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Government response to the pandemic: balancing public health and investment protection

Date: 7 May 2020

Time: 09.30 AM - 11.00 AM (BST)

Venue: Webinar

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Event details

As states face difficult choices to protect public health and keep their economies afloat, their treatment of foreign investors in this crisis is yet to be tested by investor-state tribunals.

The pandemic led governments around the world to take unpopular and often unprecedented measures such as regulating prices and imposing export restrictions, preventing foreigners from crossing national borders, expropriating private property and compelling private companies to produce certain goods. Moreover, the social and economic fallout of the crisis may require other unpopular regulatory measures in the future.

There is little doubt that many foreign investors will be adversely affected by such measures and some will assert claims against states for violations of international investment agreements.

The Investment Treaty Forum convenes an online meeting to discuss how governments can avoid and minimise violations of international investment law when responding to Covid-19. It will gather representatives of states, arbitrators and members of the Investment Treaty Forum to discuss various issues which may arise in future investor-state disputes.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Sir Frank Berman QC, Essex Court Chambers (chair)
  • Ms. Miriama Kiselyova, Government of the Slovak Republic
  • Prof. Yarik Kryvoi, British Institute of International and Comparative Law
  • Mr. Jeffrey Sullivan, Gibson Dunn
  • Prof. Valentina Vadi, Lancaster University

Learn more about the event speakers below.

Sir Frank Berman QC 

Sir Franklin Berman joined HM Diplomatic Service in 1965 and was the Legal Adviser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from 1991-99. For the past 20 years he has been in practice in Essex Court Chambers specializing in international arbitration and advisory work in international law. He is a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, a Judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice, and Visiting Professor of International Law at Oxford and the University of Cape Town, and General Editor of the Oxford International Law Library. He has sat on numerous arbitration tribunals in both inter-State and international investment disputes.

His career in international law and diplomacy has spanned a wide and varied field, including settlement of disputes; the law of treaties; State responsibility; diplomatic and State immunity; maritime delimitation; the law of the Continental shelf; outer space and nuclear energy; the law of international organisations; the UN Security Council; the laws of war and neutrality; international criminal tribunals; and numerous other areas.

More information 

Ms. Miriama Kiselyova

Miriama Kiselyova is since 2018 an investment expert and legal adviser at the Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU. She deals with Investment Protection Agreements, Multilateral Investment Court, WTO Investment Facilitation, Amendment of ICSID Rules, the Energy Charter Treaty modernisation, intra EU BITs termination and amendment of the ESM Treaty.

Before diplomacy, she was a senior state counsellor at the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, drafting SK MODEL BIT, participating in the "Prevention and Management of Disputes" project, negotiating BITs, participating in international investment arbitration and CJ EU proceedings and representing the Slovak Republic before OECD, UNCITRAL and UNCTAD in investment matters.

She is currently a PhD candidate at the Charles University in the field of public international law. Before joining the Ministry, she was active in private practice as attorney-at-law and is admitted to Slovak Bar Association.

Prof. Yarik Kryvoi

Professor Yarik Kryvoi is the Senior Research Fellow in International Economic Law and Director of the Investment Treaty Forum. 

He is also the course leader of the Institute's new online course International Investment Law and Dispute Resolution.

He is a Professor of Law at the University of West London (part-time) and teaches arbitration at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He has several years of experience practicing international dispute resolution with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Washington, DC and Baker & McKenzie in Saint Petersburg. He is the founding editor of the CIS Arbitration Forum and serves on editorial boards of several international legal periodicals.

Professor Kryvoi is a former Co-Chair of the ABA International Courts and Tribunals Committee and has also has served as a counsel for the Economic Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States advising on issues of international administrative law. 

He holds law degrees from Harvard, Moscow, Nottingham, Utrecht and St Petersburg. 

More information 

Mr. Jeffrey Sullivan

Jeffrey Sullivan is a partner in the London office of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, where he is a member of the firm's International Arbitration Group.

Jeff's practice has a particular focus on disputes arising in the energy, extractive industries and infrastructure sectors. Jeff has acted as counsel and lead advocate in approximately 30 bilateral investment treaty and Energy Charter Treaty arbitrations, acting for both States and investors. He has also appeared as lead counsel in several ICSID annulment proceedings.

In addition to his work as counsel, Jeff is an Executive Board of the European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration, a member of the Energy Charter Treaty Secretariat's Legal Advisory Task Force, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy.

Jeff is a dual-qualified lawyer, admitted to practice in Washington DC and England & Wales.

More information 

Prof. Valentina Vadi

Valentina Vadi is a Professor in International Economic Law at Lancaster University. She was formerly a Michigan Grotius Senior Research Fellow at Michigan Law School (2019), a European Research Council Fellow (2015-2018) at Lancaster University, and an Emile Noël Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Integration, New York University (2013-2014).

She holds a doctorate in international law from the European University Institute, degrees in international law and political science from the University of Siena, and a Magister Juris (LLM) from the University of Oxford.

Professor Vadi is an expert in public international law. She is the author of Public Health in International Investment Law and Arbitration (Routledge 2012), Cultural Heritage in International Investment Law and Arbitration (CUP 2014), Analogies in International Investment Law and Arbitration (CUP 2016), and Proportionality, Reasonableness, and Standards of Review in International Investment Law and Arbitration (Elgar 2018).

More information 

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