Fernando Dias Simões

New article: ‘Hold on to Your Hat! Issue Conflicts in the Investment Court System’


My latest article, titled ‘Hold on to Your Hat! Issue Conflicts in the Investment Court System‘ has just been published in The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals (17), 2018, pp. 98-116. Here is the abstract:

Since 2015, the European Commission (EC) has been advocating the establishment of an investment court system (ICS). A key aspect of the proposal is the creation of the strictest ethical standards ever seen in the field of investor-state arbitration. The exercise of functions as an arbitrator does not traditionally require exclusivity, and many lawyers offer their services in the market in other capacities. This situation is described as the “double hat” phenomenon and is seen as one of the most frequent moral hazards in investment arbitration. Both the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Commission’s investment chapter proposal for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) prohibit adjudicators from acting as legal counsel in other investment dispute cases. This article discusses the potential advantages and drawbacks of the EC’s approach to the “multiple hat” problem and their potential impact on the investment arbitration system as a whole.


International Economic Law in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era


The 26th Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law (ANZSIL) Annual Conference, ‘International Law: From the Local to the Global’, will take place between 5 and 7 July at Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law, New Zealand. On Thursday I will be delivering a presentation titled ‘International Economic Law in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era’. You can download the full programme here.

New article: ‘External Consultants as Actors in European Trade and Investment Policymaking’


My latest article, titled ‘External Consultants as Actors in European Trade and Investment Policymaking’ has been published in the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 2017 (48), 2018, pp. 109-138. Here is the abstract:

Over the last several years impact assessment studies have become a standard tool in trade and investment policymaking processes. Within the European Union there are two types of studies that examine the impact of trade policies: Impact Assessments (IAs) and Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIAs). Two characteristics of the latter are particularly noteworthy. First, SIAs signal an evolution in the tools employed in the trade and investment policymaking process. They analyse the potential economic, social, human rights, and environmental impacts of ongoing trade negotiations. Second, SIAs are an instrument for cooperation between an enlarged number of actors with an interest in the negotiation process. There are three main players involved in the conduct of SIAs: consultants, stakeholders, and the Commission’s services. SIAs are independent assessments carried out by external consultants during trade negotiations. Consultants should be perceived as policy actors, not true trade policymakers. Furthermore, the actorness of consultants should not be overstated, as several factors lead to a diminished influence of consultants in the policymaking process. Since they are not stakeholders, and much less policymakers, consultants should not be expected to be ‘drivers of change’. The negotiation of trade and investment policies has always been, and will continue to be, an inherently political process.

The Belt and Road Forum on China-Africa Investment and Legal Service


This Friday I will be taking part in ‘”The Belt and Road” Forum on China-Africa Investment and Legal Service’, organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Shenzhen Mediation Center, Economy Service Bureau of Guangming New District, and JunZeJun Shenzhen Law Office. The Forum will take place at the Huaxia Hall of Wuzhou Guest House, in Shenzhen, China. I will be talking about ‘Risk Management in Portuguese-speaking African Countries’.


Image: Wikimedia commons

The Future of Global Trade: European Lessons and Challenges


On 14 and 15 June the Faculty of Law of the Chinese University of Hong Kong will host a Conference on “The EU and its Partners in Global Governance: Trade, Investment, Taxation and Sustainable Development”. The conference is coordinated by Professor Jan Wouters (University of Leuven) and Professor Julien Chaisse (The Chinese University Hong Kong) in the context of the multi-year research project ‘EUCROSS’ (‘The European Union at the Crossroads of Global Order’). On 14 June I will be presenting a paper titled ‘The Future of Global Trade: European Lessons and Challenges’. You can download the full programme here.