International Trade and Investment

This conference invites scholars to consider the ways in which trade and investment law can promote and block sustainability.

The conference is part of the "Trade and Investment" aspect of the Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade project. Photo: Andreas Poike/flicr

Exploring legal drivers and barriers to sustainability

The aim of this conference is to consider the interaction between public international law and private law in this field (as well as between hard and soft law) from the perspective of 'sustainability'. We can understand ‘sustainability’ as ‘Development that meets the needs of the present while safeguarding Earth’s life-support system, on which the welfare of current and future generations depends.’ (Griggs et al, 2013) Yet, the means by which to achieve that objective, including the balance between environmental, economic and social pillars, remains contested. This conference explores the controversies that have arisen regarding the legal drivers for and barriers to achievement of sustainability. We have invited scholars with in depth expertise in public international law, international economic law, international human rights law, international environmental law, development, international labour law, investment law, financial securities law, EU external relations, corporate law and corporate governance.


Tuesday, 9 May

08:30    Registration, tea and coffee

09:00    Welcome

09:15    Session 1: Social Norms and Sustainable Trade

CLAIR GAMMAGE, ‘Social Norms and FTAs: Justiciable or not?’
DANIEL SZABO, ‘Sustainable Trade, Renewable Energy, and the WTO’
MARKUS GEHRING, ‘SDG12 in International Economic Law

10:45    Short break (15 minutes)

11:00    Session 2: Trade, Sustainability, and Labour Standards

FRANZ CHRISTIAN EBERT, ‘Increasing the Social Sustainability of Trade Agreements Regarding Labour Standards. Insights from the TPP Experience’
YULIYA CHERNYKH, ‘Salt Is Salty: Chasing sustainability in the preambles of the BITS and FTAs’
MARIA PANEZI, ‘Is it too soon to bring labour standards back to the WTO table?

12:30   Lunch

13:30   Session 3: Transparency and Human Rights. Chair/discussant: Beata Faracik

ENRIQUE BOONE BARRERA, ‘Human rights obligations in investor-state contracts: Reconciling the investors' legitimate expectations with the public interest’
TONIA NOVITZ, ‘Sustainability, supply chains and migrant labour: A role for human rights?’

15:00   Short break (15 minutes)

15:15   Session 4: Regulation of Sustainbility in Supply Chains and Procurement

SUSAN AARONSON, ‘Can Transparency in Supply Chains Advance Labor Rights? A Mapping of Existing Efforts’ (skype paper)
KASEY MCCALL-SMITH and ANDREAS RUHMKORF, ‘Sustainable global supply chains: From transparency to due diligence’
KARIN BUHMANN, ‘”Smart” regulation between the law and the market: Reflections on the EU’s FLEGT scheme, pitfalls and opportunities for sustainable timber procurement, and insights for SMART’

16:45   Social event/Drinks reception

19:00   Joint departure from Kjerka for Speakers' dinner

19:30   Speakers' dinner at "Der peppern gror", Fritjof Nansens plass 7, in front of City Hall


Wednesday, 10 May

09:00  Session 1: Investment and Divestment Conflicts

BENJAMIN J. RICHARDSON, ‘Fossil Fuels Divestment – Can it Work?’ (virtual paper)
DANIEL BEHN, TARALD LAUDAL BERGE AND MALCOLM LANGFORD, 'Poor states or poor governance? Explaining outcomes of Investment treaty arbitration’
AHMAD GHOURI, ‘Treaty Conflicts in Investment Arbitration’

10:30   Short break (15 minutes)

10:45   Session 2: Sustainability and Investment

YING-JUN LIN, ‘The role of treaty interpretation in the implementation of sustainable development in international investment law’
AMY MAN, ‘A critical assessment of China (an emerging actor) and international investment law in the context of socio-economic rights in Ethiopia’
FATHIMA SHAMILA DAWOOD, ‘The principle of “common but differentiated” responsibilities in investment treaties to combat environmental degradation: A developing country perspective’

12:15   Lunch

13:15   Session 3: Sustainability in Finance and Tax

CELINE TAN, ‘Creative Cocktails or Toxic Brews? Blended finance and the regulatory framework for sustainable development’
YURI BIONDI, ‘Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Refinancing and the Financial Market: A Comment on Lienau’s “Rethinking Sovereign Debt”’
IRENE LYNCH FANNON, ‘Apple Tax – A Complex Story’

14:45   Short break (15 minutes)

15:00   Session 4: Final Conclusions (Thematic issues)

LORRAINE TALBOT, ‘The Global Economy: The Grow or not to Grow Conundrum’
CLAIR GAMMAGE AND TONIA NOVITZ, ‘Comparisons between EU and global trade regulatory dilemmas’
BEATE SJÅFJELL ‘Concluding statements’

16:30   End of Conference


Participation at the Conference

To secure a place at the Conference, please register here by 12:00 (noon) on 3 May 2017.

SMART week

The event will be preceded by an internal meeting for SMART partners on 8 May and followed by a workshop and PCD roundtable (by invitation only) on 11 May.

Access to Conference papers

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Linda Gulli

Published June 13, 2016 3:06 PM - Last modified Jan. 23, 2018 2:19 PM