Past Events

2021 International Law Association-American Society of International Law Asia-Pacific Research Forum

5 and 6 August 2021

2021 International Law Association-American Society of International Law Asia-Pacific Research Forum

2021 International Law Association-American Society of International Law Asia-Pacific Research Forum

On 5 and 6 August 2021, SIDRA’s Yueming Yan and Mark McLaughlin presented their respective papers on Reimagining Investment-Plus Compliance: China’s Labour Story and The Digital Silk Road and Data Sovereignty: What Role for International Investment Law and Arbitration? at the 2021 International Law Association-American Society of International Law Asia-Pacific Research Forum. The theme of the Research Forum was “International Law and Post-Pandemic Asia: New Economic Challenges and Opportunities". Yueming Yan presented her paper under Panel 1: Asia’s New Legal Order: Roles of China and the United States. Mark presented his paper under Panel 4: Investment Agreements and Investor-State Disputes.

SIDRA BRI-TNLF Webinar on Investment Treaty Arbitrations involving Chinese Parties

8 August 2021

SIDRA BRI-TNLF Webinar on Investment Treaty Arbitrations involving Chinese Parties

On 8 August 2021, SIDRA and TNLF (Transnational Law Frontiers) jointly presented a webinar introducing investment treaty arbitrations involving Chinese parties. Zongyao Li (Associate, Shearman & Sterling) introduced four generations of Chinese investment treaties and their respective features. Zongyao also presented five investment cases where China is the respondent, and seven investment arbitration cases initiated by Chinese investors. Additionally, Zongyao provided deep analysis of Beijing Urban Construction Group v. Yemen by examining the four jurisdiction objections raised by Yemen and the tribunal’s reasoning. Yueming Yan (Global PhD Fellow, SIDRA) moderated this webinar. The panellist and attendees engaged in a lively discussion on many interesting topics, such as the role of the China International Commercial Court, dispute settlement mechanisms in the BRI context, and China’s contribution and attitude towards ISDS reform.

SIDRA BRI-TNLF Webinar on the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment

30 July 2021

Screenshot of SIDRA BRI-TNLF Webinar on the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment

On 30 July 2021, SIDRA and TNLF (Transnational Law Frontiers) jointly presented a webinar introducing the dispute settlement mechanisms in the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). Chunlei Zhao (Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for International Dispute Settlement, Tsinghua University) introduced the state-state dispute settlement in the existing CAI, the mechanism to address differences on matters covered under the sustainable development section, and ways of settling investor-state disputes that might be agreed upon by China and the EU. Yueming Yan (Global PhD Fellow at SIDRA) acted as a moderator. The panellist and attendees engaged in a lively discussion on multilateral investment court, confidentiality, alternative dispute resolution as well as China’s attitudes towards international dispute resolution and its practices along the implementation of the Belt & Road Initiative.

The 7th Biennial Global Conference of the Society of International Economic Law

7 – 9 July 2021

The 7th Biennial Global Conference of the Society of International Economic Law

The 7th Biennial Global Conference of the Society of International Economic Law

The 7th SIEL Conference on Rethinking Global Economic Governance was held virtually from 7 – 9 July 2021. The event saw opening remarks from Peter Van den Bossche and Andrea Sironi. The opening keynote event saw Giorgio Sacerdoti interviewing Mario Monti, President of Bocconi University. The conference included several roundtables on international economic governance, including inter alia on the future of international investment regulation, the global minimum tax initiative, trade policy etc. Closing remarks for the conference were delivered by Isabelle Van Damme and Markus Wagner, SIEL Executive Vice Presidents. 

Mark McLaughlin (Global Visiting Assistant Professor, Singapore Management University and SIDRA) spoke on Panel VIII: The Challenges of Regulating the Behaviour of State-Owned Enterprises, moderated by Suresh Nanwani (Professor, Durham University). Mark presented on ‘Regulating State-owned Enterprises in Chinese Investment Treaties’. Other distinguished panellists include Freya Baetens (Professor of Public International Law, Oslo/Leiden University), Wei Yin (Associate Professor, Southwest University of Political Science and Law) and Lu Wang (Lecturer, University of New South Wales).

