Professor M Sornarajah delivers C J Koh Professorial Lecture

Professor M Sornarajah (NUS Law)

The C J Koh Professorial Lecture was delivered by Professor M Sornarajah (NUS Law) on 3 June 2019, titled “The Past and Future of The International Law on Foreign Investment”.

NUS established the C J Koh Professorship in honour of the late lawyer and philanthropist Mr Koh Choon Joo. Established in 1996, the Professorship was to enable NUS Law to engage distinguished legal experts who will teach and participate in research, bringing their knowledge and unique perspectives to the NUS community and to Singapore to further its ever-growing regional and international role. The Professorship is supported by a generous gift from the Estate of C J Koh, and Professor Sornarajah has held the appointment of the C J Koh Professorship for many years now.

Since the publication of the first edition of The International Law on Foreign Investment by Professor Sornarajah in 1992, the law has taken many twists and turns largely inspired by the greed of those participating in its practice and development which sadly included academics. The subject is in disarray due to excesses in the application of the law and chicanery in its formulation. There are many efforts now being made either to extinguish the law or reform it. The outcomes of these efforts is the subject of this lecture.

Chairperson of the Lecture, Professor Antony Anghie (NUS Law) kept a lively question and answer session going.

About the Speaker

Professor M Sornarajah is the C J Koh Professor at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of The International Law on Foreign Investment, the first edition of which was published in 1992. Cambridge University Press will publish the fifth edition of this text in 2020. The survey he makes in the lecture of the law is based on the successive editions of this text. He has participated in investment arbitrations involving several states and advised other states on issues relating to investment treaties. He was, for some time, Director of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Programme on Investment Treaties in Pretoria and New Delhi.  He has established himself firmly as an expert in public international law and international investment law and has published widely.

L-R: Professor Antony Anghie (NUS Law) chairing a question and answer session with Professor Sornarajah

A member of the audience raising a question

Professor Sornarajah addressing a question from the audience

Front row: Professor and Mrs M Sornarajah
Back row (L-R): Associate Professor Wang Jiangyu (NUS Law), Associate Professor Gary Bell (NUS Law), Judicial Commissioner Pang Khang Chau (Supreme Court of Singapore), Professor Antony Anghie (NUS Law), Professor Simon Chesterman (Dean, NUS Law), Justice Chao Hick Tin (Supreme Court of Singapore), Mr Tan Hsuan Heng (C J Koh Estate representative), Mr Cavinder Bull SC (Chief Executive Officer, Drew & Napier LLC) and Associate Professor Jean Ho ’03