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Professor Susan Franck Gives Two Major Presentations on Mediating International Investment Disputes

In connection with the W&L School of Law and UNCTAD Joint Symposium on International Investment and ADR [http://investmentadr.wlu.edu] and research by W&L Law Professor Susan Franck related to Dispute Systems Design [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=969252] there has been an increasing interest in the use of mediation for the resolution of investor-State treaty disputes.  The International Bar Association promulgated rules in October 2012 related to investor-State investment treaty dispute settlement.  Although there is a historical tradition of ad hoc in international mediation of economic disputes involving states, there has never before been a considered effort to carve out a structure of what mediation of investment treaty disputes might look like and begin to provide a path towards additional methods of ADR.

Prof. Susan Franck

Prof. Susan Franck

In an effort to make the application of the principles of mediation concrete, W&L Law Professor Susan Franck scripted a one hour role play demonstrating how the application of the investor-State Mediation rules might work in practice.  This role play made its international debut at the American Society of International Law in a panel entitled “Advancing Mediation in International Investment Disputes” [http://www.asil.org/am13/].  Professor Franck directed and moderated the role play and prepared a briefing sheet on the background dispute and opportunities for the use of mediation in investor-State disputes.  Professor Franck was pleased to be assisted at the conference and in obtaining feedback on earlier versions of the role play by two W&L students, Anaeli Sandoval and Kellen Lavin.

Yet one presentation was not enough.  Investor-State mediation requires the collaboration of two independent groups, namely international investment law scholars and dispute resolution scholars.  Having received a warm reception from the international investment law community — including former Spanish Ambassador and current member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Juan A. Yanez-Barneuvo who has served as a mediator in a state-to-state dispute involving Argentina and Uruguay (Pulp Mills), the roadshow continued to Chicago where there was a full panel dedicated to exploring issues related to considering the role that mediation plays in the settlement of investment treaty disputes.

Professor Franck was Co-Chair of the ABA Dispute Resolution Conference’s International Committee Workshop: “Adding Mediation to the Process Choices in Global Investment Disputes” [http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=DR020000&edit=1].  Over the panel that lasted an entire day, a team of professors, practitioners and government officials explored the issues of investor-State investment dispute settlement.  In the first session, Professor Franck’s  talk entitled, “Understanding Investment Treaty Dispute Resolution”, Professor Franck provided an overview of investment dispute settlement and explored empirical data related to arbitration in connection with her forthcoming book from Oxford University Press.  In the second session, Professor Franck’s role play on investor-State mediation was again presented to the group of dispute resolution professionals.  A third session was used to provide feedback on the IBA investor-State mediation Rule

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