ICC Annual Arbitration & ADR Conference: Connecting the World of International Arbitration & ADR

23rd – 25th June 2021

ICC Annual Arbitration & ADR Conference: Connecting the World of International Arbitration & ADR

ICC Annual Arbitration & ADR Conference

The ICC Annual Arbitration & ADR Conference: Connecting the World of International Arbitration & ADR took place on 23rd – 25th June 2021. One of the key findings of the 2021 White & Case and Queen Mary University International Arbitration Survey is that Singapore has become the joint top-preferred seat in the world for international arbitrations, alongside London. Webinar 6 of the Conference discusses Singapore as the preferred seat: A blip or an unstoppable force, and how should young arbitration practitioners view the trend? 

Moderated by Guy Pendell, speakers Philippa Charles, Abraham Vergis SC, Darius Chan, Jelita Pandjaitan and Koh Swee Yen shared their views at this session. The distinguished speakers spoke about the rise of Singapore as a preferred seat and the reasons and factors for its success. They also discussed whether Singapore has what it takes to maintain its ranking and the implications of Singapore and Hong Kong (which also gained popularity compared to its 2018 ranking) as preferred seats for businesses, law firms and lawyers. Finally, having regard to where arbitrations are being seated, the session also touched on what young arbitration practitioners should take into consideration as they develop their practice.

SIDRA Webinar: China’s Investment Treaty Policy and Practice: Arbitration Clauses limited to Compensation due to Expropriation

3 June 2021

SIDRA Webinar: China’s Investment Treaty Policy and Practice: Arbitration Clauses limited to Compensation due to Expropriation

On 3 June 2021, SIDRA hosted a webinar on China’s Investment Treaty Policy and Practice: Arbitration Clauses limited to Compensation due to Expropriation. Allison Goh (Research Associate, SIDRA) acted as moderator. Dr. Matteo Vaccaro-Incisa (Head, International Law & Arbitration, Carnelutti Law Firm) provided an in-depth examination of arbitration clauses limited to compensation due to expropriation in China’s investment treaties, and explored the limitations of such clauses. In doing so, Dr. Matteo compared and evaluated the relevant case law, including court decisions from Singapore, Stockholm, and London. Jonathan Lim (Counsel, WilmerHale) provided commentary from a practitioner perspective. As experienced counsel in both commercial and investment arbitrations across common law and civil law jurisdictions, Jonathan raised thought-provoking issues and the webinar concluded with insightful comments from both speakers.

Asian Society of International Law 8th Biennial Conference: What place for international law in the Asian future?

24 – 28 May 2021

Asian Society of International Law 8th Biennial Conference: What place for international law in the Asian future?

The Asian Society of International Law 8th Biennial Conference was held from 24 – 28 May 2021, consisting of a diverse mix of presentation panels and in-depth speaker sessions. The conference explored the role of international law in managing the challenges faced by post-pandemic Asia and sought to identify and address key legal issues relating to the place of international law in the future of Asia.

Asian Society of International Law 8th Biennial Conference

Mark McLaughlin (Global Visiting Assistant Professor at SMU) spoke on Day 1 of the conference on a panel discussing international economic law, chaired by Imogen Saunders (The Australian National University). Mark’s presentation was titled ‘Is Covid-19 a catalyst for investor-state mediation? The case of belt and road disputes’. Other distinguished speakers included Salamah Ansari (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode) and Jagna Mucha (University of Warsaw). 

Asian Society of International Law 8th Biennial Conference

Allison Goh (Research Associate, SIDRA) spoke on Day 2 of the conference, on a panel on Investment Law chaired by Vivienne Bath (Centre for Asian and Pacific Law, Sydney Law School). Allison spoke about green financing disputes under the Belt and Road Initiative.Other distinguished speakers included Jose-Miguel Bello y Villarino (Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Spain)/ University of Sydney), Juan Du (Xi’an Jiaotong University) and Munkhselenge Purevdorj (National University of Mongolia). 

