CIBEL’s 2022 young scholars investigate changes in international economic law

14 October 2022

By Hanna Jez 


The Herbert Smith Freehills CIBEL Centre hosted the annual CIBEL Global Network Young Scholars Workshop on 28 September. This year, three young scholars were chosen from a large number of applicants to discuss ‘Changes in International Economic Law: Digitalisation, sustainability, and beyond.’   

The CIBEL Global Network is a hub and world-first network in this field initiated by CIBEL in 2018. It  engages and connects with scholars, businesses, practitioners, regulators, international organisations, NGOs, the public, and other stakeholders across various fields. Its goal is to build a prosperous global community of people working in the CIBEL field.     

CIBEL Co-Director Professor Heng Wang moderated the workshop with Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha as commentator. This year’s young scholars presented their research on the changing landscape of international economic law – specifically the underexplored issues within investment law and sustainability.   

Research Scholar Dr Dominik Moskvan from the University of Antwerp talked about his research on ‘Conceptualizing Investment in International Law: A Framework Proposal.’  Dr Chen Yu, Postdoctoral Researcher from the National University of Singapore followed with her findings on ‘Legal Stability and Renewable Energy Transition in Investment Arbitration: Towards More Deference to Regulatory Changes.’ Finally, Assistant Professor Dr Ying Zhu spoke on her paper, ‘A Bottom-up Dilemma: International Investment Law and Environmental Governance.’ Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha offered his thoughts on each scholar’s research, noting the great quality of this year’s papers overall.   

The winner of the 2022 CIBEL Global Network Young Scholars Prize was Dr Ying Zhu. Ying’s research addresses the tensions between global environmental governance and investment law. Ying explores the relevant literature in the field, analysing it from a governance perspective and observes the bottom-up structure of the polycentric, adaptive, and participatory decision-making process within environmental governance. Investment law is in tension with this trend, using a top-down structure. Ying concludes her paper by recommending strategies within arbitration and treaty-making which could rectify these differences.   

We asked Ying how she found her experience participating in CIBEL’s 2022 Young Scholars Workshop:   

"The Young Scholars Workshop is a great platform to exchange academic ideas, receive valuable comments and inspire new thoughts. I highly recommend young scholars to submit their draft papers to the workshop next year."  

CIBEL would like to congratulate Ying on her success and thank fellow young scholars Dominik and Chen who contributed to these important discussions which shape and advance the cause for sustainability within the field of law. 

The call for papers for the 2023 CIBEL Global Network Conference and Young Scholars Workshop will be open in the first quarter of 2023. Keen to be notified when it’s open? Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to find out. 

You can find the recording of this year’s workshop here.  

Ying shared her findings with us in a 9-minute video before the workshop. You can watch it here