Director of the GCILS
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Christian J. Tams is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow and GCILS’ founding director. He directs the Erasmus Mundus Master in International Law of Global Security, Peace and Development (ILGSPD) and the Glasgow-Leuphana dual degree programme in international economic law.
Christian is an expert in public international law, with special expertise in the law of treaties, State responsibility, dispute settlement and investment law. He studied law at the universities of Kiel, Lyon III, and Cambridge (LLM, 2000; PhD, 2004), and is a qualified German lawyer (admitted in 2005). Before joining the School of Law he was an assistant professor at the Walther Schücking Institute of International Law at the University of Kiel.
Christian is a Vice-President of the European Society of International Law and serves on the Council of the German Society of International Law and the British Branch of the International Law Association. He is the review editor of the European Journal of International Law and directs the ESIL book series published with Oxford University Press.
Over the past years, Christian has held visiting positions at universities in France, China, Japan, and Austria. In 2018, he directed the Centre of Research and Studies at The Hague Academy of International Law.
An academic member of Matrix Chambers London, Christian regularly advises States, individuals and companies in international disputes. In recent years, he has acted in proceedings before the International Court of Justice, the Iran-US Claims Tribunal and arbitral tribunals, and provided expert advice in domestic proceedings bearing on international law. Since 2020, he is a member of the scientific advisory council of the German Federal Foreign Office.
Edited by Christian J. Tams, Professor of International Law, University of Glasgow, UK, Stephan W. Schill, Professor of International and Economic Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Rainer Hofmann, Professor of Public Law, Public International Law and European Law, University of Frankfurt, Germany. This book questions whether investment law influences the wider field of general international law, and more specifically, whether approaches adopted by tribunals in investment arbitrations have radiated, or should radiate, into other fields of international law.
Edited Book, Frankfurt Investment and Economic Law series, Edward Elgar 2023
"Our topic can be thought of as a meeting of the old and the new, and it can be approached via a straightforward question: is there room, in the contemporary world of investment arbitration, for countermeasures, that traditional means of self-help? Countermeasures—and more so the concept’s traditional label, reprisals—evoke an era of interstate international law of limited reach: an era which, for lack of adequate institutions, accommodated ideas of ‘private justice’ to a significant extent, notably by accepting the right of one State to respond to another State’s wrongful conduct by means of coercion. This right permitted the State to respond to wrongful conduct affecting State rights as well as rights of nationals, despite the obvious risk of abuse. As investment lawyers with a measure of historical awareness know full well, in the field of foreign investment, the risk of abuse regularly materialised, as ‘home States’ (in the contemporary parlance) reacted coercively against host States accused of having interfered with rights of foreign investors. (...)"
article in ICSID Review - Foreign Investment Law Journal, Volume 37, Issue 1-2, Winter/Spring 2022, Pages 121–137,
ISSN 0258-3690, EISSN 2049-1999
The interaction of investment protection, human rights, and international arbitration is complex. Theories on their interaction are helpful starting points. At the same time, general formulas reach their limits as soon as it comes to evaluating concrete issues. In twelve chapters, the present volume therefore analyses different thematic interactions between investment law and human rights in order to develop a more context-specific understanding. With contributions by Filip Balcerzak, Gustavo Becker, Christina Binder, Tillmann Rudolf Braun, Barnali Choudhury, Henner Gött, Martin Gronemann, Edward Guntrip, Malte Gutt, Anna Hankings-Evans, Rainer Hofmann, Markus Krajewski, Juan Ignacio Massun, Tomasz Milej, Julian Scheu, Stephan W. Schill, Peter-Tobias Stoll, Christian J. Tams and Anne van Aaken.
Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2022
ISBN print: 978-3-8487-7405-0, ISBN online: 978-3-7489-1406-8
This book develops a conceptual framework that captures not only the tensions between constitutional values that are common to liberal democracies – human rights, democracy, and the rule of law – and the investment treaty regime, but also the potential for co-existence and complementarity. Contributions from leading experts in the field address how different systems of constitutional law interact with the investment treaty regime. Chapters provide a detailed overview of the various forms of interaction, and critically engage with the competing claims for supremacy that constitutional law and international investment law formulate. The book also addresses the reactions within the investment treaty regime to the demands formulated by constitutional law, in particular the use of constitutional analogies to understand international investment law and investor-state dispute settlement. Investigating the leading questions and issues surrounding this growing topic, this book will be an ideal read for students and scholars interested in financial, economic, and international law. Practitioners of constitutional law will also benefit from this innovative book.
Schill, S. W. and Tams, C. J. (Eds.) (2022) Frankfurt investment and economic law series. Edward Elgar Publishing.
"The World Court is not an investment court. Over the course of the last century, it has addressed inter-state disputes that reflect the breadth and diversity of international law, from armed activities in the Congo and Nicaragua to questions concerning the guardianship of infants. Only a fraction of its proceedings concern disputes about state interference with foreign investments. And yet, the decisions of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) feature prominently in investment jurisprudence: according to Fauchald’s empirical study, one in two awards refers to it in one way or another. Alain Pellet agrees, noting that ICSID tribunals ‘systematically refer to the Court’s jurisprudence’ and ‘show a particular deference to it’. Many of these references reflect the embeddedness of international investment law (IIL) and arbitration in general international law: PCIJ and ICJ statements on principles of interpretation are widely cited, as is their case law on procedural issues common to all dispute settlement regimes, on the legal effects of interim measures, or on meta-questions such as the requirements for the identification of customary international law...."
Tams, C. J. and Methymaki, E. (2022), In: Ruiz Fabri, H. and Stoppioni, E. (eds.) International Investment Law: An Analysis of the Major Decisions. Series: Studies in international trade and investment law (27). Edward Elgar: Oxford ; London ; New York ; New Delhi ; Sydney, pp. 37-58.
“The Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (Articles), developed by the International Law Commission (ILC), turn 20 this year. On 9 August 2001 – 45 years after the first report by Special Rapporteur Francisco García-Amador on the topic, after 5 Special Rapporteurs and 34 reports by them – the ILC adopted the final text of the Articles, thus bringing to an end work that (in the words of Rosalyn Higgins) were it not for the Commission’s broad understanding of responsibility, ‘should on the face of it [have] take[n] one summer’s work’.3 On 12 December 2001, the UN General Assembly ‘noted’ the Articles and commended them to the attention of Governments in December.4 Since then, reflected in successive reports compiled by the UN Secretary-General, the Articles have become the obvious reference point for debates about State responsibility: they are invoked, applied, cited, criticised, studied by nearly everyone working in or with international law, from undergraduate students to investment tribunals, and even domestic courts.5 They reflect international law’s everyday, routine, application: mostly unspectacular, sometimes pedestrian; dramatic only rarely. What is more, most readers, users, students, critics have been quick to adopt the ILC’s jargon and categories.”
GCILS Working Paper Series