YSIAC-CIArb YMG Webinar: Popular or Polar Opposites? Perceptions about Arbitration Practice from the US and Singapore

7 May 2021

YSIAC-CIArb YMG Webinar: Popular or Polar Opposites? Perceptions about Arbitration Practice from the US and Singapore

Darius Chan (Associate Professor of Law, SMU Yong Pung How School of Law, Deputy Director of SIDRA) spoke at the YSIAC-CIArb YMG Webinar on 7 May 2021. The webinar titled ‘Popular or Polar Opposites? Perceptions about Arbitration Practice from the US and Singapore’ allowed panellists, Darius Chan, Justin R. Rassi (Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton), Samantha Tan (Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) and Kirsten Teo (Senior Legal Consultant, De Almeida Pereira DC) to exchange perspectives about the practice of arbitration from various parts of the globe, focusing on how clients and lawyers in the US and in Singapore perceive arbitration. The discussion touched on the effectiveness of arbitration as a mechanism for dispute resolution, the enforceability of arbitral awards, and Singapore common law versus US common law practice in various areas of arbitration. The panellists also discussed their experiences in practice and networking.  The diverse audience consisted of arbitrators, in-house counsel, legal practitioners, and students. The engaging discussion was moderated by Adriana Uson (Head (Americas), Singapore International Arbitration Centre).

SIDRA Webinar: Practical Tips for Younger Practitioners on China-Related Disputes

30 March 2021

SIDRA Webinar: Practical Tips for Younger Practitioners on China-Related Disputes

On 30 March 2021, SIDRA presented a webinar on practical tips for younger practitioners on China-related disputes. The webinar focused on a practitioner perspective with regards to China-related disputes. The distinguished speakers included Crystal Wong (Partner, Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill), Nelson Goh (Senior Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton) and Sophia Feng (International Counsel, Allen & Gledhill). The speakers shared their practical experiences and anecdotes, having represented Chinese clients in various jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom, Malaysia, China, and Singapore. The discussion touched on the entire life cycle of a dispute, from pitching clients, the pre-trial process, the proceedings and finally, the enforcement process. The lively and interactive session was moderated by Rachel Tan (Research & Development Operations Lead, SIDRA).

SIDRA Webinar on the China International Commercial Court

9 March 2021

SIDRA Webinar on the China International Commercial Court

The China International Commercial Court (CICC) Is an integral part of the BRI dispute settlement discourse. On 9 March 2021, SIDRA presented a webinar on the China International Commercial Court (CICC). In 2018, China launched the CICC, a one-stop dispute-resolution platform that integrates litigation, mediation, and arbitration. Dr Jiang Huiqin (Associate Professor, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Visiting Faculty, SMU School of Law) gave insight into the workings of the CICC by analysing its legal design, latest developments, and practical operations. Dinesh Dhillon (Co-Head, Allen & Gledhill’s International Arbitration Practice) provided a comparative angle to the discussion by sharing his recent experience as counsel in Kiri Industries Ltd v Senda International Capital Limited and another [2020] SGHC(I) 27 before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC). Ryce Lee (Research Associate, SIDRA) acted as moderator for the informative discussion, as Dr Jiang and Dinesh shared their perspectives on the role of international commercial courts in the BRI dispute resolution landscape.

SIDRA-CIBEL Webinar on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

4 Feb 2021

SIDRA-CIBEL Webinar on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (4 Feb 2021)

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the world’s largest Free Trade Agreement. Members include the 10 ASEAN nations, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. Together, the RCEP members comprise nearly 30% of the global population and global GDP.  The RCEP is relevant to BRI dispute resolution because of China’s involvement. The RCEP is an instrument that both outbound and inbound investors along the BRI can tap on, and the RCEP has its own set of dispute settlement mechanisms.

On 4 February 2021, SIDRA and UNSW Law & Justice’s Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre jointly presented a webinar introducing the RCEP. The webinar provided participants with an overview on the RCEP’s trade implications, with a specific focus on its impact on international dispute settlement in the region. Heng Wang (Professor at UNSW Law & Justice, Co-Director of HSF CIBEL Centre) introduced participants to the RCEP and its trade implications. Mark McLaughlin (Global Visiting Assistant Professor at SMU) discussed investment protections under the RCEP. Kun Fan (Associate Professor at UNSW Law & Justice) delved into the RCEP's implications on international dispute settlement. Guillermo García-Perrote (Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills) provided commentary from a practitioner perspective, as an international arbitration lawyer specialising in infrastructure and energy disputes. Allison Goh (Research Associate, SIDRA) acted as moderator. The webinar concluded with questions from webinar attendees and a lively discussion among the panellists, touching on topics such as investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms, the function of parallel multilateral treaties in the region, the role of the Singapore Convention in expediting the use of mediation and further discussion on the trade implications of the RCEP. The webinar was well-received by participants hailing from 21 countries and territories around the world.

