About

I am a law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada, who specializes in investment treaties and investor-state arbitration (or ISDS, for investor-state dispute settlement).

I have studied the field closely since foreign investor lawsuits against countries began to explode in the late 1990s. I received a PhD in the subject from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the mid-2000s.

My new book on ISDS.

I have a new book called Sold Down the Yangtze (Lorimer, 2015) in which I explain the controversial 31-year investment deal between Canada and China of 2014, and criticize how ISDS is sold to the public.

For those concerned about similar deals like the proposed Europe-U.S. TTIP and U.S.-led TPP, I explain the powers of ISDS arbitrators and the threat posed by ISDS to democracy, courts, and public budgets in many countries.

The book is available from Lorimer in paperback and as an e-book.

My more technical academic publications on the topic include two books (here and here) and various articles available here.

This blog is about investor-state arbitrators, the treaties that given them their power, and the large companies, wealthy individuals, and law firms that have (overwhelmingly) received the financial benefits of ISDS, which is underwritten by the public in countries all over the world.

I also look at a few of the treaties that allows these lawsuits, starting with an investment deal that involves my home country, Canada, and that is called the Canada-China foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (or FIPA).

 An artistic Brazilian ad oddly capturing arbitrators' connections to major states and their large companies. Image courtesy of Crizzto (http://www.flickr.com/photos/criztto/)
An arbitrator leads the way?

In this blog, the categories “Power of the arbitrators”, “Costs to the public”, “Spin by ISDS promoters” has posts about investor-state arbitration and ISDS in general. These categories are aimed at an international audience.

The category “Sold Down the Yangtze: Canada’s Lopsided FIPA with China” has posts about the Canada-China FIPA that was finalized in 2014. Most of the posts are extended notes for my new book, which I mentioned above, on the FIPA and ISDS. This category is aimed at a Canadian audience.

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