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 law professor Gus Van Harten. Members of the 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 an associate 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 of Investment Treaty Arbitration and Public Law (Oxford University Press, 2007) and various articles on investment law and arbitration. He teaches Administrative Law, International Investment Law, and Governance of the International Financial System. He coordinated the project.
Constance Abebreseh is a JD student at Osgoode Hall Law School. She obtained her BA from York University. She is collecting and coding information on investment treaty cases.
Rana Arbabian is a JD student at Osgoode Hall Law School. She previously studied political science at the University of Toronto. She 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 recently 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 works as 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 securities 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 is 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 is a student editor of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal. She collected and analyzed data on investment treaty cases, summarized cases, and researched responses and alternatives to the system.