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Reforming International Investment Law: Opportunities, Challenges, Paradigms

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Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017
All Day
East Wing Classroom 115BMap Location

The law school is hosting an international conference on the ferment surrounding international investment law and how this crisis can be an opportunity to reform the system towards better global governance.

The legitimacy crisis in international investment law today offers an opportunity to fundamentally re-conceptualize this legal regime away from its history as a functionalist system of investor protection, towards becoming a key element in global economic governance alongside international trade law. This conference explores both the nature of the crisis, and how the core policies and basic structures of investment law must be rethought and reformed so that investment law can more effectively discharge its key role in 21st century global governance. The panelists represent a diverse range of regions, institutions and perspectives, but share a common interest in the balanced and coherent evolution of investment law norms and institutions, and a concern with the social and normative critiques of investment law circulating today.  We hope you can join us.

This is a product of the collaboration between BC Law and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile through the Luksic family's generous grant to BC, and Sebastian (our PUC visitor this month). We have assembled a team of reform-minded scholars from around the world to discuss various ways investment law can be reformed to better support human flourishing while safeguarding private development capital.

The conference runs 9-5pm and we hope you can join for breakfast before, coffee, lunch or afternoon coffee and some amazing sessions. 

9:00 am

Welcome and Introduction (Dean Vincent Rougeau, Professor Frank Garcia)

9:15-10:45 am

Panel One: Investment Law Reform: Theoretical Perspectives and Current Issues

Chair: Prof. Emmanuel Laryea, Monash Law Faculty

Sergio Puig, "The Transformation of Foreign Investment Regulation" 
Karl Lockhart, Fellow, Law & Justice in the Americas Program (UVa) “Investment Treaties, Offshore Finance and the Resource Curse” 
Sonia Rolland, “Investment Law Reform: The View from the South”
Christopher Gibson, “IP Rights and the Right to Regulate: Philip Morris and Eli Lilly”

11:00 am-12:30 pm
Panel Two: Third Party Funding and ISDS (public comment session, ICCA/Queen Mary Task Force on Third Party Funding in International Arbitration)

Chair: Prof. Frank J. Garcia

William Park (Co-Chair, ICCA/Queen Mary's 3rd Party Funding Project)
Narghis Torres, Esq. (Founder & CEO, LexFinance)
Leo Gargne, Fellow, Law & Justice in the Americas Program (Sorbonne)
Rachel Thrasher, Research Fellow, Pardee Center, Boston University

12:45-1:45 pm 

Keynote Address: Recalibrating International Investment Law

Chair: Prof. Sebastian Lopez Escarcena, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Keynote Speaker:  Eric de Brabandere, "Recalibrating international investment law - The Communicating Vessels of Investment Protection and Investor Obligations"

1:45-3:15 pm

Panel Three: Institutional & Doctrinal Reforms

Chair: Prof. David Wirth, Boston College Law School

Caroline Henckels, Should Investment Treaties Contain Public Policy Exceptions?
Enrique Boone Barrera, Incorporating Human Rights Obligations in International Investment Protection
Elizabeth Trujillo, “Balancing Sustainability, the Right to Regulate and the Need for Investor Protection: Lessons from the Trade Regime”
Kevin Gallagher, “Capital Flows and Sovereign Debt Restructuring”

3:30-5:00 pm

Panel Four: ISDS/Dispute Settlement Reforms

Chair: Prof. Vlad Perju, Boston College Law School

Sebastián López Escarcena  "Foreign Investment oltre lo stato: Global Administrative Law’s Approach to ISDS”
Jose Manuel Alvarez Zarate, “Will the EU Permanent Investment Court Proposal Resolve ISDS International Rule of Law Concerns?
Alessandra Arcuri, 'Aligning the Core of Investment Arbitration with the Rule of Law”
Emmanuel Laryea, Options for Addressing the Deficit in Access to Remedy for Victims of Investors’ Wrongful Acts"
Camille Martini, Fellow, Law & Justice in the Americas Program (Sorbonne) “Are Modern BITs Already Obsolete? The ISDS Challenges to the Implementation of General Exception Mechanisms”

5:15-6:00 pm

Concluding Plenary Session

Chair:  Prof. Frank J. Garcia

More: Draft Principles for Investment Law Reform

For more information contact: Frank J. Garcia at
Professor and Dean's Global Fund Scholar