The IILJ integrates programmatic work in several international law focus areas that also have a prominent place in the faculty’s research and the Law School’s curriculum. NYU Law students interact with leading scholars and practitioners at the forefront of these focus areas — and often themselves contribute to new knowledge and change.
Investment Law and Arbitration
International investment law and investor-state dispute settlement are a major focus of the IILJ and of NYU Law School, which has several of the world’s major scholars in this area and a superb range of course offerings taught also by leading arbitrators and law firm partners. This work covers all areas of substantive and procedural investment law and arbitration in great depth. The IILJ focuses on fundamental questions about the regime’s effectiveness and legitimacy, its implications for investment flows and for development, its effects on national regulatory activity, and possible alternative pathways in investment protection. IILJ faculty, fellows, and scholars are very active in debates on fairness, justice, structural features, and personal incentives of arbitrators and practitioners, and in proposals such as that of the European Union’s for an “Investment Court”. The IILJ’s MegaReg project focuses intensely on TPP and other agreements. NYU Law School’s Center for Transnational Litigation, Arbitration, and Commercial Law holds a regular forum in this field attended by many students along with faculty and vibrant affiliated practitioners.
Alvarez Professor Robert
KingsburyFaculty Director Donald
DonovanAdjunct Professor Christian
LeathleyAdjunct Professor Laurence
Global governance involves the exercise of power, beyond a single state, to influence behavior, to generate resources, or to allocate authority. Regulatory structures, and law of all kinds, increasingly shape the nature, use, and effects of such power. These dynamic processes of ordering and governance blend the extra-national with the national, the public with the private, the political and economic with the social and cultural. Issues of effectiveness, justice, voice, and inequality in these processes are growing in importance. The IILJ’s own Global Administrative Law (GAL), MegaReg, and Indicators projects contribute path-breaking scholarship to these questions, and members of the Law School’s academic, practitioner, and student communities interact in a wide set of courses and events on these dynamics. Students play major roles and have contributed chapters to several recent IILJ books.
Anti-corruption law is now a central issue for transnational businesses, non-profits, governments, and international organizations such as the World Bank. A potent set of legal mechanisms permits authorized institutions in one country to regulate and provide redress for corrupt acts involving public officials from other countries. The most prominent of those mechanisms allow authorities to prosecute firms and individuals who pay bribes to foreign public officials and help recover corruptly procured assets transferred overseas. These mechanisms are generally created by national law but supported and inspired by a burgeoning set of international norms. Professor Kevin Davis heads up a cutting edge research program in this area and teaches hugely popular courses at both introductory and advanced levels together with several colleagues.
Regulation of Foreign Corrupt Practices (Arlen / Muller)
As a leading international law program in New York City, NYU Law School has for many decades worked closely on United Nations legal issues. Many students are involved in UN work, and many UN personnel or visiting diplomats participate in Law School events. Professor José E. Alvarez leads scholarly work on the UN system, and several highly experienced diplomat-scholars such as David Malone regularly teach courses on intergovernmental organizations. The World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Criminal Court, the European Union, ASEAN, the AIIB, and numerous other specialist organizations are the focus of major activity at NYU, ranging from pathbreaking research to advocacy and clinics. A cross-cutting IILJ project focuses on interactions between such organizations, and their connections with hybrid and private governance, a vitally important but under-studied part of global governance. The IILJ also works extensively on constitutional and procedural issues of all kinds of organizations in the Global Administrative Law project.
History and Theory of International Law
This Program encourages scholarship and teaching on topics in the history and theory of international law that are vital to deepening an understanding of the field. Thucydides, Grotius, Gentili, Vattel, Rousseau, Kant, Montesquieu, Smith, Bentham, Kojeve, Schmitt, Strauss, and many many others have made important contributions to international law’s philosophy. The premise of the Program is that the future development of international law depends on sustained theoretical work, including careful historical study, and that collective efforts are needed to enhance worldwide research and teaching in these areas. NYU’s Global Institute for Advanced Study supports a new IILJ project on International Legal Orders and Their Histories whose constituent components address relations of international political and economic orders and roles of law in these, both historically and in contemporary initiatives such as megaregional economic agreements, and the practical significance and normative potential of meta-ordering technologies such as “rule of law”, “global administrative law”, “anti-corruption”, “regulatory impact analysis”, and “governance by information” to promote historically-informed critical scholarship and connections of order and justice. The Program also sponsors a series of History and Theory of International Law workshops.
Publications: The Program sponsors a working paper series under the umbrella of the IILJ Working Papers.
History of International Legal Thought: A Critical View (Koskenniemi)
History and Theory of International Law Seminar (Kingsbury)
History and Theory of International Law Seminar (Howse)
Global and Comparative Public Law Seminar (Kumm / Weiler)
KingsburyFaculty Director Martti
StraumannSenior Fellow Jeremy
LoevyVisiting Scholar Liam
International Economic Law
The global economy is not simply about trading goods between two countries, but cross-border movement of raw materials, intermediate goods, services, data, and capital as well as people involved in economic activity is common place. Global value chains, complex corporate structures, tax regimes (or the lack thereof), and state’s attitudes toward the market are deeply implicated by today’s global economic activity. International economic law structures some of these flows and grapples with regulating others. The law itself is moving with new treaties such as the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as well as many others poised to change the legal architecture. At NYU School of Law, scholars try to draw on a wide set of legal instruments and multi-disciplinary insights to develop new accounts and insights into this new phase of international economic law. The IILJ’s MegaReg project is central to these efforts.
Finance and Development
Access to financial capital can be a crucial determinant of countries’ prospects for development. At the same time, the sources of financing available to inhabitants of developing countries, the terms upon which financing is provided, and the kinds of projects being financed have become increasingly varied. Financing development as a field of practice now encompasses transactions as diverse as sovereign bond offerings, foreign aid, project finance, development banking, micro-finance, and carbon finance, as well as certain kinds of insurance products and derivative instruments. This expansion in the range of transactions encompassed by financing development as well as the range of participants in those transactions, merits closer attention and analysis. Similarly, the background legal norms that influence both the contents of individual financial agreements and the governance of the institutions that sign onto them represent critically important yet poorly understood features of the global legal order. The research program on financing development maps out that legal order and examines the processes influencing its emergence, its social and economic implications, and the scope for innovation.