On October 17, 2017, doctoral student Alexandre Genest defended his PhD dissertation, entitled “Performance Requirement Prohibitions in International Investment Law”, as part of a double PhD programme at the University of Ottawa and the University of Leiden, the oldest university in the Netherlands.
As part of a cotutelle doctoral program, Mr. Genest was enrolled jointly at both universities, and was guided by thesis supervisors at each institution: Professors Marielle Koppenol-Laforce and Freya Baetens at the University of Leiden, and Professor Patrick Dumberry at the University of Ottawa. The thesis defense took place in Leiden, in front of a jury chosen by the two partner universities. The defense included Dean Céline Lévesque of the Civil Law Section as part of the Examining Committee, and Professor Tony VanDuzer of the Common Law Section as part of the Opposition Committee.
Mr. Genest’s thesis sets out to answer two research questions in relation to “performance requirements” which appear in numerous trade agreements and investment treaties between States. As these performance requirements are generally seen as distorting trade and the free flow of goods, his aim was to propose a solution to minimize these effects in situations where the requirements need to be applied. He researched how States prohibit performance requirements in investment and trade agreements, developing a set of unified interpretation and application standards to provide law makers, judges and tribunals with a catalogue on how performance requirements should be drafted and interpreted to maximize their application.
Having now defended his dissertation, Mr. Genest will receive a separate degree from each university.
Congratulations to Mr. Genest on this special achievement!