SHIELD – Study Hub for International Economic Law and Development
SHIELD is a research group at the Faculty of Law, examining the topics of international economic law, dispute settlement, and policy-making. SHIELD also studies significance of economic and non-economic values in these fields.
SHIELD focuses on issues of international trade, investment and commercial law, as well as dispute resolution. The Hub also examines intersections between economic and non-economic values and interests, such as environment, sustainability and efficiency, health, and cultural heritage.
Study Hub for International Economic Law and Development (SHIELD) examines legal, economic, political and social issues related to international economic law and policy-making, international economic dispute settlement, as well as global social and economic development. SHIELD’s research spans beyond the three classical pillars of international economic law (international trade, investment, and commercial law). It juxtaposes economic rights, concerns and interests with non-economic ones (such as environmental protection, health, or cultural and historical heritage), It explores their interaction, as well as their impact on the society and its institutions.
In particular, SHIELD seeks to examine recent transformations of global economic governance and prospects of the multilateral legal order in confrontation with protectionist domestic trade policies; to explore changing role of IEL in the digital age and analyze how rapid developments of new technologies affect trade and investment regulations; to study goals of Denmark and other Nordic countries as well as the EU in IEL (including such issues as institutionalization of investor-state disputes and of relations with China); and to assess the impact of global initiatives in IEL onto developing countries.
As an academic platform, SHIELD connects scholars interested in the study of international economic law and development, as well as specialists from other, related fields (economics, labor relations, computer science, environmental studies, agricultural studies) to create research synergies.
SHIELD seeks to engage in an ongoing dialogue with different groups of domestic and international stakeholders, including legal practitioners and business community, public sector agencies and NGOs; as well as international and regional organizations.
SHIELD seeks to study current topics of international economic law, including international trade, investment and commercial relations, as well as dispute resolution mechanisms in these areas. It does not approach these legal matters as isolated phenomena, but as elements in a complex equilibrium, combining economic and non-economic (social, political, cultural, historical) factors. SHIELD also acknowledges the significance of values such as public interest and sustainable development in international economic law and policy-making.
Over the first two years of its existence, SHIELD will focus on global economic governance and transformations of legal mechanisms in this field. It will particularly closely examine the role of Denmark and the EU in these developments, as well as their consequences for the Danish society, industry and public sector institutions.
In particular, it will address the following research topics:
- Crisis of the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Mechanism and proposals of overcoming the impasse (including the EU policies for the multilateral forum)
- Reform of the investor-state dispute resolution regime – towards the Multilateral Investment Court? (the EU, ICSID, and UNCITRAL efforts)
- European Union as an economic actor: trade and investment initiatives, intra- and extra-EU bilateral investment agreements, the compatibility of international adjudicatory bodies (such as the Investment Court System) with EU law
- Global expansion of Chinese investments and new trends with global implications: the Belt and Road Initiative and its consequences for the EU and Denmark, as well as developing countries (in particular in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia) as a new paradigm in South-South cooperation
- International trade and investment regime in the digital age: competition, protectionism, cooperation, and information
- International Commercial Arbitration as private network of global institutions: challenges and prospects
- Global economic players and developing countries: challenges for multilateral endeavors in the rise of protectionist economic policies
- Trade wars and trade alliances: non-multilateral forms of international collaboration
IEL and protection of non-economic values (environmental protection, climate change, energy sustainability, human rights, food safety, indigenous rights, as well as intellectual, cultural and historical heritage)
‘Transformations of Global Economic Governance’ SHIELD Lecture Series
“Future of the Multilateral Trading System”. SHIELD Inaugural Seminar, February 2020. Keynote speaker: Anne van Aaken
Nordic-Chinese Forum for International Economic Law
SHIELD annually holds a Nordic-Chinese Forum for International Economic Law. The Forum events are international academic conferences, as well as Special Seminars, open to the general public (with panels of top global experts discussing pressing issues of IEL with professional audiences).
The upcoming third edition of the Forum, “China and the EU in the Digitalized World”, will take place in April 2020. With China aspiring to become one of the world’s leading legal and political actors, bolstered by its ever-growing role in IT, digitalization, technology and innovation, the time is ripe to explore China’s role on matters related to digital domains, their legal and political consequences, and their societal impact in Europe and Denmark.
First edition of the Forum took place in January 2018 and was organized by Joanna Lam and Wen Xiang, with the theme “China in International Economic Dispute Resolution”. It was supported by Dreyer Foundation, ThinkChina.dk, research centers iCourts and CORA (Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen); Renmin University, Beijing, the Transnational Dispute Management Journal, as well as the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Denmark.
In 2019, building upon the success of its first edition, Lam and Xiang, with the addition of Günes Ünüvar (iCourts) organized the second edition entitled “China, Sustainable Development, and Policy-Making” supported by Dreyer and Carlsberg Foundations, iCourts, Renmin University, ThinkChina.dk, as well as the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of PR China in Denmark.
