The future of investment treaties, especially as part of “mega-regional” free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), has become very uncertain given the isolationist volte-face of the Trump Administration. This project explores the historical and likely future trajectory of investment treaties, including the sometimes politically controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) procedure, especially in the rapidly growing and diverse Asia-Pacific region. The book focuses on the extent to which Asia-Pacific economies (individually and/or through sub-regional groupings like ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) have been or are more likely to become “rule makers” rather than “rule takers” in international investment law, and in what sense.
The following draft book proposal is based mainly on papers presented at conferences comparing contract- and treaty-based arbitration of investment disputes in ASEAN member states (held in Bangkok in July 2016) and across the wider Asian region (held at USydney in February 2017, supported by SCIL and with a summary by Ana Ubilava available via Kluwer Arbitration Blog) and reproduced (without hyperlinks) on this Blog.
I. Project Overview
a) Project Aims and Background
Standalone bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have proliferated since the 1980s, especially across the Asia-Pacific region, and investment chapters have also become core parts of comprehensive free trade agreements (FTAs). Typically host states provide investors with the option of ISDS to enforce substantive commitments, recognizing that the inter-state dispute settlement option (as under the WTO) can become too politicized and lack efficiency. However, when combined with the parallel boom in cross-border foreign direct investment (FDI) particularly since the 1990s, ISDS-backed treaties have begun generating a growing volume of claims, and not just against economies with less developed court and national law systems available to protect investments. This project aims to reassess the past, present and future prospects for investment treaties and ISDS (especially investor-state arbitration) across the vibrant Asia-Pacific region, surveyed generally in chapter [].
This reassessment is particularly timely first because there is an ongoing policy debate about the extent to which treaties increase cross-border FDI, either generally or when backed by ISDS procedures. On the best available data, an econometric model explained in chapter [] finds significant positive impacts, albeit diminishing over the last decade, and with curiously less impact from stronger-form ISDS provisions. Another econometric analysis focused on Thailand, in chapter [], underlines the methodological difficulties involved in such studies. As mentioned in chapter [], however, other recent Asia-focused empirical research suggests that investment treaties have played significant roles in prompting cross-border FDI. These findings run contrary to the broader hypothesis of Lauge Poulsen that developing countries demonstrated “bounded rationality” by signing up to treaties due to “motivated learning” – over-optimistically hoping that they would encourage more inbound FDI.
Secondly, a stock-take of Asia-Pacific investment treaty practice is opportune because it allows a general test of Poulsen’s further argument recently that developing countries have tended to display “status quo bias” by not adjusting wording in new treaties to attract even more FDI. Some analyses in this book raise serious questions about this view that developing countries were primarily “rule takers”, for example regarding Thailand in chapter [], where some peculiar treaty wording regarding ISDS appears instead to be have been carefully introduced. Nonetheless, until recently the US does appear to have become a major force in setting Asia-Pacific investment treaty standards, especially for the growing proportion of FTAs – as epitomized by the TPP signed by 12 economies in February 2016. This influence arose because the US was either an actual counterparty (as with its FTAs with Australia and Singapore from the early 2000s) or a potential one (as with Thailand and Malaysia, with whom negotiations were suspended for political reasons, but which allowed familiarisation with contemporary US-style treaty drafting that then partly influenced ASEAN/+ investment treaties). Yet the new Trump Administration has withdrawn the US signature of the TPP. This isolationist turn opens up space for different approaches to investment treaty negotiation and drafting to emerge in the region: a major impetus and theme for this book.
Although the US model had already incorporated more pro-host-state elements since the early 2000s, compared to the first-generation of standalone BITs ratified by the US (and major capital exporting countries in Europe), the ASEAN investment treaties display even more pro-state elements (as outlined in chapters [[14 and 15]]). In turn, this caution reflects the historical experiences of the now ten ASEAN member states (compared in chapters [[4-13]], especially regarding inbound FDI. This is still very evident in Indonesia, recently subjected to major ISDS claims (including one by an Australian subsidiary), and which consequently announced that it would let lapse its old-generation BITs. However, other ASEAN states (Malaysia, Singapore and recently Thailand) have emerged as major FDI exporters. This may open the way for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP or “ASEAN+6”) agreement to incorporate also some more pro-investor provisions.
