April 18, 2013

Investment Law Forum: Investment, Trade, and Industrial Policy – Canada’s Story

 In conversation with Efraim Chalamish, Of Counsel at Dorsey and Whitney and Adjunct Professor at NYU, Canada’s most senior public servant responsible for International Trade Simon Kennedy discussed how Canada is driving growth through strategic trade, investment and industrial policy.  This was an opportunity to discuss Canada’s and North America’s international economic policy and legal challenges and opportunities, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership and other trade negotiations, foreign investment approvals and recent investment deals in Canada, particularly in the commodities sector, and how trends in energy and manufacturing are reshaping the North American economy.

The Forum, which met one Monday evening per month throughout the semester, was devoted to the rigorous and critical examination of the increasing jurisprudence that is emerging from investor-state arbitral tribunals, as well as the underlying legal norms, whether in bilateral investment treaties or bilateral or regional trade agreements, that these tribunals are applying. The tribunal awards in investor-state arbitration raise important  thematic issues, such as canons of treaty interpretation, the nature of state responsibility including remedies, custom as a source of law, and “fragmentation” — the relationship of investment law to other international legal regimes, whether the WTO or environment or human rights. Through anchoring reflection on these and other fundamental themes in the case law and related legal developments, we sought to engage the relevant academic community but also practitioners, policymakers, and activists.