SIA to host discussion on international arbitration with globally-recognized experts

Howard Mann of the International Institute for Sustainable Development
Howard Mann of the International Institute for Sustainable Development

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- As the possible inclusion of international arbitration in the Trans-Pacific Partnership inspires debate and headlines around the world, it is critical for global leaders across disciplines to understand the role of international arbitration and how it impacts trade, economic development, and environmental regulations.

To help Penn State students understand this critical and interdisciplinary subject, Howard Mann of the International Institute for Sustainable Development will join Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs for a conversation with Penn State Law professor and international arbitration expert Catherine Rogers at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 14 in room 116 of the Lewis Katz Building.

“This event will tackle big questions about the future direction of international trade, global governance, and whether arbitration is a viable means for resolving trade disputes,” Rogers said. “It’s fair to say there are very potent objections with this subject, and Howard Mann as been at the forefront of raising some of these concerns.”

Among other issues, Mann and Rogers will discuss whether ability of private companies to challenge government policies and legislation in international arbitration—a “private court” system—help or hinder sustainable economic development across the globe; whether international arbitration has a positive impact on the development of international law, or if it is biased in favor of multi-national corporations; and, if there are benefits from investor-state arbitration, whether the perceived problems be fixed.

About the presenters:

Howard Mann has worked since 1998 with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a nonprofit organization that works on environmental policy and economic development around the world. Mann has worked with IISD to advise and train government officials from over 80 developing countries on international investment laws, treaty negotiation, and investment policy to promote sustainable development.

Mann was the lead author of IISD’s influential Model International Agreement on Investment for Sustainable Development publication, which has shaped numerous international investment treaties since its 2005 publication. He represented IISD in a precedential amicus curiae intervention in the North American Free Trade agreement case between Methanex Corp. and the United States, which set a precedent for civil society intervention in international investment arbitration, and has also advised national and international governmental bodies on international business and human rights. Before beginning his work with IISD, Mann was a Canadian negotiator of such international agreements as the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and bilateral US-Canada agreements on hazardous waste and air quality.

Catherine Rogers is a leading scholar on international arbitration and professional ethics at Penn State Law, with a dual appointment as professor of ethics, regulation, and the rule of law at Queen Mary, University of London, where she is also co-director of the Institute for Regulation and Ethics. Her scholarship focuses on the convergence of the public and private in international adjudication, and on the reconceptualization of the attorney as a global actor. Rogers has taught, lectured, and published on these topics around the world, including as an invited participant at two Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Fora. Her book, Ethics in International Arbitration, was published in 2014 by Oxford University Press.

She is also the founder and director of Arbitrator Intelligence, a nonprofit organization developing informational resources to increase transparency, fairness and accountability in the arbitrator selection process. She is regularly engaged in capacity-building activities to promote arbitration and the rule of law in developing and emerging economies, and has also written articles analyzing investment arbitration for publication with the IISD.