Nicola Strain successfully defends her PhD thesis

On 16 June 2022, Master of Law Nicola Claire Strain held a trial lecture and successfully defended her thesis “Jurisdiction and Applicable Law in Investor-State and WTO Dispute Settlement. Comparing Consent and Inconsistency in the Application of Other International Law”.

the PhD candidate and her supervisors standing in front of a screen where the committee is visible

Background: Michael Waibel and Valentina Vadi. Foreground: Mads Andenæs, Nicola Strain, Astrid Iversen, Vibeke Blaker Strand, Johann Ruben Leiss, and Freya Baetens. Photo: Guro Frostestad.

On 16 June 2022, Master of Law Nicola Claire Strain held a trial lecture and successfully defended her thesis “Jurisdiction and Applicable Law in Investor-State and WTO Dispute Settlement. Comparing Consent and Inconsistency in the Application of Other International Law”.

Strain’s thesis addressed the question of what law an international tribunal is authorized to apply in settling disputes. Strain examined three legal avenues through which the WTO and investor-state adjudicators could bring in other international law into the economic dispute: applicable law, general principles of law, and systemic integration. The thesis undertakes an extensive empirical study of the application of a vast range of international law, from customary law to environmental treaties.

Strain’s trial lecture was on the timely topic of “The Legality of Joint Statement Initiatives”. The adjudication committee commenced her for her pedagogical, clear, and structured presentation, which provided some food for thought.

The committee was chaired by Postdoctoral Fellow Astrid Iversen (INN University). Professor Michael Waibel (University of Vienna) was appointed the first opponent and Adjunct Professor Valentina Vadi (University of Florence) was the second opponent.

The defense was chaired by Vice Dean Vibeke Blaker Strand. Strain was supervised by Professor Freya Baetens, Professor Mads Andenæs, and Associate Professor Johann Ruben Leiss. The thesis is part of PluriCourts’ research project State Consent to International Jurisdiction: Conferral, Modification and Termination, which is supported by the Research Council of Norway. 

By Mahalet Tadesse
Published June 27, 2022 10:28 AM - Last modified June 27, 2022 11:08 AM