11th Conference of the Postgraduate and Early Professionals/Academics Network of the Society of International Economic Law (PEPA/SIEL)

Birmingham Law School, Hybrid Event
Wednesday 8 June (10:00) - Friday 10 June 2022 (16:00)
Photo of the University Crest

Birmingham Law School is pleased to be hosting the 2022 Conference of the Society of International Law (SIEL) Postgraduate and Early Professionals/Academics Network (PEPA/SIEL) on June 8-10, 2022.

This long-established conference aims at fostering collaboration and mentoring opportunities for emerging academics and professionals in International Economic Law. SIEL fulfils these goals through various activities, including organising conferences at which emerging academics and professionals in the field of international economic law can present and discuss their research in a supportive and welcoming environment.

This conference offers graduate students (students enrolled in Masters’ or PhD programmes) and Early Career professionals and academics, studying or working in the field of IEL, an opportunity to present and discuss their ongoing research. It also provides a welcoming platform where participants can critically discuss and test ideas about broader issues relating to IEL. Every panel will include on average three papers. One or more senior practitioners and academics will comment on each paper, which will then be followed by a general discussion.

This hybrid conference will take place both online and in-person at the University of Birmingham over three days. Papers to be presented during the conference will be made available to panellists and discussants one week prior to the conference to facilitate maximum engagement with presentations. The attending audience will also be provided with access to the abstracts in due course.

1st edition of the Baetens-Caiado Prize

We are also pleased to announce that this year’s conference will launch the 1st  edition of the Baetens-Caiado Prize. This essay prize, sponsored by Dr. Suresh Nanwani, Professor of Practice at Durham University (UK), will be awarded to the best essay submitted at the 2022 PEPA/SIEL conference on any topic in the field of international economic law. The winning essay will be submitted to the African Journal of International Economic Law (AfJIEL) for publication, subject to its standard peer-review and decision procedures. The Prize also entails a £100 for the best essay (distributed accordingly in the event of more than one author), and it will be awarded by SIEL on the recommendation of a prize committee drawn from the host organizer of the 2022 PEPA/SIEL and two members from the SIEL Executive Council Committee. The prize award will be announced in the SIEL Newsletter.

Interested accepted presenters are encouraged to submit an essay to Dr Mariela de Amstalden and Dr Henok Asmelash (co-chairs from Birmingham Law School, UK) by July 10, 2022 (5pm UK time) to pepesiel2022@contacts.bham.ac.uk. Please note the following guidelines:

  • Length of essay: between 8,000 and 9,000 words (excluding footnotes)
  • Citations: Citations in the manuscript must conform to the Twenty-First Edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. For example, see the Inaugural Issue of the AfJIEL.
  • Abstract: Please include a short abstract with your submission (150 words maximum).

Conference Co-Chairs


Wednesday 8 June 2022

18:30-20:00      Arrival in Birmingham  

Informal Welcome Drinks
Venue: The Plough Harborne, 21 High St, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9NT

Thursday 9 June 2022

Venue: Law Building, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT, UK

08.30-09.00      Registration

09.00-09.15      Opening remarks

Conference Convenors
Prof Lisa Webley, Head of School, The University of Birmingham Law School (UK)

09.15-09.45      Opening Keynote Speech

Prof Anna van Aaken, University of Hamburg (Germany)

09.45-11.30: Panel I Trade and Sustainability

Chair: Prof Tony Arnull, University of Birmingham (UK)


  • Dr Chris Riffel, University of Canterbury (New Zealand)  
  • Dr Markus Gehring, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • Dr Ilaria Espa, Università della Svizzera italiana (Switzerland)


  • Justine Muller, The Gaps and Overlaps Between Trade Impact and Provisions on Biodiversity in EU Free Trade Agreements
  • Marcus Gustafsson, The Search for Collective Purpose: Sustainable Development and the Preservation of the Global Trading Regime
  • Maria Moreno Sancho, The US and EU Solar Trade Remedies Saga: The Globalization of Mercantilism
  • Leo Gargne, The Inclusion of Sustainability Provisions in Modern EU FTAs and their Enforceability
  • Divesh Kaul, Recalibrating the Minimum Standard of Treatment into Optimum Standard of Treatment: Justice and Rule-of-Law-Oriented Approach to a Sustainable Foreign Investment Protection System
  • Hui Helen Pang, The Role of Investor-State Arbitration in Promoting Climate Change Mitigation: From “Shield” to “Sword” Through Renewable Energy Disputes?

