ANU College of Law Research Showcase Series 2022: Esmé Shirlow

Date & time
5.30–6.30pm Thursday 27 October 2022

Phillipa Weeks Staff Library,  ANU College of Law, Building 7, Room 7.4.1. and on Zoom

Associate Professor Esmé Shirlow
ANU College of Law
ANU College of Law Research Showcase Series

Part of the ANU College of Law Research Showcase Series 2022 series

Esme Shirlow

The ANU College of Law Research Showcase Series seeks to acknowledge and promote outstanding research by College academics. This instalment in the series features Associate Professor Esmé Shirlow, who will speak about her article ‘A Sliding Scale Approach to Travaux in Treaty Interpretation: The Case of Investment Treaties’, which was co-authored with Professor Michael Waibel and published in the British Yearbook of International Law. The event will be chaired by Associate Professor Emma Aisbett.

Treaty negotiations inevitably result in the creation of a large documentary record. During negotiations, States exchanges multiple versions of treaty texts, comment on one another’s proposals, produce briefings and position papers for internal and external consumption, and receive comments from internal and external stakeholders on their negotiating positions. But what role do such materials play in disputes about the meaning of the treaty that arise after its conclusion? And what implications for international law result from the misuse of such documents in interpretation? The article proposes a methodology to guide the more structured identification and use of such materials in treaty interpretation, using disputes about the meaning of investment treaties in investor-State arbitration as a case study.


  • Associate Professor Esmé Shirlow »

    Esme Shirlow

    Esmé Shirlow teaches and researches in the fields of public international law, international dispute settlement, and international investment law and arbitration. Esmé is admitted as a Solicitor in the Australian Capital Territory and trained as a civil and commercial mediator in England. She maintains a practice in the field of international law, and has been involved as an advisor to parties to investment treaty claims and in proceedings before the International Court of Justice, and has served as an assistant to a number of investment treaty tribunals. Prior to joining the ANU, she worked in the Australian Government’s Office of International Law.

    Esmé completed her PhD as a Dickson Poon Scholar at King's College London, for which she was awarded the King's Elsevier Outstanding PhD Thesis Prize. She completed her LL.M. at the University of Cambridge, where she was awarded - among other prizes - the BRD Clarke Prize for Best Overall Performance in the LL.M. and the Clive Parry Prize for Best Result in International Law, as well as the Whewell Scholarship in International Law. Esmé completed her LL.B.(Hons) and a B.A. at the Australian National University.



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