Nappert Prize in International Arbitration

Made possible by the generosity and vision of Sophie Nappert, BCL’86, LLB’86, a noted arbitrator in independent practice who is based in London, and run by the Fortier Chair, this essay contest invites participants to submit unpublished papers on commercial arbitration or investment arbitration.

2018 edition

Thanks to the generosity of Sophie Nappert (BCL’86, LLB’86), the Nappert Prize in International Arbitration will again be awarded by McGill University in 2018.

The Nappert Prize Competition is open to all students, junior scholars and junior practitioners from around the world. To be eligible for the prize, authors must:

  • be enrolled in a BCL, LLB, JD, LLM, DCL, or PhD program (or their local equivalents); or
  • have taken their most recent law degree within the last three years; or
  • have been admitted to the practice of law for no more than three years. 

Co-authored submissions are permissible, but each author must meet the eligibility criteria.  Also, only one author will be guaranteed a flight to Montreal for the symposium. 

Prize: First place: $4,000; Second place: $2,000; Third place: $1,000 (in Canadian dollars).

Winning one of the awards will carry with it the presentation of the paper at a symposium to be held at McGill University in Autumn 2018 (the expenses of the winners for attending the symposium will be covered).   In addition, the best oralist will receive an award of Can. $1,000.


April 30, 2018.


The essay:

  • must relate to commercial or investment arbitration;
  • must be unpublished (not yet submitted for publication) as of April 30;
  • must be a maximum of 15, 000 words (including footnotes);
  • must be written in English, French, or Spanish;
  • should use OSCOLA or some other well-established legal citation guide (e.g. McGill Red Book; Bluebook);
  • must be in MS Word format.


Jurors for the 2018 competition will include:

  • Julie Bédard, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, New York & São Paulo
  • Professor Lawrence Boo, Adjunct Professor, National University of Singapore & Bond University
  • Professor Olivier Caprasse, Universities of Liège and Brussels, Member of the Brussels Bar
  • Professor Kun Fan, McGill University, Montreal
  • José Feris, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs, Paris
  • Alexander Fessas, Secretary-General & Director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services, International Chamber of Commerce Court, Paris
  • Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, Washington, DC
  • Eduardo Zuleta Jaramillo, Partner, Zuleta Abogados Asociados, Bogota

Submissions are to be emailed to Lucas Clover Alcolea (lucas.cloveralcolea [at] as an attached file on or before April 30, 2018.

Submissions should be accompanied by a statement affirming the author’s eligibility for the competition, confirmation that the work is original to the author, and confirmation of the unpublished status of the paper.

Review of the papers will start after April 30, 2018.

Enquiries should be sent to the same address: (lucas.cloveralcolea [at]

2016 edition

The jury has selected the following papers as the winners of this second edition of this competition:


  • First Prize: Nathan D. Yaffe (JD student, NYU), “Transnational Arbitral Res Judicata”
  • Second Prize: Julia Godolphin  (BCL/LLB student, McGill), “Resolution of Tax Disputes in International Arbitration”
  • Third Prize (tie): Jonathan Brosseau-Rioux (LLM student, Cambridge), “The Legal basis for the Application of Domestic law in Investment Arbitration”;
    Bernardo Rohden Pires (LLM student, George Washington School of Law), “Can the MFN Clause in the GATS Serve as a Jurisdictional Gateway?”

The winners will present their papers at the Nappert Symposium on October 19, 2016, at McGill University's Faculty of Law. Registration to the symposium is free but mandatory.

The Nappert Prize winners will also have the opportunity to compete for a 1,000$ award to be given to the best oralist by a panel comprised of Professor Andrea K. Bjorklund (McGill), the Hon. Pierre Dalphond (Stikeman Elliott), and Professor Céline Lévesque (University of Ottawa).

Our distinguished jury

We are grateful to the jury for its careful and thorough consideration of the essays:

  • Sébastien Besson, Partner, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
  • Chester Brown, Professor of International Law and International Arbitration, The University of Sydney Faculty of Law
  • José Feris, Deputy Secretary-General, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris
  • Henry Gao, Associate Professor, Singapore Management University
  • Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, Washington, DC
  • Cesar Pereira, Partner, Justen, Pereira, Oliveira, and Talamini, São Paolo
  • Abby Cohen Smutny, Partner, White & Case LLP, Washington, DC

