Past Event

Fall 2022 International Investment Law and Policy Speaker Series

October 18, 2022 - November 16, 2022
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Fall 2022 International Investment Law and Policy Speaker Series


October 18, 2022, 10:00am - 11:00am EST

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"Transparency Gaps in ISDS"


Tim Samples, Associate Professor of Legal Studies, Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia

Sebastian Puerta, Ph.D. Student, Economics, University of California, Berkeley

Daniel Uribe, Lead Programme Officer, The South Centre

Diana Rosert, Economic Affairs Officer, UNCTAD

Ana Maria Ordoñez Puentes, Directora Dirección de Defensa Jurídica Internacional, Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado de Colombia

Moderator: Lisa Sachs, Director, CCSI

Opening Remarks: Carlos María Correa, Executive Director, The South Centre

A recently published paper titled “Investment Law’s Transparency Gap” by Sebastian Puerta and Tim Samples highlights that transparency in investment treaty arbitration (ITA) is persistently low. The authors use predictive modeling to illuminate ITA activity, estimating an unreported $186 billion in claims and $15 billion in awards.

This session discussed these transparency gaps in ISDS, in terms of unreported claims and awards. Sebastian Puerta and Tim Samples briefly presented their research findings on the topic, followed by a moderated discussion with representatives from the South Centre, UNCTAD, and Colombia’s National Agency for Legal Defence of the State.

This session was co-organized and hosted with the South Centre. 

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October 26, 2022, 11:00am - 12:00pm EST 

"Spanish Renewable Energy Cases"


Irene González Pijuan, Researcher and Campaigner, Ingeniería sin Fronteras (Engineers without Borders) and Alianza contra la Pobreza Energética (Alliance against Energy Poverty)

Rodrigo Iruzun, Energy Policy Expert, Member of Ecologistas en Acción

Juan Castro-Gil Amigo, National Secretary, ANPIER - Asociación Nacional de Productores de Energía Fotovoltaica (National Association of PV Energy Producers)

Rafeal Gil Nievas, Professor of International Arbitration; Counsel, Eversheds Sutherland; Former Deputy Head of Arbitration, Government of Spain

Moderator: Lucía Bárcena Menéndez, Project Officer, Economic Justice program, Transnational Institute

There is a need for the critical mass scale-up of investment into renewable energy sources and sectors in order to transition to a net-zero energy system while ensuring universal and affordable energy access to all. It is therefore imperative to use various economic, financial and regultory tools to incentivize investment into renewable energy. One of the tools being promoted to spur cross-border investment are investment treaties, like the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). Yet, decades of research have failed to demonstrate the link between investment treaties and investment flows. In fact, recent country experiences have demonstrated the harmful impact of these treaties in limiting the flexibility of governments to regulate in the public interest. In this panel, the discussion will center on the following question: “Has the ECT accelerated investments in renewables? Learning from the Spanish Cases.” This session was a moderated discussion with advocates, attorneys, experts, and government officials from Spain.

This session was co-organized and hosted with Transnational Institute (TNI).

There was Spanish and English simultaneous translation during this event.


November 16, 2022, 11:00am - 12:00pm EST

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"Interpretation of Treaties"


Ladan Mehranvar, Senior Legal Researcher, CCSI

Lise Johnson, Counsel, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP; Senior Fellow, CCSI

Arianna Arce, Directorate of Investment and Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica

Kabir Duggal, Senior International Arbitration Advisor, Arnold & Porter; Lecturer in Law, Columbia Law School; Senior Fellow, CCSI

Jeremy K Sharpe, International Arbitrator, International Law Consultant, and Lecturer in Law; Former Chief of Investment Arbitration, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State

Moderator: Gus Van Harten, Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, Canada

A recently published paper titled “Missing Masters: Causes, Consequences and Corrections for States’ Disengagement from the Investment Treaty System” looks at the extent to which state-driven treaty interpretations (via non-disputing treaty party submissions) are used during ISDS cases. The authors examine available data on state engagement, and what they find is the asymmetrical patterns of engagement and influence in shaping the law, tilting the balance not just away from states generally, but from Global South states in particular.

Ladan Mehranvar and Lise Johnson presented their research findings on the topic, followed by a moderated discussion with representatives from Costa Rica, USA, and Spain. Professor Van Harten moderated the discussion.

***View video of this event***


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