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Law Research Seminar Series - What Is Wrong with Investment Arbitration? Evidence from a Set of Behavioural Experiments

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What Is Wrong with Investment Arbitration? Evidence from a Set of Behavioural Experiments

Speakers: Dr Maria Laura Marceddu (King's College London, University of Edinburgh) and Dr Pietro Ortolani (Radboud University)

Abstract: Investment arbitration has attracted growing criticism both in academia and in the general political debate. The system has been criticized by groups and stakeholders with very different agendas – from academics to anti-globalization activists, from alt-right groups to policymakers.

While sharing a common aversion to such dispute resolution mechanism, these groups do not generally take the same viewpoints. The current efforts to reform investor-state dispute settlement, undertaken both by the European Union and by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, constitute to a large extent an attempt to respond to the aforementioned public criticism. This research devises an experimental approach to understand the roots of public criticism(s) against investment arbitration. In so doing, it aims to generate a constructive, timely and accessible empirical analysis of the theoretical underpinnings of ISDS criticisms, providing an integrated guide to one of the most heated debates in international economic law today.

The main purpose is to understand which are the points of friction (real or perceived) that trigger public criticism against investment arbitration and, in the light of this information, whether this dispute resolution mechanism should be maintained in its current form, partially reformed or rejected entirely. To this end, the article presents the results of the first-ever set of behavioural experiments concerning ISDS and public opinion.

Full text article (European Journal of Law)

About the Speakers

Dr Maria Laura Marceddu is visiting lecturer and research fellow in international investment law at King’s College London, and treasurer in the Society of International Economic Law, where she also serves as the chair of the SIEL Online Conversations. Since May 2020, Maria Laura has also been appointed as a research associate at the Edinburgh Centre for International and Global Law.

Dr Pietro Ortolani is a Professor of Digital Dispute Resolution at Radboud University, in the Netherlands. He holds a law degree from the University of Pisa and a Ph.D. in arbitration from LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome. Before joining Radboud University, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law, and a Law Research Associate at Queen Mary, University of London. Pietro is admitted to the Bar in Italy. He has experience in both ad hoc and institutional arbitration. He has acted as an expert for the European Parliament and the European Commission. Dr Ortolani's publications can be found here.

This event is part of Birkbeck's Law Research Seminar Series. Free to attend and open to the public, the series welcomes scholars from around the world to discuss their latest research.

This event is open to the public and free to attend however booking is required via this page. The event will be hosted on Collaborate, a free to access website. You will be sent a link to access the event upon registration.

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