HK law professor wins international arbitration accolade

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Julien Chaisse 2021 Smit-Lowenfeld Prize
Julien Chaisse

The City University of Hong Kong’s professor of law, Julien Chaisse, was awarded the 2021 Smit-Lowenfeld Prize for the best article in the field of international arbitration by the International Arbitration Club of New York.

His award-winning article in Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law titled “Cybersecurity and the Protection of Digital Assets – Assessing the Role of International Investment Law and Arbitration” examines the extent to which digital assets can or might be protected as investments in investment treaty arbitrations. Co-author Cristen Bauer shared the prize.

Chaisse and Bauer explored how digital assets can be treated as covered investments by analysing three potential investment claims. They also considered potential updates to bilateral investment treaties (BITs), including language related to cyberattacks and digital assets, as part of collaborative measures that incorporate a cybersecurity risk management framework in broader economic and social policies.

“There are many challenges to bringing a digital claim in the international investment law system,” Chaisse told Asia Business Law Journal. “Given the rapidly changing cybersphere, digitisation of companies, and the forecast for investment in digital infrastructure globally, future claims are likely to emerge. To avoid uncertainty and eliminate risk, states can proactively address these issues by updating their BIT language to include cyber risk and digital assets.”

The Smit-Lowenfeld Prize is awarded to recognise the outstanding article published in the previous year on any aspect of international arbitration.