11.30-11.45: Short coffee break

11.45-13.15: Panel II IEL and Other Public Policy Issues

Chair: Prof Martin Trybus, University of Birmingham (UK)


  • Mr Iain Sandford, Sidley Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Dr Abdul Hasib Suenu, World Bank (US)
  • Prof Holger Hestermeyer, King’s College London (UK)


  • Najib Zamani, It’s the Economy Stupid: The Geo-Economic Challenge to International Economic Law
  • Ben Czapnik, Public Morals and Consistency Testing in WTO Law
  • Saurabh Sharma and Mukesh Rawat, MFN Dilemma in India’s DTAAs Post Concentrix Ruling: A Ticking Time Bomb
  • Rafal R. Wasilewski, International Cooperation in the Field of Evidentiary Proceedings as a Challenge for Competition and Consumer Protection
  • Cornelia Furculita, The Anti-Coercion Instrument: Is the EU Renouncing its ‘Multilateralist’ DNA?
  • Trajan Shipley, Raising the Principle of Autonomy of EU Law as an EU Public Policy Exception in the context of Investor-State Dispute Settlement

13.15-14.00: Lunch

14.00-15.30: Panel III IEL and Digital Technologies

Chair: Dr Chen Zhu, University of Birmingham (UK)


  • Dr Ching-Fu Lin, National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan)
  • Dr Niall Moran, Dublin City University (Ireland)
  • Prof Luca Rubini, University of Turin (Italy)


  • Sunanda Tewari and Rishabha Meena, A Door that is Ajar: Assessing Digital Economic Partnership Agreement’s Legal Standing within WTO Framework
  • Martin Luter Munu, E-commerce Provisions in Regional Trade Agreements and What They Mean for African MSMEs
  • Leonila Guglya, E-commerce Rules at the Time of the Ongoing Military Aggression: Reconsidering the Priorities
  • Diana Wade, 3D Printing: Looking to Intellectual Property to resolve a Rules of Origin Conundrum
  • Mark McLaughlin, Is Data an Investment?
  • Siqi Zhao, Digital Cultural Goods and Services in International Trade Law

15.30-15.45: Short coffee break

15.45-17.15: Panel IV International Investment Law

Chair: Dr Szilard Gaspar-Szilagyi, University of Birmingham (UK)


  • Prof Bryan Mercurio, Chinese University of Hong Kong (HK)
  • Dr Joshua Paine, Bristol University (UK)


  • Fabian Simon Eichberger, Self-Judgment in International Investment Law: Shifting Paradigms
  • Wojciech Giemza, 'Moonlighting' Revisited: ICJ Judges as Decision Makers in Investment Arbitration
  • Lucas Clover Alcolea, Arbitral Activism and Choice of Law under the ICSID Convention
  • Nguyen The Duc Tam and Huynh Nguyen Ngan Thy, Disqualifying ICSID Tribunals due to their Refusal to Hold in-person Hearings: A Sisyphean Task?
  • Pablo Colmegna, The Protection of the Environment through International Investment Agreements in Latin America

17.15-18.00: Roundtable - Publishing in IEL

Chair: Dr Henok Asmelash, University of Birmingham (UK)


  • World Trade Review (CUP) Dr Wolfgang Alschner
  • Legal Issues of Economic Integration (Kluwer) Dr Geraldo Vidigal
  • Journal of World Investment and Trade (Brill) Dr Joshua Paine
  • Journal of International Economic Law (OUP) Prof Kathleen Claussen