Such provisions would also be welcomed by Korea and perhaps Japan and China (outlined in chapters [[17-19]]), although the latter two countries have not displayed as much consistency in their investment treaty practice. Australia similarly has an interest in protecting its outbound investors, but has also become cautious about ISDS-backed commitments after being subjected to its first-ever claim (by Philip Morris, over plain packaging), while New Zealand remains much more a net FDI importer. Nonetheless, these two otherwise quite similar and tightly integrated economies (as explained in chapter []) have arguably already punched above their weight in regional treaty negotiations, and may emerge as a new “middle power”, along with ASEAN and Korea (as posited recently by Stephan Schill). As for India, the last of the six non-ASEAN states negotiating RCEP, it too is reviewing its old BITs in the wake of ISDS claims (including one from an Australian mining company). In December 2015 India issued a new Model BIT that retains ISDS but in highly restrictive form, as examined in chapter [], which has been agreed to by Cambodia in 2016.
India’s distinctly less pro-investor approach also therefore makes it timely to consider whether the current EU approach to investment agreements, evident in recent FTAs with Singapore and especially Vietnam and Canada, may offer some compromise ways forward. Of particular interest is the possibility for substituting ad hoc appointments of ISDS arbitrators with a permanent (and two-tier) “investment court”. This and other options for reforming investment treaty-based dispute settlement procedures, including various types of “standing panels”, are explored further in chapter []. The book ends with an attempt in chapter [] to reposition the debate over investment treaties through a normative lens focused on principles of “best practice regulation”, referring to the existing and potential future contributions of states in the Asian region.
b) Structure of the Book
The book is organized accordingly into four main parts:
(i) three chapters relating to the cross-cutting themes;
(ii) [[ten]] Southeast Asian country studies as well as two chapters on intra-ASEAN and “ASEAN+” investment treaties;
(iii) five chapters on the roles of other potential middle powers (Australia with New Zealand, Korea) and big players (Japan, China and India);
(iv) two concluding chapters offering forward-looking perspectives.
II. Contribution to Existing Scholarship
Overall, this book project not only provides up-to-date descriptions of treaty practice and resolution of international investment disputes across almost all significant economies the Asian region, including references also to significant contract-based arbitration law and practice. The book also engages with and provides novel insights into several major theoretical debates, with important practical implications:
• Simon Chesterman’s recent argument about “Asia’s ambivalence” about international law more generally;
• Stephan Schill’s hypothesis of a shift from West to East for international investment law (driven especially by “middle powers” like ASEAN and Korea);
• persistent policy questions such as whether ISDS-backed treaties significantly increase cross-border FDI, and without overly compromising host state autonomy to regulate in good faith and proportionately in the national interest.
III. Prospective Readership
The work is primarily aimed at policy-makers and academic researchers, especially those interested in legal issues but also in political economy, as well as Asian Studies more generally. However, many chapters offer reliable and pointed analyses of the current (especially treaty-based) framework for market access and the protection of foreign investment across major Asian economies. As such, the book will also interest legal practitioners.
IV. Table of Contents
Hon Robert French AC (former Chief Justice of Australia)
