I-Ju Chen

I-Ju Chen

Birmingham Law School
Doctoral researcher

Contact details


  • LLB (National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan)
  • LLM (UCL and National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan)
  • Certificate, The Hague Academy of Public International Law
  • Certificate, The Macau Academy of International Investment Law 


I am a doctoral researcher with diverse educational backgrounds from Taiwan and Europe (UK and the Netherlands). These studies inspired me to become a scholar in international economic law. Prior to committing myself to work in academia, I was a paralegal in BNP Paribas Cardif (multinational financial company) in Taiwan. My job responsibilities were to, firstly, review contracts and provide legal opinion. Secondly, I assisted to ensure and monitor financial compliance within the company, such as anti-money laundering and implementing good conduct policy. While I was a legal researcher in a prestigious thinktank in Taiwan, the research tasks, including writing reports and publishing research outcomes of projects in various forums, and the associated training intensified my goal to become a legal scholar. Owing to my academic enthusiasm, I started a PhD in law in January 2015 and expect to complete it in 2018.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Examining the environmental impact of the Asia-Pacific PTAs: Towards the goal of fisheries sustainability
Dr Luca Rubini and Professor Rilka Dragneva-Lewers
Law PhD / PhD by Distance Learning / MPhil / MJur


My research project aims to explore how the preferential trade agreements (PTAs) in the Asia-Pacific protect the environment, specifically the ocean protection. Crucially, the environmental provisions have been frequently incorporated into the PTAs to ensure that they serve as an effective tool to protect the environment. Yet the interaction between the PTAs and environmental protection uncovers some difficulties, which mainly revolve around the conflict of interests inherent in environmental matters and the economic and political divergences in the Asia-Pacific. This kind of obstacle was also involved in the debate of restricting fisheries subsidies for the goal of fisheries sustainability. Thus, the objective of my research is to evaluate the environmental clauses in the PTAs, including provisions on fisheries subsidies in the TPP, so as to find out a ‘best balance’ approach to protect the environment while liberalising trade.

Source of Funding: University of Birmingham College of Arts and Law Doctoral Scholarship and Taiwanese Government Overseas Study Scholarship 

Other activities

  • Blogging: I wrote two pieces regarding the legal education in Taiwan and an introduction of applications for PhD in law in the Beyond My Ethnicity. This E-magazine is funded by the Educational Enhancement Fund of the University of Birmingham.
  • Executive editor in a referred journal (2009-2010): Science and Technology Law Review, published by Science and Technology Law Institute (Thinktank) in Taiwan.
  • Student executive editor in a referred journal (2007-2008): Chung Hsing University Law Review, published by Department of Law, National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan.
  • Public international law moot court competitions: I was an initiator and leader in the National Chung Hsing University Team in Jessup 2006. The team was awarded Third Prize in the national round. In 2014, I co-coached the UCL Team in Telders. The team was awarded Second Prize in the national round.
  • Birmingham Law School PGRs Representative 2016-2017
  • Member, Chinese (Taiwan) Society of International Law, Branch of ILA
  • Member, The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)


Article in refereed journal:

Conference papers:

  • (by invitation) ‘Implications of the Opinion 2/15 in integrating sustainable development into the EU’s FTAs’, Workshop on ‘Sustainable development in Trade Agreements: EU and Post-Brexit UK Perspectives’, organised by School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast, 11 October 2017. Approx. 7,000 words
  • ‘The Necessity of Establishing Regional Environmental Governance Through a Regional Trade Agreement in Asia-Pacific: Why and How’, Conference on ‘The Geopolitics of International Law and the Challenges for Asia-Pacific’, ILA-ASIL Asia-Pacific Research Forum, Taipei, 20 May 2017. (I was one of the only two doctoral researchers selected for this conference.) Approx. 10,000 words
  • ‘A Critical Analysis of the Environmental Provisions in PTAs in the Asia-Pacific’, conference entitled ‘Post-Brexit Britain in A World of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs)’, organised by School of Law at the University of Birmingham, 24 February 2017 (Co-organiser of the conference with Dr. Luca Rubini and Dr. Rilka Dragneva-Lewers) Approx. 12,000 words

Selected academic presentations after 2015:

  • ‘Evaluating Environmental Dispute Settlement Mechanism in Trans-Pacific Partnership: Is it a Greener Trade Agreement Reinforcing Environmental Protection in the Context of International Trade?’, IV UCL-KCL PGR Environmental Law Symposium, London, February 2016 (full Birmingham Law School travel grant)
  • ‘Developing Countries’ Fundamental Right to Develop in International Trade: Do We Really Care and Implement?’, North East PGR Law Forum co-organised by Newcastle University and Northumbria University, UK, July 2015 (full Birmingham Law School travel grant)
  • ‘EU’s Evolving Common Commercial Policy: In the Context of the Anti-Dumping Policy in Relation to China’, Graduate Centre for Europe 9th Annual Conference, University of Birmingham, UK, March 2015