Honourable mentions

  • David Isidore Tan (LLM student, NYU), “Enforcing National Court Judgments as Arbitration Awards under the New York Convention”
  • Fortunat Nadima Nadima (BCL/LLB student, McGill), “The Path Towards Transparency Via Domestic freedom of Information Laws”
  • Maria Bhatti, (PhD student, Monash University), “Interest on Arbitral Awards and Sharia”
  • Mevelyn Ong (LLM student, Columbia), “The Interplay of Sovereignty, Personality and Consent in The Execution of Arbitral Awards”
  • Relja Radović (PhD student, University of Luxembourg), “When I Grow Up I’ll Be A Court”
  • Velimic Zivkovic (PhD Student, London School of Economics), “A Holistic Approach to Applicable Law In Investment Arbitration: Reasons, Elements, Goals”

Contest facts

For this edition, we received over 70 submissions from scholars and junior practitioners affiliated with more than 60 institutions, and hailing from places such as Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Italy, Peru, the Philippines, Vietnam, the UK, and the USA.

Most of the applicants were affiliated with institutions in either Europe or North America, and almost a quarter of the submissions were from Asia, more specifically from India and China. Approximately 40% of the authors were women, and the other 60% were men, and most were between 20 and 29 years old.

See the 2016 call for papers.

2014 edition

See the 2014 call for papers and the 2014 winners announcement.


  • First Prize: Ridhi Kabra (LLM student, Cambridge), “Has Abaclat v. Argentina left the ICSID with a ‘Mass’ive Problem?”
  • Second Prize: Mitchell Moranis  (JD student, Harvard), “Between Power and Procedure:  The Changing Balance of Investment Treaty Protections”
  • Third Prize (tie): Antoine Champagne (BCL/LLB student, McGill), “Moral Damages Left in Limbo”;
    Robert Kovacs
    (Associate, Linklaters; PhD Student, U. of Geneva), “International Arbitration and Insolvency:  A Question of Applicable Law”.
 Prof. Andrea Bjorklund, Robert Kovacs, Ph.D. Student, University of Geneva, Associate, Linklaters in London (tied for third); Mitchell Moranis, J.D. Harvard, Associate, WilmerHale in Washington, DC (second place); Ridhi Kabra, LL.M., Cambridge (first place); Antoine Champagne, LLB/BCL Student, McGill (tied for third); and Me Sophie Nappert.
Left to right: Prof. Andrea Bjorklund, Robert Kovacs, Ph.D. Student, University of Geneva, Associate, Linklaters in London (tied for third); Mitchell Moranis, J.D. Harvard, Associate, WilmerHale in Washington, DC (second place); Ridhi Kabra, LL.M., Cambridge (first place); Antoine Champagne, LLB/BCL Student, McGill (tied for third); and Me Sophie Nappert.

Our distinguished jury

  • George A. Bermann, Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, Columbia Law School, New York
  • Teresa Cheng, Senior Counsel and Chartered Arbitrator, Des Voeux Chambers, Hong
  • Giuditta Cordero-Moss, Professor, University of Oslo
  • José Ricardo Feris, Deputy Secretary General, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris
  • Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, ICSID, Washington DC
  • Philippe Pinsolle, Partner, Quinn Emmanuel, Paris

Honorable mentions

  • Horia Ciurtin (Babes Bolyai University, Romania), “A Hermeneutical Perspective upon the 'Mitigation of Damages' Principle: The Metamorphosis of a Concept in International Law.”
  • Joel Dahlquist (Uppsala University, Sweden), “Beside the Point: On Obiter Dicta in Investment Treaty Arbitration.”
  • Elsa Paparemborde (BCL/LLB student, McGill), “Preventive Requests for the Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards: Toward an Effective Filtering Mechanism under the New York Convention.”
  • Adam Plenkiewicz (BCL/LLB’14, McGill), “Comparing Proximate Causation in International Law.”
  • Fabio Santacroce (Freshfields, Rome), “The emergency arbitrator: a full-fledged arbitrator rendering an enforceable decision?”

Nappert Prize Competition Collection

The ICC, in cooperation with McGill University, has released a collection of the best articles written by participants of the 2014 Nappert Prize competition.

Edited by Professor Andrea Bjorklund, holder of the Fortier Chair, the collection is composed of nine articles chosen by experienced practitioners and arbitration experts from the inaugural Nappert Prize Competition in International Arbitration organized by McGill University's Faculty of Law in 2014.

Topics covered include:

• Procedural questions raised by the interface of arbitration with bankruptcy proceedings or mass claims
• Genesis of substantive law as developed by arbitral tribunals
• Links between municipal and international law
• Principle of proximate causation and its transition to international investment arbitration

To find out more, visit