PART 1: CROSS-CUTTING THEMES
1. FDI, Investment Treaties and Arbitration in Asia After Trump
Julien Chaisse, Luke Nottage & Sakda Thanitcul
2. The Impact of Investment Treaties and ISDS on FDI in Asia and Beyond
3. Do Investment Treaties Work – In the Land of Smiles?
PART 2: SOUTHEAST ASIA – COUNTRY STUDIES & ASEAN INITIATIVES
4. International Investment Arbitration in Thailand: Limiting Contract-based Claims While Maintaining Treaty-based ISDS
Luke Nottage & Sakda Thanitcul
5. The Termination of Indonesia’s BITs: Changing the Bathwater, but Keeping the Baby?
6. Singapore and its Free Trade Agreement with the European Union: Rationality ‘Unbound’?
7. Malaysia and Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Learning from Experience
8. The Philippine BIT Program and Investor-State Disputes
Diane A. Desierto
9. International Investment Dispute Resolution in Vietnam: Opportunities and Challenges
Nguyen Manh Dzung & Nguyen Thi Thu Trang
10. International Investment Law and Practice in the Kingdom of Cambodia: An Evolving ‘Rule Taker’?
11. International Investment Arbitration in Myanmar: ‘Bounded Rationality’, But Not As We Know It
12. International Investment Arbitration in Laos: Large Issues for a Small State
Romesh Weeramantry & Mahdev Mohan
13. Foreign direct investment and investor-state dispute settlement in Brunei Darussalam: Waiting for Godot?
14. Legalizing the ASEAN Way: Adapting and Reimagining the ASEAN Investment Regime
15. ASEAN Investment Treaties and RCEP: Regional Strategies, Norms, Institutions and Politics
PART III: OTHER POTENTIAL ‘MIDDLE POWERS’ & THE BIG PLAYERS
16. Foreign Investment Regulation and Treaty Practice in Australia and New Zealand: Getting It Together in the Asia-Pacific
Amokura Kawharu & Luke Nottage
17. Korea’s Approach to International Investment Agreements: Policy at the Contours
18. A Japanese Perspective on International Investment Agreements: Recent Developments
19. China’s Three-Prong Investment Strategy: An Update on the Bilateral, Regional, and Global Tracks
20. Investor State Dispute Settlement in India’s New Model Bilateral Investment Treaty: Does It Go Too Far?
PART IV: FORWARD-LOOKING PERSPECTIVES
21. An Empirical Case for Extending Standing Panels in Investor-State Arbitration
22. Investment Treaty Arbitration and Governance
V. Author Biographies
(in alphabetical order)
Shiro Armstrong is an economist and Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy. He is Co-Director of the Australia-Japan Research Centre, Editor of the East Asia Forum, Director of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research and Research Associate at the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at the Columbia Business School. Shiro is a recipient of an Australian Government Endeavour Research Fellowship, Gary Saxonhouse Prize Fellowship for Japanese Economics, Crawford Award for best research paper on the Japanese Economy, Japan Foundation Fellowship, Pacific Trade and Development Conference (PAFTAD) Fellowship, Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award for Public Policy and Outreach and twice the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Service Quality.
Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha is a Lecturer in Law at the University of New South Wales. He holds the degrees of DPhil, MPhil and BCL from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes scholar, and the degrees BEc and LLB from the University Sydney. His academic publications include Substantive Protection under Investment Treaties: a Legal and Economic Analysis (CUP 2014) and, with Lauge Poulsen and Michael Waibel, The Political Economy of the Investment Treaty Regime (OUP, forthcoming 2016). Jonathan has worked on investment treaty arbitrations as a lawyer in private practice and as government lawyer in the Australian Attorney General’s Department. He has advised the governments of several other developed and developing countries on legal and policy issues relating to investment treaties, including the Government of Myanmar. He lived in Myanmar from 2013 to 2016.
Julien Chaisse is Professor of Law at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He is an award-winning specialist in international economic law with particular expertise in the regulation and economics of foreign investment. His research also covers other relevant fields, such as WTO law, international taxation and the law of natural resources. Before joining the CUHK Law Faculty in 2009, Prof. Chaisse served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, and started his academic career in Europe. Since then, Prof. Chaisse is frequently invited as a guest lecturer to many academies and universities around the world, including the Academy of International Investment and Trade Law, Columbia University, Brown University and Boston University (U.S.), Passau University (Germany) and Melbourne University (Australia) where he is a Senior Fellow to the Law School.
Antony Crockett is an international law and dispute resolution specialist with expertise in international commercial arbitration, civil litigation, investment treaty arbitration and public international law. Antony has represented clients in arbitration proceedings conducted under GAFTA, HKIAC, ICC, ICSID, LCIA, PCA, SIAC, Swiss and UNCITRAL Rules, as well as mediation and expert determination proceedings. Antony is admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales and currently practices in Indonesia as a foreign legal consultant. He is also admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia and as a Solicitor of the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Diane Desierto (JSD, Yale Law School) is the tenured Michael J. Marks Distinguished Professor and Co-Director of the ASEAN Law & Integration Center (ALIC) at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, 2016 Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow at Stanford Global Studies Division and the 2016-2017 Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, 2016 Visiting Scientist at UNICA (Italy), where she specializes in public international law, international arbitration and dispute settlement, international human rights and humanitarian law, international economic law, and ASEAN law. She is a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Journal of International Law and permanent Editor of EJIL:Talk!, Member of the Academic Council of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration, Editor of the Asia Yearbook of International Law, Legal Expert for the ASEAN Secretariat, Research Committee Member of the Asian Society of International Law, and 2017 Director of Studies for Public International Law at the Hague Academy of International Law. Prof. Desierto has clerked for Judges Simma and Sepulveda-Amor at the International Court of Justice, served as lead arbitration counsel in sovereign arbitration, and served as legal adviser to various government agencies and tribunals in Southeast Asia on various issues and questions of international law. Among her various books and articles in the United States, Europe, and Asia, Prof. Desierto authored Necessity and National Emergency Clauses: Sovereignty in Modern Treaty Interpretation (Martinus Nijhoff, 2012) and Public Policy in International Economic Law: The ICESCR in Trade, Finance, and Investment (OUP, 2015).
