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Thirty First ITF Public Conference: Human Rights in International Investment Law

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26th October 2018

Time: 09:00-17:00 (Registration from 08:30)

Venue: The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

As international investment tribunals increasingly confront non-investment obligations, academics and practitioners in the field of international investment law find it challenging to understand the legal and ethical responsibilities of foreign investments in the area of human rights.

Investment tribunals typically do not include experts on international human rights law. Moreover, investment treaties are usually silent on human rights issues. This leads to inconsistent decisions violating human rights, the right to regulate of host States, as well as undermining legal certainty.

The issues which arise in the context of international investment law include the right to health, access to drinking water and justice, as well as the right to property. Each of these principles has different interpretations in domestic legal systems. Issues related to corporate social responsibility may involve difficult conflicts between national and international (including the concept of "responsible non-compliance") with domestic laws which breach fundamental international law rules.

Complex issues involving human rights in international investment law include piercing the corporate veil, identifying obligations of investors under international in the absence of relevant provisions in investment treaties. Proceedings in front of international investment tribunals may also overlap with proceedings at other bodies, including international human rights courts. Managing such proceedings presents difficult tasks for the parties, including at the stage of enforcement.

To discuss these issues the Thirty-First ITF Public Conference will convene in London on 26 October 2018. The Forum will bring together leading arbitrators, judges, practitioners and academics, drawn primarily from ITF members, to debate issues related to human rights in international investment law.

Conference brochure

Confirmed speakers include

  • Sir Christopher Greenwood, GBE, CMG, QC, 24 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Judge of the International Court of Justice from 2009 to 2018 (keynote address)
  • Andreas Bucher, University of Geneva
  • Prof Eric De Brabandere, Leiden University
  • Monica Feria-Tinta, 20 Essex Street
  • Prof Ursula Kriebaum, Vienna University
  • Mark Levy, Allen & Overy
  • Prof Robert McCorquodale, Nottingham University and former Director of BIICL
  • Kinda Mohamadieh, The South Centre
  • Prof Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer, University of Basel
  • Prof Yannick Radi, University of Louvain
  • Will Thomas, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Robert Volterra, Volterra Fietta
  • Louise Woods, Vinson & Elkins
  • Can Yeginsu, 4 New Square

Conference convened by Prof Yarik Kryvoi, Senior Research Fellow in International Economic Law and Director of the Investment Treaty Forum.

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Pricing and Registration

Free to attend for members of the Investment Treaty Forum. ITF Members wishing to attend should register by emailing the Events team.

For all other attendees the following fees apply:

BIICL Members

  • Individual: £235
  • Concession: £185


  • Individual: £395
  • Concession: £305

Concession fees are applicable to full-time academics, students, staff of government and NGO's.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team.

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CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 6 CPD hours.

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Please note that our events may be photographed or audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively you can email BIICL Marketing Manager, Carmel Brown in advance of the event that you are attending.

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