Guest Speaker Addresses International Dispute Resolution

January 30, 2015

On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, BYU Law's International Law Student Association welcomed Joseph B. Brubaker of the law firm, Kirton McConkie, to speak on investment treaty arbitration. Brubaker has years of experience arbitrating cases in countries around the world.

His comments focused on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a treaty between the United States and the European Union (EU) to govern trade agreements. While many EU countries already have trade agreements with the U.S., the EU seeks to set a standard for trade and regulation. That U.S./EU Partnership is expected to be complete in the next four to five years.

Brubaker stated that the Partnership would allow investors experiencing difficulties to directly sue foreign governments rather than seeking costly and sometimes ineffectual relief through other channels. According to a recent report from the committee drafting the Partnership, the following four points have been a focus of discussion: protection of the right to regulate, establishment of arbitral tribunals, regulation between domestic judicial systems and investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS), and review of ISDS decisions through an appellate system.

Brubaker shared examples from his practice to highlight how the Partnership will benefit investors and help clarify the law. He also shared advice on how students might begin to make their way into a similar area of practice. He stated that taking classes in international law should be a high priority for students with such career goals, as well as participating in moot court activities.