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Dr. Caroline Henckels will speak about the topic of her new book 'Balancing Investment Protection and Regulatory Autonomy: Proportionality and Standards of Review in Investor-State Arbitration'.

Event details of Proportionality and Deference in Investor-State Arbitration (ACIL Lecture)
Date 5 April 2016
Time 16:00 -17:30


Investor-state arbitration tribunals have been criticized for their inconsistent and incoherent approaches to determining state liability in regulatory disputes, and for appearing to favour the interests of investors over those of states in their decision-making. Pending reform of individual investment treaties to rebalance the interests of states and investors or to provide institutional changes such as appellate review, investment tribunals urgently need to adopt a more certain, consistent way of deciding cases involving the exercise of public power by host states. Other international and supranational courts and tribunals undertaking similar functions have all adopted a variant of proportionality analysis to determine disputes involving competing public and private interests. They have done so with an institutionally sensitive approach that pays regard to the right to regulate and to adjudicators’ comparative lack of expertise in relation to the subject matter of the measure at issue or the policy processes underlying its development. Adopting a variant of proportionality analysis modified by deference in situations of normative or empirical uncertainty could provide a means for tribunals to decide cases in a more consistent and coherent manner, leading to greater certainty for the system’s participants and could address the concern that the decisions of investment tribunals unjustifiably impact on the regulatory autonomy of states.

About the speaker

Dr. Caroline Henckels is a Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. She researches at the intersection of international law and public law, with a focus on international investment law and trade law. Her most recent publications are Balancing Investment Protection and Regulatory Autonomy: Proportionality and Standards of Review in Investor-State Arbitration (CUP, 2015) and ‘Protecting Regulatory Autonomy through Greater Precision in Defining States’ Investment Treaty Obligations: the TTIP, TPP and CETA’ (Journal of International Economic Law, 2016). 


Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam

Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Room A009


The ACIL regularly organizes ACIL Lectures at which external speakers present papers relevant to research carried out at the ACIL. ACIL Lectures are open to all; registration is not required.