SIDRA-SMULA Webinar: Not Your Average Covid-19 Webinar

29 January 2021

SIDRA-SMULA Webinar: Not Your Average Covid-19 Webinar (29 January 2021)

On 29 January 2021, SIDRA co-organised a webinar, moderated by Kevin Tan (Partner, Rajah and Tann Singapore LLP), welcoming distinguished panellists Ng Jern-Fei QC (Queens’ Counsel, Essex Court Chambers) and Chen Xiaoshan (Partner, DLA Piper Shanghai) and Chan Wei Jian (Barrister, Essex Court Chambers).  This webinar featured BRI dispute resolution and explored the substantive similarities and differences between how Chinese law and the common law (eg, English, Hong Kong and Singapore law) would handle different issues relating to both liability and quantum that would arise in disputes, especially against the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic.  Practical suggestions for dispute prevention were discussed, such as the use of certifying documents, including the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) force majeure certificates as proof of the facts related to force majeure in disputes governed by PRC law, and how indeterminacy arising because of COVID-19 could potentially be managed as a matter of procedure.

SIDRA-BIICL Webinar: Implications of China’s Doctrine of Strict State Immunity on Belt & Road Disputes

5 November 2020

SIDRA-BIICL Webinar: Implications of China’s Doctrine of Strict State Immunity on Belt & Road Disputes (5 November 2020)

On 5 November 2020, SIDRA and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) jointly presented a webinar on the Implications of China’s Doctrine of Strict State Immunity on Belt & Road Disputes. Charles Tay (Singaporean-qualified lawyer, Zhong Lun Law Firm) provided participants with an overview of the concept of strict state immunity and potential applications in relation to disputes under the Belt and Road. Chiann Bao (Independent Arbitrator and Honorary Senior Fellow of BIICL), provided commentary from her perspective as a seasoned arbitrator currently based in Hong Kong. Duncan Speller (Partner, Litigation/Controversy Department, WilmerHale), provided his perspective as counsel who has been involved in some of the leading cases on state immunity issues, in multiple jurisdictions including England and the DIFC. The webinar also dealt with effects of crown immunity in Hong Kong, immunity disputes that may arise in the BRI context in relation to state-owned-enterprises and issues of waiver and other possible mechanisms for dealing with immunity. The thought-provoking webinar was moderated by Allison Goh (Research Associate, SIDRA). The webinar was attended by dispute resolution practitioners, in-house counsel, academics, and students from 22 countries and territories around the world.

SMU-Fudan University Webinar Series: New Developments in Advanced Legal Education

30 October 2020

SMU-Fudan University Webinar Series: New Developments in Advanced Legal Education (30 October 2020)

This webinar jointly organised by SMU and Fudan focused on Dispute Resolution, and in particular, dealt with comparative analysis between Chinese law and common law.  Specifically, Darius Chan (SMU) spoke on issues concerning the governing law of the arbitration agreement, using a case study involving parties arbitrating a dispute in Shanghai, and showcasing how that case had spawned decisions in both the Singapore and Chinese Courts. Dr. Xiong Hao (Associate Professor, Fudan Law School) in turn spoke about developments on the use of mediation in China, and his thoughts on whether the Singapore Convention could take off. Dr. Cai Congyan (Professor, Fudan Law School) spoke about the judicial training and upskilling of judges in China to handle international disputes. 

SIDRA Webinar: China and International Adjudication – China’s Approach in its Investor-State and Inter-State Disputes

9 October 2020

SIDRA Webinar: China and International Adjudication – China’s Approach in its Investor-State and Inter-State Disputes (9 October 2020)

On 9 October 2020, SIDRA hosted a webinar on China and International Adjudication, focusing on China's approach in its investor-state and inter-state disputes. Professor Chester Brown (Professor of International Law and International Arbitration, University of Sydney Law School, Barrister at 7 Wentworth Selborne Chambers and Essex Court Chambers) spoke on litigation and arbitration and Dr. Mark McLaughlin (Global Visiting Assistant Professor, SMU School of Law) discussed mediation and dispute resolution mechanisms under the Belt and Road Initiative. The panellists also provided their perspectives on key investor-state cases to which China has been a party. Moderated by Rachel Tan (Research & Development Operations Lead, SIDRA), the panellists and participants engaged in a lively discussion on conciliation and mediation as well as China's approach to investor-state dispute settlement, before the webinar came to a close.

