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The Fortier Chair gives expert talk on ISDS reform at Transnational Law Frontiers & Singapore Management University

Zoom screenshot with Andrea Bjorklund, Mark McLaughlin, and Yueming Yan.

Professor Andrea Bjorklund (McGill), Professor Mark McLaughlin (Singapore Int'l Dispute Resolution Academy), and Dr. Yueming Yan (SIDRA, SMU)

On October 4, 2021 (9 am Montreal time/ 9 pm Singapore time), Professor Andrea Bjorklund did a Q&A with Yueming Yan, DCL'21, and Mark McLaughlin, Global Visiting Assistant Professor, Singapore Management University. They discussed investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform. Specific issues included the use of mediation in investment disputes, an investment court system with an appeal mechanism, and third party-funding. Professor Bjorklund also covered US, Canada, EU, and China's practices and attitudes towards ISDS reform.

Congratulations, Dr. Yueming Yan!

Yueming Yan and her jury on Zoom.

The Chair is proud to announce that Ms. Yueming Yan (top centre) successfully defended thesis, "Improving international investment law’s treatment of (anti-)corruption: Towards a more balanced approach" on July 7, 2021. Her thesis was written under the supervision of Professor Andrea Bjorklund. Her committee was composed of Professors Geneviève Saumier, Darren Rosenblum, Nandini Ramanujam, and Andrew Newcombe (U. of Victoria).

2nd ILA Biennial Conference - International Arbitration: Charting the Path Ahead

19-20 May 2021

ILA-Canada, in collaboration with Arbitration Place, is holding its 2nd Biennial Conference on May 19 and 20th, 2021. 10:30-13:45pm ET. This online conference is free of charge.

Professor Andrea K. Bjorklund, the L. Yves Fortier Chair in International Arbitration and International Commercial Law at McGill University, will give one of the keynotes. Her colleague Professor emeritus Armand de Mestral will moderate a panel on Two speed Investment Arbitration.

See the program and register on EventBrite!

ILA poster

The Arbitration Conversation - Reforms & proposals involving investor-state arbitration

22 September 2020

Professor Amy Schmitz (, University of Missouri School of Law and Center for Dispute Resolution, interviewed Professor Andrea K. Bjorklund in September 2020. They discussed a variety of reforms and proposals involving investor-state arbitration, informed by Prof. Bjorklund’s personal involvement in Working Group III: Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform, and the parallel work of the CIDS Academic Forum on ISDS. They also explored near-term proposals in the UNCITRAL/ICSID’s cooperative venture draft Code of Conduct, and related topics such as issue conflicts, double-hatting, appellate mechanisms, growing interest in counterclaims, and selection/appointment of ISDS tribunal members.

Will an International Investment Court Restore Legitimacy to Investor State Dispute Settlement?

UN Audiovisual Library of International Law - June 2020

Professor Andrea Bjorklund: Will an International Investment Court Restore Legitimacy to Investor State Dispute Settlements?

The United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law provides free, high quality international law training and research materials. In this audio episode, Professor Andrea Bjorklund discusses the pros and cons of establishing an International Investment Court.

Listen to her talk at, or watch her presentation on video at

Publication of the report on Investment Promotion and Protection in the Canada-UK Trade Relationship

Professor Andrea K. Bjorklund (Faculty of Law, McGill University) and Professor Yarik Kryvoi (British Institute of International and Comparative Law), and collaborator Jean-Michel Marcoux, are pleased to announce the publication of their final report on the future of the Canada-UK Trading Relationship.

The objectives underlying this final report are to allow policy-makers to undertake the negotiation process with a clear sense of the various provisions that are available to address the most controversial issues of international investment law and their legal implications. The report demonstrates that an investment agreement can respond to legitimacy concerns raised by a variety of stakeholders. More specifically, it provides a side-by-side comparison of provisions that have already been included in IIAs and model agreements for three specific themes: 1) dispute settlement possibilities; 2) the breadth of investment protection; and 3) obligations imposed on foreign investors.

Download: PDF icon Investment Promotion and Protection in the Canada-UK Trade Relationship - Final Report, November 2018

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) of Great Britain.

Book Launch: International Investment Law and Globalization

International Investment Law and Globalization: Foreign Investment, Responsibilities and Intergovernmental Organizations14 November 2019, 13:00-14:30, room 16, Faculty of Law, McGill University

The L. Yves Fortier Chair in International Arbitration and International Commercial Law was pleased to host the launch of International Investment Law and Globalization: Foreign Investment, Responsibilities and Intergovernmental Organizations (Routledge, 2018), a book by Postdoctoral Fellow Jean-Michel Marcoux.

Currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Law, Jean-Michel Marcoux holds a PhD in Law (University of Victoria), an MA in International Studies (Institut québécois des hautes études internationales) and a BA in Public Affairs and International Relations (Université Laval). Interested in international economic law and international relations theory, he has published a dozen articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals and collections of essays.

