VII Symposium on Salient Issues in International Arbitration - International Arbitration: Evolution or Devolution?


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the symposium

On Wednesday and Thursday, November 15-16, 2023, takes place the Seventh Symposium on Salient Issues in International Arbitration under the theme International Arbitration: Evolution or Devolution?

The Symposium is organized by the Center on International Commercial Arbitration at American University Washington College of Law under the direction of Professor Horacio A. Grigera Naón, and the Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé, represented by Professors Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer and Rodrigo Polanco Lazo. The Symposium is organized with the support of the following partner institutions: United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), American Society of International Law (ASIL), Asian Academy of International Law (AAIL), University of Chile School of Law, Sharjah Arbitration Centre (Tahkeem), and University Institute of Latin American Studies at Alcalá University in Madrid (IELAT).

The Symposium is supported by Transnational Dispute Management (TDM) as media partner.

This Year’s Topic: International Arbitration: Evolution or Devolution?

International Arbitration – Evolution or Devolution? aims at testing the vitality of arbitration and its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. We are living in a time where everything is questioned and where legal institutions, including those in the business context, evolve at an astonishing pace. Technology, social transformations, political upheaval, environmental degradation, and shifting economic priorities require that arbitration and dispute resolution more broadly re-invent themselves. Investment arbitration is also at a particularly difficult juncture at this stage, with states proposing a plethora of alternatives to avoid subjecting their measures to the discretion of international arbitration tribunals. While transparency is being pushed, mediation is also on the rise, opening fresh challenges to both disputing Parties and the interested public.

In this context, we think there is a need to take a step back and critically assess where arbitration is headed: is arbitration evolving towards more elevated and sophisticated forms or are there setbacks? Are all current developments beneficial for the efficient operation of arbitration proceedings? Does arbitration still offer a suitable solution to business disputes everywhere?

This Symposium will offer scholars and practitioners a global platform to discuss these cutting-edge questions.

Conference Program

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Time: 9:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Professor Krista Nadakavukaren, Vice-Director of the Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé in Lausanne, Horacio A. Grigera Naón, Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence; Director of the Center on International Commercial Arbitration, American University Washington College of Law

1.- Panel: TISDS and Transformations of International Investment Law

Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Panel Chair: Krista Nadakavukaren, Vice-Director of the Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé in Lausanne


  • Evolution of adverse inferences when dealing with allegations of corruption: the legitimacy crisis
    • Lilit Nagapetyan, Ph.D. candidate, Queen Mary University, London
  •  Corruption in ISDS: A Multicausal and Multidimensional Phenomenon with Public Policy Implications
    • Fabián Espejo Fandiño, Lawyer at Universidad del Rosario (Colombia)
  • Legitimate Expectations as a General Principle in International Investment Arbitration
    • Francesco Marsili, Ph.D. Candidate at Naples University, Italy
  • The Court and International Arbitration at the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) for foreign investors in the oil and gas industry
    • Shalala Valiyeva, Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) Candidate, AUWCL

2.- Panel: Contemporary Legal Problems Arising in ISDS

Time: 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Panel Chair: Diana Correa, Arbitrator, Bogotá


  • Investment Arbitration and Duplication with other Mechanisms
    • Bashar Malkawi, Global Professor of Practice in Law, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Legal Certainty and Transparency in Arbitration: Rules/Mechanisms to Avoid Duplication
    • Francesca Cifuentes Chidini, Lawyer and Political Scientist, University of Los Andes (Colombia)
  • Third-Party Funding in Treaty-Based Arbitration: Towards a more transparent and responsible system?
    • Margie Lys-Jaime, Professor of Law at the University of Panama, Private Law Department
  • Putting the Bite in the Bark: The Increasing Role of Counterclaims in Investment Arbitration
    • Gregory Chan, LL.M. candidate at New York University

Lunch Keynote Address: The Sanctions Regime of the UN Security Council and the Challenges to International Arbitration

Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Keynote Speaker: Amb. Hernan Perez Loose, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the UN Security Council, and Founding Partner at Coronel & Pérez Law Firm, Guayaquil (Ecuador)

3.- Panel: ISDS and Transformations of International Investment Law

Time: 2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Panel Chair: Michael Nolan, Independent International Arbitrator


  • Will European Withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty be a setback for investments in the region? The future of investment arbitration in Europe and remedies for a potential crisis of justice
    • Weronika Rydzinska, LitFin – Litigation Financiers, Case Manager (Czech Republic/Poland)
  • Enforcement of ICSID Awards: Evolution or Devolution
    • Juan M. Alvarez Contreras, Professor of Law, Universidad de Externado, Bogotá
  • The Creation of a WTO-model Multilateral Investment Court: A Panacea for Investor-State Dispute Settlement?
    • - Abraham Faith Abel, Legal Consultant on Trade in Services and Investment Issues at the World Bank (IBRD), Washington, D.C.National Courts of Justice and the Crisis of Investment Arbitration: Savor or Tormentor? - Björn Arp, Assistant Director, Center on International Commercial Arbitration, AUWCL

4.- Panel: International Arbitration and Climate Change

Time: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Panel Chair:


