Previous IA Lectures

2020: A Response to DFAT’s Review of Australia’s Bilateral Investment Treaties 2019: Arbitration in Australia – Rising to the Challenge 2018: "The Need for Speed – Is International Arbitration Becoming Overly Fixated with Efficiency?” 2017: How worldly is it?” by The Hon Sir Bernard Eder2016: “International Arbitration and Independence – Off the Beaten Track” by Elliott Geisinger2015: “Dynamics, discretion and diversity - A recipe for unpredictability in international arbitration?” by Hilary Heilbron QC2014: “Commercial Courts and International Arbitration– Competitors or Partners?” by Michael Hwang SC2013: The authority of the arbitrator - its sources, limits and importance2012: The Impact of International Arbitration on the Rule of Law2011: Islamic influences on international arbitration2010: 仲裁 - Speaking your language? What is the language of resolution in the Asia-Pacific region?2009: The Day Before Tomorrow: Future Developments in International Arbitration2008: Inside Out: A User's View of International Arbitration2007: When Arbitrators Facilitate Settlement: Amiable Imposition or Actual Solution?2006: Enterprise v State: The New David and Goliath?2005: Litigate, Arbitrate, Mediate, Frustrate? Breaking the Dispute Deadlock2004: Apes, Neanderthals and Missing Links: Evolution in International Business Arbitration2003: East meets West: Tradition, Globalisation and the Future of Arbitration2002: Arbitration, Imagination and the Culture of Compromise: The Inaugural Clayton Utz International Arbitration Lecture

2020: A Response to DFAT’s Review of Australia’s Bilateral Investment Treaties
by Professor Zachary Douglas QC

About the lecture

In August 2020, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced a review of the 15 bilateral investment treaties to which Australia is a party and invited submissions from stakeholders as part of this exercise (see discussion paper here). Professor Zachary Douglas QC proposes to respond to this invitation and set out his thoughts on the optimal design of a bilateral investment treaty in light of the policy concerns expressed by the Australian Government and his experience in litigating and arbitrating investment disputes over the past twenty years. He will demonstrate that many of the ‘safeguards’ introduced by States into their modern treaties are pretty on paper but ineffective in practice and that a reassessment of the optimal approach is overdue.

About the speaker

Professor Zachary Douglas QC is considered to be one of the world’s leading arbitrators. He has been appointed in over 120 cases, including in more than 45 investment treaty disputes. In addition to international arbitration, Zachary’s diverse practice extends to the law of the sea, human rights, corporate responsibility, state immunity and other areas of international law. As a Queen’s Counsel he has appeared in the English Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court, including in several landmark cases relating to Britain’s colonial legacy, as well as before numerous international courts and tribunals. Zachary is a member of Matrix Chambers in London and a Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute in Geneva; he was previously a member of the Faculty of Law at Cambridge University and a Fellow at Jesus College. He is the author of a leading treatise on investment treaty arbitration (‘The International Law of Investment Claims’) and is currently teaching and writing on the law of the sea. He was educated in Melbourne, Moscow and Oxford and holds a PhD from Cambridge.

Video clip

2020 full lecture