Yale Law School scholar lectures on international investment law at CityU

Zoey Tsang

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The School of Law at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has invited Professor W. Michael Reisman, a distinguished international law expert from Yale Law School, to speak at the Fifteenth Annual Goff Arbitration Lecture on 16 December 2008. The title of the lecture is “National emergencies and necessities: do they and should they relieve states of their investment obligations?”. Professor Reisman discussed the functions and effects of international investment law in the context of the international financial crisis and foreign investment.

The lecture was jointly sponsored by the School of Law and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, highlighting CityU’s strong ties with outstanding professionals worldwide and its focus on globalised legal education in Hong Kong.

International investment law and public international law are closely related. Professor Reisman discussed the problems of dealing with business disputes through public international law when “some of the terms of public international law are against the local law.”

“We should comprehensively consider the necessities of the public international law and other factors when we try to settle the disputes by the public international law,” Professor Reisman added.

Professor Reisman also addressed an important feature of international economic law, which is the responsibility of states with regard to breaches of obligations under international investment protection treaties or based upon an agreement on the ground of national emergency.

Mr Gu Minkang, Associate Dean of the School of Law, agreed with Professor Reisman’s analysis. “We should consider the differences between the local laws of two contesting countries when we settle business disputes. As an international and cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong has a close business relationship with the mainland and other countries. Local professional law practitioners should consider the merits and drawbacks of using the local or international systems in determining how to best settle and arbitrate disputes that reach across borders.”

Professor Reisman is a member of the International Advisory Board of the CityU School of Law. He gave the first video-link lecture on international investment law to CityU School of Law students during the 2008/09 school year.


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