Message from the Director

As the first message from the Director, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the CIL website. The year 2020 will be remembered because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the transformational changes it has brought to the world. International law and its institutions have been equally impacted. The pandemic brought unprecedented disruptions to our personal lives, international relations, trade activities, supply chains, transport systems, travel and more. Despite the restrictions on our daily lives, the CIL has remained active.

To understand the broader repercussions of the Covid-19 in relation to international law, the CIL launched its first eConference series “Covid-19 and Challenges to the International Legal Order. Since 29 April, we have held seven webinars as part of the series. Internationally recognized international law experts, high level representatives of governments and international organizations, engaged in lively discussions on the effects and possible consequences of Covid-19 involving a broad range of topics including the role of the WHO, the question of “clash” of different rights under international law, international trade and investment law, international dispute settlement, ASEAN policy, aviation and shipping. The CIL was very pleased to have an audience from all parts of the world, reaching over 70 countries. The recordings of each session are available on our website.

In addition to the eConference series, CIL research staff continued to be active:

  • Associate Professor Beckman broadcasted a video lecture on extended continental shelf submissions in the South China Sea and responses from other littoral states.
  • Jansen Calamita published a note in Investment Treaty News on UNCITRAL Working Group III Debate: Enforceability of awards by an appellate mechanism or an investment court under the ICSID and New York Convention”. The note is available at and CIL website.
  • The ASEAN team is working with Ambassador Kok Li Peng, Singapore’s member of the Committee of Permanent Representatives, in making available the numerous ASEAN instruments on COVID-19 on the CIL Document Database. This set of documents will be very useful for our readers and legal practitioners.
  • In a recent podcast by Ms Denise Cheong, she gave an overview of how and why nuclear law and policy became a new focus area at CIL and introduces “Nuclear Matters at CIL”.
  • The TRILA team has just published the Teaching and Researching International Law in Asia Project Report 2020. Professor Tony Anghie and team have comprehensively assessed the current state of the teaching and researching of international law in Asia to understand the needs and concerns in the region, giving teachers in Asia a broader and comparative perspective. A copy of the report can be downloaded from the CIL website.
  • The IDR team has been finalizing its bibliography on investor-State dispute conciliation and mediation. We look forward to seeing the bibliography published on Oxford Bibliographies.

The CIL has also initiated audio and video podcast series. To date, we have posted interviews with Professor Tommy Koh on his experience as President of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea, his new book Building a New Legal Order for the Oceans; and an interview with Dean Simon Chesterman on his book Oxford Handbook of International Law in Asia and the Pacific. In addition, Associate Professor Robert Beckman provided a lecture on the Extended Continental Shelf Claims in the South China Sea; and Ms Denise Cheong on an Introduction to Nuclear Law and Policy – A New Focus for CIL . In addition, Ms Chan Sze-Wei provides an overview of the acclaimed CIL Document Database’s ASEAN and International Law collections.

CIL has also introduced a new blog spot.  To date three blogs were posted by members of the CIL, Dr Ayelet Berman (The World Health Organization and COVID-19: How Much Legal Authority Does the WHO Really Have to Manage the Pandemic), Dr Neha Mishra (Digital Trade in the Time of COVID-19), and myself (A reflection on shipping and pandemics: From 14th century quarantines to the 2005 International Health Regulations).

Each month I will share with you the activities of the CIL. Please continue to follow us.

Warm regards,
Nilüfer Oral