Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Aust seeks Dutch treaty to protect asbestos victims

The Federal Government says it has approached the Dutch Government to sign a treaty making Australian court judgments enforceable in The Netherlands.

Legal teams appearing before an inquiry into asbestos compensation say any judgments against James Hardie will not be enforceable as the company is now incorporated in The Netherlands.

The Federal Attorney-General's office says The Netherlands is not one of the 40 countries which have signed the Foreign Judgements Act, which allows Australian court judgements to be enforced.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union says its Dutch counterparts are also lobbying their MPs to push for the treaty to be signed.

They say that would prevent James Hardie avoiding its responsibility to victims of its Australian asbestos products.

By Avoiding Liabilities 4 August 04


James Hardie inquiry told law reforms needed
A massive shortfall in funds to compensate asbestos victims has led to a call for retrospective law? reform to stop parent companies avoiding their liabilities.