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Professor Anthea Roberts with us at Xiamen Academy

Release Time: 2019-08-06      Browse:33


Anthea Roberts is a professor in the Schoolof Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University. As a younger-generation scholar, she is of significant influence in public international law, international investment law, and also comparative law.


The lecture series she delivered here in Xiamen focused mainly on investment treaties, using case studies and visual representations to dissect the history and policy; standards and system. Apart from that, Prof. Roberts also shared her insights on geoeconomics; ISDS reform; and guided us through a session "is international law international"?


The first category of topic covered traditional issues of investment treaties, such as the conception of expropriation, minimum standard of treatment, why are BITs controversial and so on. The lecture on ISDS dealt with the recent reform at UNCITRAL, introducing the reasons for the reform and three ideal types. The most impressive one maybe the last lecture, which was based on her book “Is International Law International?”. That monograph was awarded the American Society of International Law’s 2018 Book Prize for the preeminent contribution to creative scholarship, and was Oxford University Press’s top-selling law monograph worldwide in 2017-2018. Prof. Roberts compared different international law academies and textbooks, so as to reveal some of the patterns of difference, dominance, and disruption that belie international law's claim to universality. She ended with some practical conclusions that we should diversify perspectives, sources as well as networks, and we should also try to understandand critique instead of agreeing all the time.


One interesting thing about Prof. Roberts was that she spoke fast during the first lecture, then several volunteers went ahead and asked on behalf of some students whether she could speak a little bit slower. She promised to do better the following day. She did so in the first half, however, she sped up unconsciously, and her pace of speech was faster than that of yesterday. We appreciate the knowledge and happiness Prof. Roberts brought us.


Reported by Sun Junao