SIDRA-ITI Webinar: The Belt and Road Initiative: Maritime Silk Road

17 September 2020

On 17 September 2020, SIDRA and International Trading Institute (ITI) jointly presented a webinar on the Belt and Road Initiative: Maritime Silk Road. Dr. Mark McLaughlin (Global Visiting Assistant Professor, SMU School of Law), kickstarted the discussion with an introduction to the Maritime Silk Road. Punit Oza (Registrar of Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration, Board member of Klaveness Asia Pte Ltd) and Louisa Follis (Senior Analyst, Clarksons Platou), provided their perspectives as seasoned shipping and maritime experts, on the commercial impact of the Maritime Silk Road on shipping routes and trade. The webinar was moderated by Baldev Bhinder (Managing Director, Blackstone & Gold), a legal expert in the commodities sector. The webinar concluded with a lively Q&A with webinar participants, as the panellists shared their concluding thoughts on the Maritime Silk Road and its foreseeable impact on trade, business and dispute resolution in the region.

SMU Conference on Global Public-Private Law Approaches to the Covid-19 Pandemic

10 September 2020

SMU Conference on Global Public-Private Law Approaches to the Covid-19 Pandemic (10 September 2020)

On 10 September 2020, Allison Goh (Research Associate, SIDRA) and Shouyu Chong (Research Fellow, SIDRA) were selected to speak at the Conference on Public-Private Law Approaches to the COVID-19 Pandemic, hosted by SMU School of Law.  Under Session 5 dealing with “Commercial Law and Litigation in Extraordinary Times” chaired by Dr Ardavan Arzandeh of the University of Bristol, Allison Goh presented a paper with the theme “Technology as the New Normal: Challenges and Implications for Dispute Resolution under the Belt and Road Initiative”, where she surveyed the increasing role technology was playing in BRI dispute resolution, and in particular, among Chinese arbitral institutions.  Shouyu, on the other hand, presented on “International Commercial Litigation of Contractual Disputes Precipitated by the Covid-19 Economic Crisis”.

SIDRA Webinar: Conflict of Laws in BRI Disputes: A Comparative Approach

14 July 2020

SIDRA Webinar: Conflict of Laws in BRI Disputes: A Comparative Approach (14 July 2020)

On 14 July 2020, SIDRA held a webinar on Conflict of Laws in BRI Disputes: A Comparative Approach. Panellists Professor Darius Chan (Deputy Director of SIDRA, Director of SMULA), Dr. Christopher Boog (Vice Chair of International Arbitration Practice Group, Schellenberg Wittmer), and Patrick Zheng (Head of Dispute Resolution Practice, LLinks Law Offices) discussed conflict of laws issues in the BRI context. The event was moderated by Allison Goh (Research Associate, SIDRA), and saw participants tuning in from 27 countries and territories around the world. The panellists discussed conflict of laws issues relating to determination of the law of the governing contract, the law of the arbitration agreement, and the competing choices of law in interim measures. The webinar provided a substantive, yet practice-oriented review of the approach taken in relation to resolving conflict of law issues from the common law, Chinese, Swiss, and German law perspectives.

SIDRA Event: Commercial Mediation in China

14 February 2020

SIDRA Event: Commercial Mediation in China (14 February 2020)

On 14 February 2020, SIDRA held a talk headlined by Heng Wang (Professor at UNSW Law & Justice) on the topic of commercial mediation in China. Professor Wang gave an insightful presentation, introducing participants to cross-border commercial mediation in China. Professor Wang provided an overview of key commercial mediation institutions in China, their functions, and interactions with the courts. Professor Wang also spoke on the role of commercial mediation in the Belt & Road Initiative, and the foreseeable impact of the Singapore Convention of Mediation. Professor Wang concluded his talk with the challenges faced by the expansion of commercial mediation in China, as well as his thoughts on the future of commercial mediation in China and its impact on the Belt & Road Initiative.