Investment Courts: Challenges and Perspectives

Investment disputes often concern society as a collective and direct stakeholder; especially in cases prompted by multinational companies conducting essential public services such as sanitation, energy production and distribution, or resource extraction. As disputes with far-reaching and direct implications on society have amassed, scholars have aimed at legitimizing the international settlement of investment disputes by, inter alia, shifting the ad hoc and arbitral focus of dispute settlement to a more permanent, institutionalized dispute settlement body.

Suggestions for the creation of permanent investment courts have been around for decades, but it is only recently that such suggestions may materialize into functioning investment courts. In particular, the European Commission has been pushing for a court-like mechanism to resolve investment disputes in several recent trade negotiations. Such a framework was included in the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that the European Union (EU) signed with Vietnam (EU – Vietnam FTA) and Canada (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)). While negotiations on the matter are currently at a political deadlock, the European Commission also formally proposed a court system during the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement with the United States. More recently, parties to the EU – Singapore FTA have decided to renegotiate the dispute settlement provisions to include a similar court-like mechanism. In addition, all agreements mentioned above also include provisions that support the establishment of a multilateral investment court.

Will these developments actually lead to the creation of permanent investment courts? How will such courts change the future of international investment law? Will they bring about a real institutional change of adjudicatory mechanisms? Will they introduce a ‘hybrid’ system, which borrows important characteristics from both arbitration and institutional methods of international adjudication? To address these questions, this conference will bring together leading scholars sharing a common interest in investment courts.


Presentations from the conference

Confirmed speakers

  • Armand de Mestral, McGill University
  • Catharine Titi, University of Burgundy
  • Eleftheria Neframi, University of Luxembourg
  • Elizabeth Whitsitt, University of Calgary
  • Eric De Brabandere, Leiden University
  • Erman Ozgur, AACNI
  • Freya Baetens, University of Oslo
  • Günes Ünüvar, University of Copenhagen
  • Hannes Lenk, University of Gothenburg
  • James Crawford, University of Cambridge
  • Joanna Jemielniak, University of Copenhagen
  • Joel Dahlquist, Uppsala University
  • Julien Chaisse,  The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • M. Sornarajah, National University of Singapore
  • Marc Bungenberg, Saarland University
  • Martins Paparinskis, University College London
  • Maxim Usynin, University of Copenhagen
  • Nicolas Jansen Calamita, National University of Singapore
  • Pawel Marcisz, University of Warsaw
  • Shai Dothan, University of Copenhagen
  • Taylor St. John, University of Oslo
  • Todd Tucker, Roosevelt Institute
  • Todd Weiler, Investment Treaty Arbitration
  • Wolfgang Alschner, University of Ottawa
  • Yuliya Chernykh, University of Oslo


Please register using this registration form.

Registration deadline: 30 January 2018 12:00.

Time : 1-2 February 2018

Place: Alf Ross Auditorium, 3rd floor, room 9A-3-01, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S 

Contact Information – Academic:

  • Joanna Jemielniak, Associate Professor of Law, Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Email:
  • Shai Dothan, Associate Professor of Law, Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Email:  
  • nes Ünüvar, Postdoc, Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Email:

Contact Information – Other:

Malene Vinberg Johansen, Academic Officer, Research services, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen,Denmark. E-mail:


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