Kirsten HillmanAn Insider's View of the NAFTA renegotiation

13 October 2018, 11:00-12:30, room 312, Faculty of Law, McGill University

We were recently delighted to host an informal discussion with Canada’s Deputy Ambassador to the United States and McGill alumna Kirsten Hillman, BCL/LLB'93, about the process of finalizing the new NAFTA - USMCA.


Bravo, Lukas Vanhonnaker!

Lukas Vanhonnaeker surrounded by his supervisor and jury after a successful thesis defense.

The Fortier Chair is proud to announce that DCL candidate Lukas Vanhonnaeker (centre, with flowers) successfully defended his doctoral thesis, “Shareholders’ claims for reflective loss in international investment arbitration - the rule and its demystification”, on March 15, 2018. Bravo, Lukas!

What the Future Holds for NAFTA - October 23, 2017

The latest round of North American Free Trade Agreement re-negotiations wrapped up recently with Canada and Mexico reportedly frustrated by US demands. Knowledge @ Wharton host Dan Loney looked at the recent developments with Matt Gold, Professor at the Fordham University School of Law and Former Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North America, and Andrea Bjorklund, Faculty of Law Professor at McGill University and Former Member of the NAFTA Arbitration Team at US Department of State.

Talks about the renegotiation of NAFTA have reached an impasse, and it may be difficult for the three nations at the bargaining table to find a way forward: "As the latest round of talks between the U.S., Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ended last week in a stalemate, two issues emerged as the key sticking points."

Listen to the podcast!

Lucy Reed
International Dispute Resolution Courts: Retreat or Advance?

Brierley Lecture with Lucy Reed
September 12, 2017

The Private Justice and the Rule of Law research team, with the support of the John E.C. Brierley Memorial Lecture Fund established by Yves Fortier, and the L. Yves Fortier Chair, welcomed Professor Lucy Reed, Director of the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore, for the annual Brierley Lecture. 

Watch her talk and see some pictures of the event on the Private Justice and the Rule of Law's website.

New publication: Yearbook on International Investment Law & Policy 2014-2015

Yearbook on International Investment Law & Policy 2014-2015
Edited by Professor Andrea K. Bjorklund. 664 pages. OUP 2016.

"Several themes emerge in this 2014-2015 edition of the Yearbook. The first is a notable focus on country and region-specific developments.

Different articles focus on key developments in such countries as Australia, Brazil, China, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa. Others focus on regional innovations, in particular in Latin America.

A second area of attention is reform, and proposals for reform, in investor-state dispute settlement and in investment law generally.

The third theme is the continued concern about states' regulatory autonomy and the importance of their retaining ability to protect the interests of their nationals.

A fourth theme concerns the continued contribution that investment arbitration makes to the development of international law, and the influence that it is starting to have on other areas of law"... Find out more...


The L. Yves Fortier Chair in International Arbitration and International Commercial Law, endowed in 2009, was created through the generous support of Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., in order to enhance the Faculty's leadership in the field of international arbitration and commercial law.

Closely linked with McGill Law’s Private Justice and the Rule of Law (PJRL) research team, the Chair aims to advance the understanding of theoretical and practical dimensions of international commercial law and arbitration, including trade, investment, contracts, as well as corporate and commercial law.

The Chair is named in honour of L. Yves Fortier, BCL 1958, formerly Canada’s Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Chief Delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations and former Chairman of the Board of Alcan Inc.

Professor Andrea K. Bjorklund was appointed as the Chair's inaugural holder in 2013.


Currently, the Fortier Chair’s research focuses in large part on dispute resolution. Arbitration in particular can be assessed on a “micro” level – how does it work; how can it be made better, and on a “macro” level – how does it fit within the general realm of international law, and how does it contribute to the rule of law.

The Chair approaches these issues from both a practical and a theoretical basis. On the “micro” level, we focus on discrete issues because of the need to enhance the efficacy and legitimacy of the arbitral process, whether it be investment or commercial. On the “macro” level, it is clear that to be just, a system must be founded on and must perpetuate the rule of law. There are significant questions about whether investment arbitration in particular satisfies these criteria; there is also significant disagreement among stake-holders about the purpose and goals of investor state dispute settlement and investment law generally. One must keep in mind that a goal of dispute resolution should be to understand the differences that gave rise to the dispute and the reasons underlying them. Read more...

About L. Yves Fortier, PC, CC, QC, BCL’58, LLD’05

Recognized internationally as one of the top arbitrators in the world, Mr. Fortier has served as Chairman or party-appointed arbitrator on more than 100 international arbitral tribunals. He has served as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague and as President of the London Court of International Arbitration. Mr. Fortier served from 1988 to 1992 as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Unitied Nations. He is a past chairman of Norton Rose Fullbright.

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