 1 powers.

All the hyperbole from groups such as the KEI have thus far failed to present a compelling case that the Separation of Powers Doctrine is being given short shrift. In point of fact, and contrary to the voluminous rhetoric emmanating from these groups, none of the supposed conflicts upon which they rely to proclaim that ACTA would bind the hands of Congress in the future to amend US law, finds any meaningful support in the current ACTA text. For them to argue otherwise is disingenuous, and makes only too clear that their objective is not overriding concerns with conflicts of US law, but their professed goal of preventing the substance and scope of US law being exported to various foreign countries. This is not a Separation of Powers Doctrine issue, and repeatedly proclaiming this to be the case does not make it so.

As for the “legal scrub”, this is an entirely commonplace activity with any negotiated instrument to ensure that its provisions have a substantial basis in law and are otherwise consistent therewith. To suggest the upcoming “legal scrub” somehow indicates a recognition that there may be Separation of Powers issues associated with the agreement is incorrect.

It was long ago noted the critical distictions between a treaty and an executive agreement, with the former being entitled to the full force and effect of law (just like a federal statute) and the latter having no such force. The former can serve to bind Congress since a treaty and its provisions once ratified are added to our body of federal law. The latter cannot.

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