Robert French AC was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia on 1 September 2008 and retired from that office on 29 January 2017. In that role he gave several public speeches on international investment treaties and investor-state arbitration, focusing on the interaction with domestic courts. Mr French is a graduate of the University of Western Australia in science and law. He was admitted in 1972 and practised as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia until 1983 when he went to the Independent Bar. He was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia in November 1986, an office he held until his appointment as Chief Justice on 1 September 2008. From 1994 to 1998 he was the President of the National Native Title Tribunal. In 2010, he was made a Companion in the Order of Australia and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He is a Founding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a member of the American Law Institute, and an Honorary Life Member of the Australasian Law Teachers Association, the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and the Australian Bar Association. Since August 2016 he has been an Adjunct Professor at the Law School at the University of Western Australia and a Distinguished Honorary Professor at the Australian National University since October 2016.
Nguyen Manh Dzung is managing partner of Dzungsrt & Associates LLC, a boutique shipping and ADR law firm in Vietnam, and has represented clients in both domestic and international arbitrations in Vietnam ranging from shipping, international trade and investment disputes since 1994. Mr. Dzung has been active as an editorial member of Drafting Committees of all key legislations on ADR in Vietnam, including notably the Law on Commercial Arbitration in 2010 and the first Governmental Decree on Commercial Mediation. He was a founder and vice chairman of the Pacific International Arbitration Centre (PIAC) and now serves as a member of the Research Council of the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC). He is a frequent speaker on arbitration and mediation for the Supreme People’s Court, the Ministry of Justice and Vietnam International Arbitration Centre. He is also a visiting lecturer on arbitrating and mediating skills for trainee lawyers in Vietnam.
Sufian Jusoh is the Deputy Director and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, National University of Malaysia and Consultant of the World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland. Sufian Jusoh is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. Sufian is a Barrister-at-Law (England and Wales) of Lincoln’s Inn, London. Sufian holds an LL.B from Cardiff Law School, an LL.M (Merit), University College London and a Doctor in Law (summa Cum Laude) from University of Bern, Switzerland. Sufian is an Investment Law Expert at the World Bank Group’s Trade and Competitiveness team. Sufian is also a consultant in investment policy and liberalisation of services for ASEAN. Sufian has advised some members of the TPPA on certain negotiation issues. Sufian coordinates the World Trade Institute’s consultancy and training programmes in the field of international trade, investment and IP in Southeast Asia.
Amokura Kawharu holds a BA/LLB(Hons) degree from Auckland University and an LLM with a major in international law from the University of Cambridge. She became member of the Law Faculty’s academic staff in 2005 after working for several years in private commercial law practice in Auckland and in Sydney. Her research interests include international trade and investment law, arbitration, and international disputes resolution. She contributes reviews on disputes settlement for the New Zealand Law Review and co-authored the leading text on New Zealand arbitration law with David Williams QC, “Williams & Kawharu on Arbitration” (LexisNexis, 2011). Amokura is a member of the LCIA, the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law, and the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand.
