Message from the Director

During the month of July, CIL continued to be active and productive and I am pleased to highlight some of the main activities in this monthly message.

Launching of CIL eAcademy of International Law 2020
First, I am very pleased to announce the launching of the pilot project “CIL Academy of International Law (CIL eAcademy 2020)”. The 15-week on-line course will be delivered by eminent names in international law. Prof. Patricia Galvao Teles, a member of the International Law Commission, and myself are the Co-Directors, ably assisted by Gerry Ng.

Ocean Law and Policy
On the Ocean Law and Policy front, Prof Robert Beckman is one of four persons nominated by Vietnam to the List of Arbitrators under Annex VII of the 1982 UN Convention of the Law of the Sea on Arbitration. This is a well-earned recognition of his expertise in the law of the sea.

Research Fellow Dr Arron Honniball also participated as a Member of Committee of Appointed Judges for the 2020 Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) Moot Court Competition.

Congratulations to Senior Research Fellow, Dr Tara Davenport, for being appointed as the Deputy Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL) as well as to the Editorial Board of the Asian Journal of International Law. We look forward to strengthened collaboration between CIL and APCEL.

Prof. Beckman published a commentary  in the Singapore Straits Times, 22 Julye 2020 “ US Has More Ways Now to Challenge China’s Maritime Claims

Arron N Honniball published in the Journal of Territorial and Maritime StudiesUnilateral Trade Measures and the Importance of Defining IUU Fishing: Lessons from the 2019 USA “Concerns” with China as a Fishing Flag State

Investment Law and Policy
The Investment Law and Policy team has been very active launching a series of six closed-door e-workshops on “Setting a Research Agenda in International Economic Law”. These sessions, moderated by Research Assoc Prof (CIL) N Jansen Calamita, bring together 15 leading scholars in International Economic Law from Asian, Europe and Australia.

I am also pleased to relay an example of the global impact of CIL with a message recently received from the National Agency for the Legal Defense of the State of Columbia, advising Prof. Jansen how his handbook on investment obligations was being adapted for use in Columbia.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Ayelet Berman  co-hosted with the American Society of International Law a webinar on “Covid-19: A New Surveillance Era?” on 29 July 2020. The session garnered a total of 429 registrations on Zoom but achieved an additional total of 764 views on Facebook streaming. Prof Simon Chesterman moderated the session. The speakers were Prof. Vivek Krishnamurthy (University of Ottawa), Peggy Hicks (Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights) and Sheridan Fellow Benjamin Wong (NUS Law).

International Law and Practice
Dr Romesh Weeramantry  spoke at some eminent international webinars including one on “Global Investment Governance” organized by Chatham House, London and another on “ISDS reform organized by Aarna Law Firm, India. Dr. Weeramantry also spoke at the third instalment of the CIL closed door eWorkshop on “Setting a Research Agenda in International Economic Law.”

Dr. Weeramantry and Brian Chang have signed a contract with Oxford Bibliographies in International Law to publish their bibliography on investor-State conciliation.

ASEAN Law and Policy
The ASEAN Law and Policy team has decided to shift the ASEAN Law Academy to February 2021 and this will be held virtually. Dr Tan Hsien-Li will commence a teaching/syllabus series as part of the ASEAN Law Academy (Educator Programme) in mid-August. We hope you can also join us at the webinar that Prof Weiler will be speaking at called “The End of Pax Americana and the Role of ASEAN and Singapore” on Friday 21 August 2020.

Nuclear Law and Policy
The Nuclear Law and Policy team has been working on a report on ASEAN nuclear governance in which they discussed the evolution of the ASEAN nuclear agenda and examines the concurrent development of the ASEAN nuclear governance framework from a single multilateral agreement. For those who are interested in this topic, do look out for the related e-event that the team is planning.

The team also participated in a webinar entitled “NBP Conversations: Philippines Nuclear Energy Market Update” held on 29 July. Speakers included Alfonso Cusi, Secretary of Energy, Department of Energy and Dr. Carlo Arcilla, Director, Philippines Nuclear Research Institute.

The Nuclear team has also posted on the CIL website full series of four podcasts on the fundamentals of nuclear safety, security and safeguards and their interrelationships is now available on the CIL website.

The TRILA team, Prof. Tony Anghie and Amiel Valdez, successfully conducted an intensive 3-day workshop via Zoom with 43 scholars from Indonesia, of which 35 came from 22 different law schools in Indonesia. The TRILA team received very positive responses from all the attendees. Prof. Anghie was also invited to give a keynote address on `The Pandemic and Global Governance: Problems and Prospects’ at an online conference on `The Changing Dynamics of International Law in the 21st Century’.

In regard to my activities, on 23 July I participated in a webinar on “Seeking an advisory opinion on climate change from the ICJ and/or the ITLOS: Strategic objectives, potential pathways and the politics of coalition building”.

In last month’s report to the Board, I had not included my own activities for June, which I retroactively provide below:

–  Spoke at the annual meeting of the American Society for International Law (ASIL) session on “Addressing the Law of the Sea Challenges of Sea-Level Rise”. Other panellists were Prof. Rudiger Wolfrum, Prof. Alfred Soons and moderator Prof. Patricia Galvao Teles;
– Guest lecturer for the Singapore Law Society and gave a webinar presentation on “Covid-19 and the International Obligations of States;”
– Co-Facilitator with Professor Dire Tladi for the BBNJ Informal Intersessional Dialogues Sponsored by the Kingdom of Belgium, Principality of Monaco, Columbia and Nobel Center for Dialogue and Peacebuilding.
– Spoke at a webinar sponsored by Archipelagic and Island States Forum (AIS): “Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Sovereignty and Maritime Boundaries: Through the Lens of International Law” together with Ambassador Arif Havas Oegroseno.

Welcome to the new members of CIL
I also take this opportunity to welcome two new Research Apprenticeships who were hired under SG United Traineeship Programme (listed at the right column under HR Updates):

Joel Sherard Chow will be joining the International Dispute Resolution Team to assist Dr Romesh Weeramantry; and
Yvette Foo who will be joining the ASEAN Law and Policy Team to assist Dr Tan Hsien-Li.

Celebratory news
Lastly, CIL warmly congratulates Brian Chang on his recent engagement.

I welcome you to follow the CIL on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Warm regards,
Nilüfer Oral