Incremental, systemic, and paradigmatic reform of investor-state dispute settlement

Date & time

12.30–1.30pm Friday 9 November 2018


Dialogue Conference Room

4 National Circuit, Barton


Associate Professor Anthea Roberts, School of Regulation and Global Governance


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Anthea Roberts

The legitimacy of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) has come under fire due to cases like Philip Morris’s challenge of Tobacco Plain Packaging. However, states have not (yet) converged on which reforms to pursue. Three main camps have emerged to date: incrementalists; systemic reformers; and paradigm shifters.

Against this backdrop, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) gave one of its working groups a mandate to investigate the possible reform of ISDS. This talk by an academic member on Australia's delegation to UNCITRAL analyses these reform dynamics in light of the strategies and risks of the different reform champions, as well as those of states that are currently sitting on the fence.


  • Anthea Roberts »

    Anthea Roberts is an Associate Professor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University. She is a specialist in public international law, investment treaty law and arbitration, and comparative international law. She is also currently a Visiting Professor on the Masters of International Dispute Settlement at the Graduate Institute/University of Geneva. In 2017-18, Anthea is serving as one of the two inaugural Legal Fellows for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of their new Diplomatic Academy.

    Anthea's book, Is International Law International?, was awarded the American Society of International Law's 2018 Book Prize for the preeminent contribution to creative scholarship and has been Oxford University Press’s top-selling law monograph worldwide in 2017-18. She has also twice won the Francis Deák Prize for the best AJIL article by a younger scholar, serves as a Reporter for the Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States, and has experience serving as an arbitrator, counsel, and expert in international disputes.


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