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IIAs Conference Oct. 2013

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Over the last ten years, international investment protection law has been one of the fastest-growing areas of international economic law. This area of law is characterised by a fundamental tension, which may be roughly described as follows: Capital-importing states, often developing and emerging countries, submit themselves to binding international rules on the treatment of foreign investments primarily with the aim of promoting sustainable development of their economies. This increased level of legal certainty is intended to attract greater foreign investment. Capital-exporting states aim to comprehensively protect their businesses against political risks in host states through the application of relevant rules of international law. Any other concerns which arise tend to be dealt with as peripheral matters.

Balanced approaches to examining the relationship between investment protection and the principles of sustainable development are, as yet, not sufficiently developed. This is the fundamental basis for the conference, "International investment agreements - balancing sustainable development and investment protection”. The hope is to create a forum for a critical, reflective and balanced analysis of this tension. The specific catalyst for this conference is the "Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development" (IFSD), the conceptual framework published in April 2012 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

We are very pleased to be able to welcome renowned representatives from different fields of both academia and practice for the conference.

The keynote address will be given by Professor Giorgio Sacerdoti, Department of International and European Law at the Bocconi University in Milan. To have as our speaker a former Chairman of the WTO Appellate Body, and Consultant on development issues for the Council of Europe, UNCTAD and the World Bank, among others, and an active arbitrator and counsel in investor-state arbitrations, will provide valuable insights into the political issues at play in this field of international law, from an internationally recognized and highly esteemed practitioner.

Subsequent discussions and in-depth presentations will be contributed by prominent voices from academia, business, media and civil society – from both Germany and abroad.


The programme of the conference can be found here.


The event will be held on

Thursday, 10th and Friday 11th October 2013

at the Free University in Berlin at Henry-Ford-Building, Garystr. 35, 14195 Berlin (NB: change of conference venue due to great demand). All relevant information is available on this website. If you have questions or require further information, we will try to assist you at any time.


To register for the conference please click here.