Joongi Kim is Professor of Law and Associate Dean for International Affairs at Yonsei Law School. His research focuses on international dispute resolution, international trade, corporate governance and good governance and has appeared in the ICSID Review, Journal of International Economic Law, Journal of World Trade, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business, Asian Journal of Comparative Law and Fordham International Law Journal. Recent contributions can also be found in International Commercial Arbitration Practice: 21st Century Perspectives (LexisNexis, 2013) and Foreign Investment and Dispute Resolution Law and Practice in Asia (Routledge, 2011). A former attorney at Foley & Lardner in Washington, D.C. and Scholar-in-Residence at WilmerHale’s International Arbitration Group, he also served as the Founding Executive Director of the Hills Governance Center in Korea, which was established under the joint auspices of the World Bank, CSIS and Yonsei University. He has acted as a presiding arbitrator, sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator, mediator or counsel in institutional and ad hoc proceedings under the rules of the ICC, JAMS, KCAB, LMAA and UNCITRAL and sits on the Panel of Arbitrators of CAA, CIDRA, CRCICA, DIAC, HKIAC, ICSID, JCAA, KCAB, KLRCA, SCIA, SIAC and the Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement. A previous visiting professor at Georgetown Law, the University of Florida, the National University of Singapore, and University of Hong Kong, he holds academic degrees from Columbia, Yonsei, and Georgetown.
Jürgen Kurtz is a Professor and Director of International Economic Law Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He researches in the various strands of international economic law including the jurisprudence of the World Trade Organization and that of investor-state arbitral tribunals. Jürgen’s most recent book is The WTO and International Investment Law: Converging Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2016). He has held research fellowships at the Jean Monnet Center at New York University Law School (as Emile Noel Fellow), the Academy of International Law in The Hague and the European University Institute (as Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow). Jürgen also teaches in the post-graduate programs of the Pearl River Academy of International Trade and Investment Law in Macau and Shenzhen, Universidade Catolica in Portugal, the University of Barcelona and the Singapore International Arbitration Academy. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Mahdev Mohan is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University, where he teaches public international law. He directs the Asian Business & Rule of Law initiative (ABRL), which sits within the Centre for Cross-border Commercial Law in Asia. A former Fulbright Scholar and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Academic Fellow, he is a founding member of the Singapore Branch of the International Law Association. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of East Asia and International Law, the China and WTO Review, and the Business and Human Rights Journal. He researches, writes and advises on public international law, investment arbitration and regulation, and human rights in Asia. Mahdev’s research and writing in the fields of international law have been awarded Stanford University’s Carl Mason Franklin Jr. Prize for International Law and the Richard S. Goldsmith Research Grant for International Conflict and Negotiation.
Dr Luke Nottage specialises in international arbitration, contract law, consumer product safety law and corporate governance, with a particular interest in the Asia-Pacific region. He is Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law at Sydney Law School, founding Co-Director of the Australian Network for Japanese Law (sydney.edu.au/law/anjel), and Associate Director of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney. Luke’s 12 books include International Arbitration in Australia (co-edited with Richard Garnett, Federation Press, 2010), Foreign Investment and Dispute Resolution Law and Practice in Asia (co-edited with Vivienne Bath, Routledge, 2011) and ASEAN Product Liability and Consumer Product Safety Law (co-edited with Sakda Thanitcul, Winyuchon, 2016). Luke is an ACICA Special Associate and founding member of the Rules drafting committee, the Australasian Forum for International Arbitration council’s Japan Representative, and on the panel of arbitrators for the BAC, JCAA, KCAB, KLRCA and SCIA. Luke has also consulted for law firms world-wide, ASEAN, the EC, OECD, UNCTAD, UNDP and the Japanese government, and is Managing Director of Japanese Law Links Pty Ltd (www.japaneselawlinks.com).
Prabhash Ranjan is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Legal Studies, South Asian University, New Delhi. Prabhash was awarded PhD by King’s College London. He studied at King’s on a King’s College London School of Law Doctoral Scholarship. He studied at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and University College London (UCL) for LLM, as a British Chevening scholar; and passed with a distinction in 2007. Prabhash also holds degrees in Economics and Law from University of Delhi. He teaches and publishes in the area of international investment law and world trade law. Prabhash has published in leading international refereed journals including ICSID Review – Foreign Investment Law Journal, George Washington International Law Review, Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law, Journal of World Trade, Journal of International Arbitration, Journal of World Intellectual Property, Asian Journal of International Law, Australian Journal of Asian Law, Asian Journal of Comparative Law, Journal of World Investment and Trade. He has also contributed book chapters in many edited collections published by leading international publishers like Oxford University Press (UK), Routledge (London), and Hart Publishing (Oxford). Prabhash is the Book Review Editor of the Indian Journal of International Law.
