Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have typically allowed investors to submit to arbitration claims that the host state has, directly or indirectly, expropriated their assets or denied them fair and equitable treatment.  For some time, observers have expressed concerns that investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) chills sovereign regulatory authority.  However, two recent intellectual property disputes, both involving state action to protect health and access to medicine, have brought the potential impact of ISDS on social welfare to the fore.  As a result, states are now reconsidering the terms on which they are willing to offer investment protection.  A survey of BITS signed in 2019 reveals that some states have withdrawn entirely from dispute settlement.  Others are making less extreme modifications, including procedural changes, express acknowledgement of the state’s right to regulate, and substantive limitations on the bases on which claims can be brought. Some agreements tackle the problem of health (or more generally, IP-related) regulation specifically.  In this workshop these strategies will be evaluated to determine the extent to which they reduce regulatory chill in the IP realm.


Each year the OIPRC hosts a number of leading academics from around the world as part of its Invited Speaker Series. These events typically run from 5:15-6:45pm on Thursday evenings at St. Peter’s College; if the venue or time is different, it will be noted on the Events calendar.  The Speaker Series consists of a presentation of about 45 minutes, followed by a Q&A session with the assembled group of academic staff, students (both undergraduate and graduate), researchers, and interested members of the public.  Discussion is informal and includes participants from several disciplines, with a wide range of prior knowledge.

Convenors: Robert BurrellDev Gangjee and Robert Pitkethly

Refreshments and snacks are served at the conclusion of the discussion.  All are welcome.