LAW STUDENTS from around the world descended on Suffolk University Law School on November 1 to take part in the first-ever Foreign Direct Investment International Moot Competition (FDI Moot), which focused on the rapidly growing legal field of foreign direct investment.
Suffolk Law Professor Christopher Gibson and Christian Campbell of the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg organized the event and composed the moot problem, along with Antonida Netzer, also of the Center for International Legal Studies. Students from the Murdoch School of Law in Perth, Australia, placed first, edging out Pepperdine University School of Law in California. The final was judged by Alexander Lorz, chair of German and foreign public law, international public law, and European law at Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany; Tim Nelson, an attorney at the international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, based in New York; and Hew Dundas, president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London. The teams from Belgrade University and New York University took third place.
Numerous arbitration practitioners and academics judged the memorials and preliminary rounds, with Suffolk Law staff and students helping to coordinate the competition and performing the roles of tribunal secretaries.
The FDI Moot was established in response to the increasing volume of transnational investments in the global economy. Gibson explains that foreign investments have encouraged the rapid development of a new field of international law addressing a host country’s obligation to foreign investors, and establishing new arbitration procedures for resolving the related disputes that can arise.
"The FDI Moot promotes an understanding of international investment laws and arbitration as an effective mechanism for settling these investment disputes," he says. "It provides students with valuable knowledge of the legal issues and firsthand experience while they act as advocates during the competition."
Suffolk Law is a co-founder of the FDI Moot, with the Center for International Legal along Studies; Pepperdine University School of Law; the University of Dundee in Scotland; and the German Institution of Arbitration in Cologne, Germany. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is the exclusive law firm sponsor of the Moot; the competition’s prize is named the FDI Skadden, Arps Trophy.On the Friday preceding the competition, lawyers, academics, and students attended a Suffolk Law symposium titled "Investor-State Arbitration: Perspectives on Legitimacy and Practice." The event lineup included Judge Stephen Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice, and José Alvarez, a professor at Columbia Law School and the former president of the American Society of International Law. The symposium gave those in attendance an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in international investment regulation and dispute resolution. The papers from the symposium will be published in a special issue of the Suffolk Transnational Law Review.
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