Donald Robertson helps clients with all aspects of international law, including international contract and commercial law. He has an emphasis on the regulation and protection of cross-border investments and contracts by means of international investment treaties and international contract law. Donald has an extensive practice in regulatory law, advising on best practice regulatory principles and the impact of market regulation on commercial transactions and industry structures. He has special interest and expertise in the law of money and payment systems. Donald has deep, specialist knowledge of the law of money and payment systems and their private and public regulatory structure. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Contract Law. In 2010 he was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, one of Australia’s ‘learned Academies’ in recognition of the distinction of his career in the law.
Sakda Thanitcul is Professor of Law and immediate past Dean at the Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University, in Bangkok. He earned his LLB from Chulalongkorn University, LLM and PhD (Law) from University of Washington School of Law and also LLM and LLD degrees from Kyoto University. He was a member of the advisory team to the chief negotiators of the US-Thailand FTA and the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement. His recent publications include “Thailand” (with R. Ian McEwin) in Mark Williams (ed), The Political Economy of Competition Law in Asia (Hart Publishing, 2011), pp 279-291, “Thailand” (with R Ian McEwin) in Mark Williams (ed.), The Political Economy of Competition Law in Asia (Edward Elgar, 2013), pp 251-282, “Compulsory licensing of chronic disease pharmaceuticals in Thailand” (with Matthew L Braslow), (2014) 37(3) Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 106-120, and ASEAN Product Liability and Consumer Product Safety Law (co-edited with Luke Nottage, Winyuchon, 2016).
Leon Trakman is Professor of Contract and Arbitration Law and Past Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales. The recipient of a doctorate from Harvard, he is author of 8 books and over 100 articles in international journals. His academic appointments include, amongst others, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California (Davis), Visiting Professor at Wisconsin Law School, Tulane Law School and the University of Cape Town, Professor of Law at Dalhousie University and Bolton Visiting Professor at McGill University. He has served extensively as an international commercial arbitrator, and as a panellist appointed by the US, Canadian and Mexican Governments to decide antidumping, countervailing duty and injury disputes under the NAFTA.
Nguyen Thi Thu Trang is Counsel of Dzungsrt & Associates LLC, a boutique shipping and ADR law firm in Vietnam. She holds the LLM Degree in Arbitration and Business Law – Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherland and is currently a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Academy of Social Sciences of Vietnam. Ms. Trang is also a visiting lecturer for the International Commercial Arbitration module at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and the co-author of many research papers and contributor to review on Vietnamese arbitration with Nguyen Manh Dzung, such as the Vietnamese chapter in World Arbitration Reporter (Juris Publishing, 2012) and Global Arbitration Review (Law Business Research, 2016). Together with Mr Dzung, she assisted the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam in drafting a resolution guiding the law on commercial arbitration and provided an opinion on the draft of a chapter regarding recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards for the 2015 Civil Procedure Code of Vietnam.
Romesh Weeramantry is a Foreign Legal Consultant at Clifford Chance, specialising in complex arbitrations involving cross-border commercial disputes and investment treaty claims relating to Asia. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hong Kong. His prior professional experience includes work at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (The Hague) and the United Nations Compensation Commission (Geneva) on inter-government disputes arising from Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Dr Weeramantry has advised major international organizations on dispute settlement and has trained government officials and judges in developing nations on arbitration and international law issues. His publications include Treaty Interpretation in Investment Arbitration (Oxford University Press 2012); and International Commercial Arbitration: An Asia-Pacific Perspective (Cambridge University Press 2011). He is an editor of the The Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance: Commentary and Annotations (2nd edition, 2015); the Asian Dispute Review and the Hong Kong White Book Arbitration and ADR Volume. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the ICSID Review.
Jason Webb Yackee researches international investment law, international economic relations, foreign arbitration, and administrative law and politics. He teaches Contracts, International Investment Law, International Arbitration, and International Business Transactions. Professor Yackee graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pittsburgh, earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science (International Relations) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned a J.D., summa cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Duke University School of Law where he was an editor for the Duke Law Journal. He has also studied French and European law at L’Universite Pantheon-Assas (Paris-2).