UCL Faculty of Laws


Current Challenges to International Dispute Settlement: A Latin-American Practitioner's Perspective

14 October 2019, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

Image of hand holding an image of the world (globe)

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws


UCL Laws (Moot Court)
Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens

Speaker: Andres Villegas (Director Group of Affairs before the International Court of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia)

Chair: Prof. Philippe Sands QC (Professor of Law, UCL)

About this event

“At a time of great challenge, the rules – and respect for them – are more important than ever.” P Sands, Lawless World (2005)

The current international dispute settlement system is facing a plethora of challenges affecting the work of international courts and tribunals, practitioners and decision makers on a day-to-day basis. Some of the most pressing issues include the risk of miscarriage of justice, corruption, the non-appearance by disputing parties, the rejection and non-implementation of final and binding judicial decisions, funding difficulties, particularities in the procedure for the election of international judges, and in general, a divergence in interests between the domestic and international sectors.

Despite these challenges being the exception rather than the rule, they risk threatening the credibility and functioning of the international dispute resolution system as a whole. We live in times of unprecedented upheaval in the long-standing global order on a political, economic and legal level. The objective of this session will be to outline some of the issues, place them in a practical context and offer potential solutions. In doing so, the speaker will be able to draw on his extensive practical experience managing the representation of a sovereign State before one of the world’s most established standing judicial organs and apply the lessons learned to other international dispute resolution fora, whether standing or ad hoc.

About the speaker

Mr Andres Villegas serves as counsel to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic Colombia. Since 2014, he has been in charge of coordinating the office responsible for litigation before the International Court of Justice, where Colombia currently has two cases pending:

  • Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 nautical miles from the Nicaraguan Coast (Nicaragua v. Colombia); and,
  • Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia).

Prior to taking up his position at the Foreign Ministry of Colombia, he held positions as a clerk at the International Court of Justice and as an associate at the Bogotá offices of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie.

Andres is a Colombian-qualified lawyer and holds a law degree from the Universidad de los Andes (Colombia) and an LL.M. from University College London (UK). He is also a lecturer in International Dispute Settlement at the Universidad de la Sabana (Colombia).

Book your place