Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Author’s Series– The Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties in Investor-State Disputes: History, Evolution, and Future

4 April 2023 | Zoom Webinar

Join the International Law Section for this next edition of the 2023 Authors' Series to explore emerging themes at the intersection of the VCLT, international investment law, and ISDS in an interactive format. The program will draw upon ideas elaborated in the recently published book, The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in Investor-State Disputes: History, Evolution, and Future, edited by Esmé Shirlow & Kiran Nasir Gore (Wolters Kluwer, September 2022). Chaired by Suzanne Howarth.

In recent years, the investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) system has reached a crossroads. States are entering, exiting, and reforming investment treaties at staggering rates. Locally, the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is reviewing the bilateral investment treaties (BITs) to which Australia is a party, including to review whether such treaties are beneficial to Australia and whether and on what terms such treaties should continue. At a broader level, States are seeking greater control over the interpretation and application of their treaties, including through treaty amendment, interpretive declarations and non-disputing party submissions. Alongside these developments, the Achmea decision and its progeny have required the network of BITs between EU Member States to be unraveled. Emerging socio-political challenges suggest that the next generation of investor-State disputes will grapple with even more challenging and novel legal questions. Meanwhile, emerging technologies and tools suggest that the way we address and resolve these challenges may evolve.

In the midst of such changes and developments, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) – the ‘treaty on treaties’ – presents several interpretive and other tools that may provide discipline, clarity and stability in a rapidly changing world.


Registration is free, however registration is required. Please note, limited spots available.

Registration closes 6 April 2023.


Key Speakers

We are pleased to announce the key speakers for this event.

Associate Professor Esme Shirlow
Associate Professor, ANU College of Law

Esmé Shirlow is an Associate Professor at the ANU College of Law where she teaches and researches in the fields of public international law, international dispute settlement, and international investment law and arbitration. Esmé is the General Editor of the Australian Year Book of International Law and an Associate Editor with the ICSID Review and Kluwer Arbitration Blog. She is currently Vice-President (Australia) of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law, and Co-Chair of the Society’s International Economic Law Interest Group. Esmé is admitted as a solicitor in the Australian Capital Territory and maintains a practice in the field of international law advising parties to investment treaty claims and in proceedings before the International Court of Justice. Prior to joining the ANU, she worked in the Australian Government’s Office of International Law.

Kiran Nasir Gore
GW Law, George Washington University

Kiran Nasir Gore is an arbitrator, dispute resolution consultant, and counsel with nearly fifteen years of experience advising governments, corporations, institutions, and individuals on public and private international law, international development, foreign investment strategies, international dispute resolution, and legal investigation and compliance efforts. Kiran draws on her professional experiences as an educator at GW Law and New York University's Global Study Center in Washington, DC

Elizabeth Sheargold
University of Wollongong

Elizabeth Sheargold is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. Her research is primarily in the field of international economic law, with a particular interest in the intersection between international trade and investment agreements and environmental policy, including climate policy and natural resource management. Her previous roles include being a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong, a Legal Adviser to Judge O. Thomas Johnson at the Iran – United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague and an Associate Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

Ms Suzanne Howarth
Executive Member, International Law Section

Suzanne is a law graduate of the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne and has over thirty years’ experience working across the private and public sectors in Sydney, London, Melbourne, and Canberra.  Suzanne has been an Executive Member of the Law Council’s International Law Section since 2020 and was last year appointed as one of the Pacific Correspondents for Unidroit, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law.

Read the Law Council's Event Terms and Conditions here.

Please note: The Law Council of Australia's website is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Please use an alternative internet browser e.g. Google Chrome or Firefox. Please contact the Law Council of Australia if you continue to experience any difficulties when registering for an event.