Sunday, July 20, 2008

A new form of personal property?

The Australian Financial Review reported on Friday 18 July 2008 about some of the legal implications of the proposed emissions permit scheme.

Alex Abaxial writes ...
Emissions permits would create an entirely new form of personal property.

The story quotes a partner of Clayton Utz praising the proposal for not treating permits as mere licenses, instead opting for a situation where ...

you [can] do things like use it for security and to contract for equitable interests over it … [I]t becomes a free-flowing instrument within the Australian marketplace.

The story also reports about the impact of emission permits on fixed-price contracts. Companies are consulting lawyers “on ways to amend [their contracts] to pass price increases through to their customers” through the use of “carbon clauses” operating in a similar fashion to clauses used when the GST was introduced.

It will be interesting to see the extent to which Australian commercial and legal practice in this area is influenced by experience in the EU.

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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