Associate Professor Esme Shirlow

Associate Professor
PhD (King's College London), LL.M.(Hons) (Cambridge), LL.B. (Hons.) (ANU), BA (ANU), GDLP (ANU)

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Research Theme

Biography

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.

Appointments

Significant research publications

Recent news

17
Mar
2021
International Law
An article co-authored by Associate Professor Esmé Shirlow proposes a methodology to guide a more structured identification and use of negotiating records in treaty interpretation.
11
Mar
2021
Judging at the Interface
It's been described as a "ground-breaking" study and a "tour de force" by international law experts. Learn more about Associate Professor Esmé Shirlow's new book.
11
Nov
2020
Dr Shirlow and the late Professor Caron new chapter
A new chapter by Dr Esmé Shirlow and the late Professor David D. Caron develops a framework for analysing transparency in international arbitration, in order to understand the structure, objectives and limits of different transparency reform efforts.
03
Jun
2020
Remote learning
Teaching and studying online is a brave new world for many of us at ANU College of Law, but it's one we're navigating together with trademark collegiality.

Upcoming events

27
Oct
2022
Esme Shirlow
5.30PM to 6.30PM ANU College of Law Research Showcase Series
  • Associate Professor Esme Shirlow

This virtual and in-person series acknowledges and promotes the outstanding research by ANU College of Law academics.

Past events

06
May
2021
Book launch_Judging at the Interface
5.30PM to 7.00PM Book launch
  • Various

Book launch and symposium event to celebrate the latest book by Associate Professor Esmé Shirlow, Judging at the Interface: Deference to Domestic Authority in International Adjudication (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Books & edited collections

Refereed journal articles

Book chapters

Conference papers & presentations

Selected Conference Papers/Presentations

2022:

  • Approaches of International Courts and Tribunals to the Award of Compensation in International Private Property Cases and Implications for the Reform of Investor-State Arbitration (2 June 2022, International Institute for Sustainable Development)
  • Meet the Scholars – Cutting Edge Issues in International Dispute Resolution (7 April 2022, American Society of International Law, Dispute Resolution Interest Group)

2021:

  • ‘International Law and the Unitary State: Inertia or Innovation?’ (1 July 2021, Australia and New Zealand Society of International Law 2021 Annual Conference)
  • ‘Enhancing Urban Climate Resilience: The Role of International Law’ (24 June 2021, International Union for Conservation of Nature Academy of Environmental Law & Tilburg Sustainability Centre Workshop)
  • ‘Judging at the Interface: Deference to Domestic Decision-Making Authority in International Adjudication’ (10 June 2021, American Society for International Law, International Economic Law Interest Group Summer Book Series)

2020:

  • ‘Reshaping International Investment Law to Respond to Disconnects between International Law-Makers and Law-Breakers’ (1-2 September 2020, Society of Legal Scholars 2020 Annual Conference)
  • ‘Locating Deference – The Function of Deference in Legal Adjudication’ (24-25 November 2020, PluriCourts-iCourts ‘Concepts & Methods’ Workshop)

2019:

  • “Whose Gaze Matters? Disconnects between International Law-Makers and Law-Breakers”, presented at a CIPL Workshop (“International law-making away from the public gaze”), Canberra Australia, 4 February 2019
  • “Deference to Domestic Expertise in the International Adjudication of Private Property Disputes”, presented at the Australia and New Zealand Society of International Law’s Annual Conference, Canberra Australia, 5 July 2019
  • “The Rule of Law, Authority and Deference to Domestic Decision-Making in International Adjudication”, presented at the Asian Society of International Law’s Annual Conference, Manila The Philippines, 22 August 2019
  • “International Articulations of the Rule of Law: Deference to Domestic Decision-Making in International Adjudication”, presented at the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, Preston UK, 6 September 2019
  • “The Promises and Pitfalls of Investor-State Mediation”, presented on a panel convened by the International Economic Law Interest Group as part of the European Society of International Law’s Annual Conference, Athens Greece, 12 September 2019
  • “Democracy and Deference to Domestic Decision-Making in International Adjudication”, presented at the European Journal of International Law’s 30th Anniversary Symposium, New York USA, 19 September 2019

Commissioned reports

Government submissions

Case notes & book reviews

Other

  • ‘COVID-19 and International Law: Sketching the Parameters’ (2021) Australian Year Book of International Law 3-12 (introduction to a special issue, co-authored with Imogen Saunders, David Lettts and Donald R Rothwell)

Blog Posts

Interviews

Currently supervising

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: The Implementation of Duties arising from Collective Norms: Boundaries, Practice, & Reconstruction

LLM Masters thesis supervision

Dr. Shirlow currently supervises students undertaking the Graduate Research Unit on topics related to international law and/or investment treaty law and arbitration.

  • 2020 - J Cummings, "International Property Law and Investor-State Dispute Settlement"
  • 2020 - A Bell-Rowe, "The Spectrum of Relevance: How Much Does a State's Place on the Monism-Dualism Spectrum Affect the Influence of International Law on that State's Regulation of Administrative Decision-Making?"
  • 2019 - B McDonald, "Anti-doping proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport: Lawful or foul play? A focus on proportionality and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights"

Honours thesis supervision

Dr. Shirlow currently supervises students undertaking Supervised Research Papers (Hons) on topics related to international law and/or investment treaty law and arbitration.

  • 2020 - L Abrahams, "Can the Due Diligence Principle Overcome Difficulties in Attributing State Responsibility in Cyberspace?"
  • 2019 - S Collins, "Hold Outs and Hold Ups: The Role of Specially Affected States in the Formation of Customary International Law"
  • 2019 - Z Qayyum, "All Bark and No Bite: The Enforceability of Proposed Reforms to Investor-State Dispute Settlement"

Current courses

Year Course code Course name
2022 LAWS8182
Class #4598
Principles of International Law

Previous courses

Year Course code Course name
2021 LAWS8336
Class #1611
International Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration
2021 LAWS8182
Class #1575
Principles of International Law

Past courses

  • At ANU:
    • International Law (LAWS2250/6250)
    • Advanced International Law (LAWS4264)
    • Jessup Moot (LAWS4010)
    • International Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration (LAWS4306/8336)
    • Principles of International Law (LAWS8182)
  • International Investment Law (Visiting Lecturer, King's College London)
  • Public International Law (Visiting Lecturer, King's College London and Sessional Tutor, Australian National University)
  • Various (Jabal Centre, Australian National University)

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team