19.00-21.00: Conference Dinner

Edgbaston Park Hotel, 53 Edgbaston Park Rd, Birmingham B15 2RS 
(with accompaniment from the University of Birmingham Music Society)

Friday 10 June 2022

Venue: Law Building, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT, UK

09.00-09.30: Arrival and Coffee

09.30-11.00: Panel V Critical Approaches to IEL

Chair: Mr Iain Sandford, Sidley Geneva (Swiitzerland)


  • Prof Joost Pauwelyn, The Graduate Institute Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Prof Yuka Fukunaga, Waseda University (Japan)
  • Dr Markus Wagner, University of Wollongong (Australia)


  • Alexandros Bakos & Gautam Mohanty, The Depoliticization of Investment Disputes – How Deep Does the “Rabbit Hole” Go?
  • Olufunmilola Olabode, A TWAIL Approach in Reforming the International Investment Regime
  • Soma Hegdekatte, The India-Brazil BIT: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?
  • Bin Cheng, The Role of the Global South in the UNCITRAL Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform: Actor or Bystander?
  • Christiana Agbo-Ejeh, The EU-African Union Partnership at the Service of ‘Common Interest’? Contextualising Special and Differential Treatment in WTO Law and Economic Partnership Agreements
  • Jean-Michel Marcoux, The Use of Sustainable Development in Investment Arbitration: A Disconnect From Investment Policymaking and International Adjudication

11.00-11.30: Coffee break

11:30-13.00: Panel VI International Financial Law

Chair: Prof Nelson Enonchong, University of Birmingham (UK)


  • Prof Suresh Nanwani, Durham University (UK)
  • Dr Andre Nunes Chaib, Maastricht University (The Netherlands)
  • Dr Wolfgang Alschner, University of Ottawa (Canada)


  • Diana Catalina Royero-Avila, Extraterritorial Reach of EU Law in third Countries’ Financial Legislation and its Impact on International Economic Governance
  • Dilshad Shaik and C.G. Eeshwaa, Cryptocurrencies in India: Issues and Challenges
  • Johanna Aleria Lorenzo, Accountability Mechanisms of Development Finance Institutions and the Law of International Responsibility: Square Pegs in a Round Hole?
  • Jonathan Brosseau, How Should the World Bank’s Dispute Resolution Services Benefit Affected Persons and Borrower States? 

13.00-14.00: Lunch

14.00-15.30: Panel VII Emerging Issues in International Trade Law

Chair: Prof Rilka Dragneva-Lewers, University of Birmingham (UK)


  • Prof Andrew Lang, University of Edinburgh (UK)
  • Dr Geraldo Vidigal, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  • Prof Fiona Smith, Leeds University (UK)


  • Kristiyan Stoyanov, Legal Effect of WTO Law in the EU: Past, Present, Future 
  • Michail Skouzes, Energy Transit under GATT Article V and Energy Trade Dispute Resolution in the WTO
  • Beichen Ding, Transnational Granting under Belt and Road Initiative: Subsidy or Global Public Goods
  • Xueji Su, En route to Competition – Grounding International Regulation on State-Owned Enterprise
  • Onur Cagdas Artantas, The "Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism" and Global South's Right to Development
  • Magali Favaretto Prieto Fernandes, The OECD Good Regulatory Practices' Toolbox through Transnational Lenses and Brazil’s Regulatory Reform

15.30-16.00: Closing Keynote Speech

  • Prof Peter van den Bossche, World Trade Institute, University of Berne (Switzerland)

16.00-16.10: Closing Remarks

The Conference Convenors of the 11th PEPA/SIEL Conference are delighted to announce its partnerships with International Economic Law Working Group at the University of Birmingham Law School, Sidley Austin Geneva, Cambridge University Press and Edward Elgar Publishing.