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.

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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.













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)




Are you a student interested in international investment law and sustainability? Join Joanna Lam and Hersh Sewak for the course in the spring semester:



Summer School in International Business Law (IBL) is a 2-week advanced program, hosted by SHIELD and offered under the auspices of the 4EU+ Alliance.

Target group: the IBL Summer School is aimed at legal and business practitioners, as well as professionals from the public sector facilitating international trade, and students of final years with established interest in cross-border commercial practice.

Read more about 4EU+ Summer School in International Business Law










Nordic-Asian Forum for International Economic Law

bi-annual forum events: international conference and Special Seminar for legal and business practitioners

  • “EU and Asia in the Digitalized World” (2021)

Visit webpage: EU and Asia in the Digitalized World – University of Copenhagen (

Watch video: III Nordic-Asian Forum for International Economic Law


  • “Sustainable Development and Economic Policy-Making” (2019)

Watch video: II Nordic-Asian Forum for International Economic Law 

  • “China and International Economic Dispute Resolution” (2018)

Watch video: Faculty of Law: focus on China in International Economic Law

SHIELD Lecture Series ‘Transformations Of Global Economic Governance’ 

  • Catharine Titi "Nationality and Representation on the International Bench" in collaboration with the European Society of International Law

Watch video:  SHIELD & ESIL Lecture: Catharine Titi "Nationality and Representation on the International Bench" 

  • Anne van Aaken: “Future of the Multilateral Trading System” 

Colloquia and workshops

  • 1st ENERGIZE Workshop – DFF Project "ENERGIZE: Re-Shaping International Investment Law for the Green Transition", PI Joanna Lam (August 2022) 
  • 'Sources of International Law and Environmental Protection in the Interpretation of Investment Treaties' (November 2021)















Internal researchers

Name Title Image
Andhov, Alexandra Associate Professor Billede af Andhov, Alexandra
Andhov, Marta Associate Professor Billede af Andhov, Marta
Cullen, Miriam Associate Professor Billede af Cullen, Miriam
Dothan, Shai Associate Professor Billede af Dothan, Shai
Lam, Joanna Professor with special responsibilities Billede af Lam, Joanna
Sewak, Hersh PhD Fellow Billede af Sewak, Hersh
Silvereke, Siri Postdoc Billede af Silvereke, Siri
Valkanou, Theodora PhD Student Billede af Valkanou, Theodora
Yang, Jie PhD Student Billede af Yang, Jie