I participated earlier this week in a fabulous conference at Washington & Lee discussing the current system of investment arbitration and ways that this system could be improved. In an earlier post, I described how this conference was billed as a mix of pracitioners and academics and the panels were just that. On my panel, I shared the stage with the Secretary-General of ICSID, the Manager of Trade & Investment Policies for the Dominican Republic, Senior Counsel at GE Infrastructure, the President of AAA, and a Deputy Assistant in the US Trade Representative’s Office. Pretty heady mix to say the least. I provided the academic perspective on the progression of international law, ADR in the US, and how these two trends merged into Dispute System Design in the international sphere. (Some of this is covered in my recently published NYU article–Bargaining in the Shadow of (International) Law.)
The goals of the conference are wonderfully described by organizer Susan Franck in this youtube clip and the student interviews on youtube here and here about the conference are also informative and well done. (Let me note that the fact that youtube interviews are available about the conference is just one of her daunting technological accomplishments–Susan had facebook and twitter accounts set up for the conference; the moderator for each panel had a designated computer for each social media and was then asking questions and making comments not only based on audience questions but on what was asked and discussed on facebook and twitter. Truly impressive!)
I am looking forward to future work in this area. I think the conference really gave the participants lots of interesting things to think about….