The IIAPP website aims to showcase information on investment arbitration. It was motivated by past questions or requests from governments, businesses, NGOs, and media. In the academic lingo, it is a knowledge mobilization resource. Research and analysis was carried out by students and academic staff at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, Canada, and by volunteers from other academic institutions, under the coordination of Osgoode Hall law professor Gus Van Harten. Members of the original research team are introduced below, following a brief statement of the project's mandate.
Academic research should be independent, accessible, and relevant if it is to generate knowledge that supports informed policy-making and public discussion. To maintain academic independence, the website's content was created or reviewed by persons who do not earn income as arbitrators, lawyers, or expert witnesses in investment arbitration. No funding for the website was received from any government, business, or NGO. Student research assistants were employed as part of a standard Research Assistant hiring program administered by York University.
To promote accessibility, the website allows open access to its database in order to provide descriptive information about existing cases and a basis for further research. It also seeks to provide plain language information on exemplary cases and on individual arbitrators as well as a general introduction to investment treaties and investment arbitration.
In terms of relevance, the website focuses on aspects of investment treaties and investment arbitration thought to be of interest to policy-makers in different fields. It seeks to respond to past questions and public debates about cases under investment treaties that have affected different policy areas and about who decides these cases. An attempt has been made to separate descriptive information on the website from editorial comments highlighting the case for more openness, independence, and public accountability in the system.
Gus Van Harten is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. He obtained his PhD in Law from the University of London in 1996 and was a faculty member at the Law Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author Sold Down the author of Sold Down the Yangtze: Canada's Lopsided Investment Deal with China (IIAPP/ self-published, 2015), Sovereign Choices and Sovereign Constraints: Judicial Restraint in Investment Treaty Arbitration (Oxford University Press, 2013), Investment Treaty Arbitration and Public Law (Oxford University Press, 2007), and various articles on investment law and arbitration available here. He is also a co-author of Administrative Law: Cases, Text, and Materials, 6th and 7th editions (Emond, 2010 and 2015). He teaches Administrative Law, International Investment Law, and Governance of the International Financial System. He coordinated the project.
Constance Abebreseh was a JD student at Osgoode Hall Law School. She obtained her BA from York University. She collected and coded information on investment treaty cases.
Rana Arbabian was a JD student at Osgoode Hall Law School. She previously studied political science at the University of Toronto and has worked as a summer associate at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in Ottawa. She collected and analyzed information on investment arbitrators and investment treaties.
Naoual Bennaçar obtained her PhD in International Law from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNSA), Institut du droit de la paix de du developpement, and was a post-doctoral fellow at Université Laval in Québec, Canada. She has worked as a consultant to government agencies in Algeria and Brazil and has provided training in aspects of international and administrative law to officials at UNESCO and the Administrative Court of Nice. She provided analysis and commentary on investment treaty cases.
Kelly Goldthorpe is an immigration lawyer in Toronto. She obtained her JD from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2010. She was for seven years a senior research analyst with Statistics Canada, having previously studied sociology at the University of Toronto and the University of Calgary. She assisted in the design of the research database and analyzed the data on investment treaty cases.
Pavel Malysheuski is a commercial lawyer in Toronto. He obtained a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2009 and was previously a commercial lawyer in Belorussia. He assisted in the analysis of data on investment treaty cases.
Kirsten Mikadze was a JD student at Osgoode Hall Law School. She worked for six years for the Ontario Ministry of Labour and the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, and obtained a BA in political science from the University of Toronto in 2002. She collected and analyzed data on investment treaty cases, summarized cases, and researched responses and alternatives to the system.