I am truly delighted to have the opportunity to take part in the Congress ‘Modernizing International Trade Law to Support Innovation and Sustainable Development’, hosted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The congress will be held at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria, between 4 and 6 July. My paper is entitled ‘Investment Law and Climate Disputes: The Role of UNCITRAL in Powering Sustainable Development’ (download here). The conference programme can be found here.
On 29 and 30 June 2017 the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau will be hosting the International Conference ‘Consumer Policy in a Comparative Perspective: New Challenges in Chinese, European, and International Law’. The conference features speakers from Macau, mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom and includes panels on the following topics:
- Consumer Policy and Access to Information
- Food Safety and Product Liability
- Consumer Policy and Online Markets
- Consumer Policy and Intellectual Property Rights
- Trade and Investment Policies and Consumer Protection
- Consumer Policy and Dispute Resolution
This conference is jointly organized by the Faculty of Law of the University of Macau, the European Society of International Law Interest Group on International Environmental Law, the American Society of International Law Intellectual Property Law Interest Group, and gLAWcal – Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development.
You can download the full programme here. To register, please send an email to email@example.com.
New article: ‘A Guardian and a Friend? The European Commission’s Participation in Investment Arbitration’
My latest article, titled ‘A Guardian and a Friend? The European Commission’s Participation in Investment Arbitration’, has just been published in the Michigan State International Law Review, 25(2), 2017, pp. 233-303. The article is available here.
Here is the abstract: The figure of amicus curiae is a central feature of contemporary investor-state arbitration law and practice. Over the last several years the European Commission has taken part in a number of arbitral proceedings that touched upon matters of European Union Law. This phenomenon is part of the European Union’s broader incursion into the realm of investment law. The participation of an entity with legislative and political functions in investment arbitrations raises complex questions regarding the nature of the interests that this entity pursues and the potential impact that its involvement might have in the dispute settlement mechanism. This paper examines the participation of the European Commission (EC) in investor-state arbitrations and assesses its impact in the overall mechanism of investor-state dispute resolution. It is argued that the EC is fundamentally a distinct type of amicus, as it pursues interests different from those of traditional amici, and should therefore be accorded extended participatory rights.
The book ‘La Política de la Unión Europea en Materia de Derecho de las Inversions Internacionales. EU Policy on International Investment Law’, edited by Professor Katia Fach Gómez, from the University of Zaragoza, has just been published by Bosch Editor. I have contributed with a chapter entitled ‘Transparency in European Trade Policymaking: the TTIP Negotiations as a Case Study’. Here is the abstract:
The negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been surrounded by considerable controversy. One of the most widespread criticisms regards the alleged lack of transparency of the negotiation process. Transparency in trade and investment negotiations refers to the access of the general public to negotiating documents, position papers, and consolidated draft texts. Civil society groups seek to have access to these documents in order to analyse the potential impact of international agreements on citizens’ lives. However, the privacy of trade and investment negotiations is a time-honoured tradition. The level of transparency adopted by the European Commission in the TTIP negotiations, while open to improvement, is already quite satisfactory. The volume of information made available by the European Commission on the TTIP finds no parallel in analogous negotiations currently underway. While the present practice can be improved and fine-tuned, it strikes a sensible balance between the principles of transparency and democratic scrutiny and the need to ensure orderly, fruitful international negotiations.
I am delighted to share the news that the University of Macau has approved my promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, effective from 16 August 2017. I thank my family, friends and colleagues for their continuous support and encouragement.