UCL Faculty of Laws


International Investment Law: Identifying Problems, Proposing Solutions

13 November 2018, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

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Organised by the UCL Centre for Ethics & Law

Event Information

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Hong Kong Alumni Room
UCL Faculty of Laws
Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens

International Investment Law:
Identifying Problems, Proposing Solutions


  • Lise Johnson (Colombia Center on Sustainable Investment)

  • James Harrison (University of Warwick)

  • Ruth Bergan (Trade Justice Movement)

Chaired by Dr Barnali Choudhury (UCL Laws)

About this talk

Today, thousands of international investment agreements (IIAs) allow foreign investors to use troubling arbitration processes (known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)) to claim compensation for a wide range of government action and inaction. These claims can run into billions of dollars and can undermine a state's ability to pursue legitimate public policy aims. Increasing numbers of governments (as well as citizens) want reform to the system. But what should reform look like? And what role should the UK play in this process as, post-Bexit, it shapes its new trade and investment policy?

About the speakers

Lise Johnson (Colombia Center on Sustainable Investment) and James Harrison (University of Warwick) will present Rethinking International Investment Governance: Principles for the 21st Century, a book recently published by a group of thirteen eminent academics - lawyers, economists and political scientists They will identify key problems with current international investment agreements, and proposals for redesigning current international investment law so that it serves wider societal purposes, including the promotion of sustainable development. See a summary of the key findings and recommendations of the book.

Ruth Bergan from the Trade Justice Movement will discuss the UK's position within the global investment protection regime, including UK treaties, third party funders and law firms. She will argue that the UK plays an important role in the regime and that it has the potential to change the terms of the debate by fundamentally rethinking its own approach. See the TJM’s report on this issue.

Book your place (free of charge)