  • The Role of International Commercial Arbitration in Mastering Climate Change Disputes: Challenges and Chances
    • Kathrin Asschenfeldt, Partner at Baumann Resolving Disputes, Hamburg; Lisa-Marie Ross,  Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore
  • The Role of the “Arbitrator-made law” in the Creation of a Lex Climatica
    • Anne-Sarah Maleville, Dual Master degree student in law and international affairs between Sciences Po Paris and Georgetown Law Center
  • Climate Change and the Role of International Arbitration
    • Yurica Ramos Montes, Associate, Morgan Stanley
  • Effects of States’ Climate Change Commitments on Foreign Investment Arbitration
    • Nilay Arat, Associate Professor, Kadir Has University School of Law (Turkey)

Thursday, November 16, 2023

5.- Panel: New Developments in International Commercial Arbitration

Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Panel Chair: Hernando Parra Nieto, Rector of the Externado University of Colombia


  • Conflicts between the principles of companies’ reorganization and bankruptcy proceedings and non-started or ongoing international commercial arbitration
    • Héctor Scaianschi Márquez, Universidad de la República, Montevideo
  • Adrift From Ancient Moorings – The Competence of Arbitral Tribunals to Reconcile Jurisdictional Conflicts Arising from State Sovereign Immunity: Has Arbitration Strayed Too Far?
    • Glenys P. Spence, Assistant Professor of Law, Barry University School of Law
  • When public interests meet private mechanisms for dispute resolution: revisiting antitrust law as an element of ordre public in international commercial arbitration in the European Union
    • Diego Agulló Agulló, Assistant Professor of Private International Law, Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Madrid)
  • The Application of 28 U.S.C. § 1782 (“Section 1782”) to International Commercial Arbitrations Seated Abroad.
    • Madina Lokova, American University Washington College of Law

Coffee Break

6.- Panel: Regional Trends in International Commercial Arbitration

Time: 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Panel Chair: Claudia Frutos-Peterson, Managing Partner, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, Washington, D.C.


  • Court Assistance in International Arbitration: Latin American Perspective and Practice
    • Juan Esteban Pacheco Sánchez, Associate, OlarteMoure & Associates, Bogotá
  • (D)Evolution of International Arbitration in Mexico
    • Edwin Nemesio Álvarez Román, Founding Partner and Head of International Arbitration Practice, ENARLAW Arbitration
  • International Commercial Arbitration in Bangladesh: An Analysis
    • Razidur Rahaman, Assistant Professor of Law, Notre Dame University in Bangladesh
  • The Role of Institutional Arbitration in Resolving Disputes in Asia: An Empirical Overview
    • V. Suryanarayana Raju, Attorney and Assistant Professor, Hidayatulah National Law University (India)

Closing Remarks

Time: 12:45 – 1 p.m.

Professors Krista Nadakavukaren, Vice-Director of the Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé in Lausanne, and Horacio A. Grigera Naón, Director of the Center on International Commercial Arbitration, American University Washington College of Law

Innovative and Diverse Approaches to Arbitration Research

Authors who participate in this Symposium may offer their scholarship on a wide array of issues arising out of international commercial arbitration, investment arbitration, as well as other forms of dispute resolution in the business context or under rules of public international law.

Submissions may address either theoretical or practical issues.  For example, the papers may inquire on the impact of procedural innovations in arbitration rules on the efficiency of the proceedings, the complexities of the interaction between national courts of justice and arbitral tribunals, increasing criticisms of conflict of interest between arbitrators, counsel and parties, allegations of corruptions, and the increasing control over the economy by governments, especially in sensitive areas that affect national security, the protection of personal data and public health-related issues.

Selection and Submission of Research

Selection of Papers and Draft Paper Submission: The authors of the selected proposals will be notified by June 5, 2023 of their acceptance to submit and present their paper at the Symposium on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. There is no cost to register for the conference but participants are responsible for securing their own funding for travel, lodging, and other incidental expenses.

Authors commit to submitting their advance draft papers by Monday, October 9, 2023, so that they can be shared with the other conference participants before the event, and allow for more in-depth discussion.

Submission of Final Papers: The final, revised papers, ready for publication, are due by Monday, December 11, 2023. This gives panelists the opportunity to finish their research and include observations and comments received during the Symposium.

Academic Program Committee of the 2023 Symposium

  • Dr. Horacio A. Grigera Naón, Director, Center on International Commercial Arbitration, AUWCL
  • Dr. Björn Arp, Fellow, Center on International Commercial Arbitration, and Assistant Director, International Curriculum Development, AUWCL
  • Dr. Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer, Vice-Director of the Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé, Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • Dr. Rodrigo Polanco Lazo, Conseiller juridique, droits hispanophones, Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé, Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • Hamed El Kady, International Investment Policy Officer, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD
  • Professor Jane Willems, Asian Academy of International Law (Hong Kong)
  • Professor Dr. Carlos Jiménez Piernas, University of Alcalá (Madrid) and former Legal Advisor of the Government of Spain
  • Diana Correa, Research Professor, Business Law Department, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Bogotá
  • Juan Miguel Álvarez, Research Professor, Business Law Department, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Bogotá
  • Adriana Castro Pinzon, Director, Business Law Department, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Bogotá
  • Tarek Rashid, International Arbitrator, Sharjah International Commercial Arbitration Centre.

About the Symposia on Salient Issues in International Arbitration

The Symposia on Salient Issues in International Arbitration are organized biannually by the Center on International Commercial Arbitration. The purpose to present a global perspective of current developments in international arbitration throughout the world. The symposium hosts prominent speakers and generates a dialogue about salient issues in international commercial arbitration, as well as current developments in BIT and ICSID arbitration, in the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia.


Event Agenda (coming soon)

Conference Registration

Event Organizers

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Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé

Partner Institutions

Chile Univ

Media Partner  

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