The events garnered broad participation by Danish and international stakeholders from the academia across a variety of disciplines (from architecture, sociology and law to engineering and food security), as well as private and public sector (including Danish, Chinese and EU institutions). It has demonstrated the existence of remarkable interest of the Danish society in trade and investment developments related to China. It also highlighted global interest in Denmark in this context, evidenced by a broad variety of ethnic, cultural, and professional backgrounds represented at the conference.
EU-China Network for International Economic Dispute Resolution
Project funded by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
SHIELD welcomes BA and MA theses on the topics related to international economic law and development, including such areas as international trade law, international investment treaty law and arbitration, international commercial arbitration and international commercial contracts.
- Lam, Joanna, WTO AB as a Model for Other Adjudicatory Bodies - The Case of EU's Investment Court System. In: “The Appellate Body of the WTO and Its Reform”, eds. Lo, Nakagawa, and Chen, Springer 2020
- Ünüvar, Güneş, Investment Court Judges and the ‘Right to an Independent Tribunal’: An Assessment of the Ethics and Qualification Rules in EU FTAs in Light of Opinion 1/17 In: “The EU External Action in international economic law. Recent trends and developments”, eds. Andenas, Pantaleo, Happold, Contartese, Asser Press/European Papers 2020
- Ünüvar, Güneş, The ‘Object and Purpose’ and Incrementalism in EU Investment Treaties: Can International Investment Law Reinvent Its Identity? In: “At the Crossroads of World Order: Contestation, Global Governance and Europe” eds. Egan, Raube, Wouters, and Chaisse, Palgrave 2020
- Kjær, Anne Lise and Lam, Joanna (eds.) “Language and Legal Interpretation in International Law”, Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2020
- Ünüvar, Güneş, The Vague Meaning of Fair and Equitable Treatment Principle in Investment Arbitration and New Generation Clarifications, In: “Language and Legal Interpretation in International Law” eds. Lam and Kjær, Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2020 (iCourts Working Paper Series No. 75, 2020 (Available on SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2774078)
- Ünüvar, Güneş, Is CETA the Promised Breakthrough? Interpretation and Evolution of Fair and Equitable Treatment and Indirect Expropriation Provisions, In: “The EU as an Actor in International Economic Law” eds., Pantaleo et al, Springer and TMC Asser Press, 2020
- Lam, Joanna and Ünüvar, Güneş, Transparency and Participatory Aspects of Investor-State Dispute Settlement in the EU ‘New Wave’ Trade Agreements. In: Leiden Journal of International Law, 2019/32(4)
- Lam, Joanna and Kaczmarczyk, Michał, Sociology of Commercial Arbitration: Tools for the New Times. In: Journal of International Arbitration, 2019/36(6)
- Xiang, Wen, Precautionary Principle and Regulation of GMOs in China, In: “Interpretation of the Precautionary Principle by the Courts: National, Comparative and International Analysis” (translated from Portuguese original), eds. de Oliveira, Moraes, and Ferreira, 2019
- Jemielniak, Joanna Commercial Stakeholders in International Economic Dispute Resolution and the Issue of Adjudicatory Independence. In: Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, 2017/24(4)
- Giødesen Thystrup, Amalie and Ünüvar, Güneş, A Waiver for Europe? CETA’s Trade in Services, and Investment Protection Provisions and Their Legal-Political Implications on Regulatory Competence, in “International Economic Law: Contemporary Issues”, eds. Micara, Baetens, Adinolfi, and Caiado, Springer 2017
- Xiang, Wen, Risk Regulation of Agricultural GMOs in China: Challenges and Prospect,. In: “Genetically Modified Organisms in Developing Countries”, eds. Adenle, Morris, and Murphy, Cambridge University Press 2017
- Østerberg, Jeppe Thulin; Xiang, Wen; Olsen, Lene Irene et al, Accelerating the domestication of new crops: feasibility and approaches, In: Trends in Plant Science, 2017/22(5)
- Jemielniak, Joanna, Pressure for transparency and the use of arbitration mechanisms in international economic dispute resolution. The Global Community. Oxford Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence, Oxford University Press 2016
- Jemielniak, Joanna, Nielsen, Laura and Henrik Palmer Olsen (eds.) Establishing Judicial Authority in International Economic Law. Cambridge University Press 2016
- Jemielniak, Joanna and Pfisterer, Stefanie Iura Novit Arbiter Revisited: towards a Harmonized Approach? In: Uniform Law Review, 2015/20(1)
- Andersen, Martin Marchman; Landes, Xavier; Xiang, Wen et al, Feasibility of new breeding techniques for organic farming, In: Trends in Plant Science, 2015/20(7)