Alberto Alvarez-Jimenez - Senior Lecturer

LLB (summa cum laude) La Sabana Graduate Law Degree Los Andes LLM McGill PhD Ottawa

Alberto Alvarez-Jimenez

Alberto Alvarez-Jimenez holds a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Ottawa, an LL.M from McGill University, and a law degree from La Sabana University in Colombia, where he graduated cum laude. Prior to joining Te Piringa Faculty of Law, he lectured at the University of Ottawa in Canada and at several South American law schools. He has lived in Latin America, North America, Europe, and New Zealand and speaks English, Spanish, and French.

Alberto’s research agenda concentrates on public international law, international trade law, and foreign investment law from a multi-disciplinary perspective: law and economics, political science, and international relations. He has published more than 25 articles in prominent peer-reviewed journals in the United States, Germany, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. .

His research agenda in public international law comprises issues related to the right of self-defense under the UN Charter, customary international law, diplomatic protection, the interpretation of treaties, state responsibility, international organizations, and the law of international boundaries. His publications in this domain have appeared, for instance, in the EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, the INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW QUARTERLY, the JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE SETTLEMENT, and the CANADIAN YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW.

In the realm of international trade law, he has published in the three most influential and competitive journals—the JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW, the JOURNAL OF WORLD TRADE, and the WORLD TRADE REVIEW. Topics published have included analyses of the case-law and operation of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization, and of some of the implications for the dispute settlement system of the WTO of the Canada – U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement.

In the field of international investment, his research has also been welcomed by very distinguished publications, such as the JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION, the AMERICAN REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION, the YEARBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW AND POLICY, and the JOURNAL OF WORLD INVESTMENT AND TRADE. One of his main subject-matters in this area is the application of the state of necessity when invoked by States as an excuse for violations of international law obligations owed to foreign investors.

Alberto’s research has been cited, for instance, by a President of the International Court of Justice and by members of the WTO Appellate Body and the UN International Law Commission.

Most recently, Alberto has presented his research at academic events in Moscow (European Society of International Law, 2016); The Hague (Academic Council of the United Nations System, 2015), New York (American Society of International Law, 2014); and Canberra (Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law, 2014).

In addition to promoting in depth assessments of facts and law, his teaching philosophy has a complementary principle: a constant encouragement to students to expand their intellectual horizons. In his view, films, literature, art, music, among others, should usually be the companions of those aspiring to become accomplished legal minds.

Further to the international law areas mentioned above, Alberto welcomes applications from PhD candidates on international humanitarian law, international human rights, international organizations, and legal theory.

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Recent Publications

Articles (Peer-Reviewed)

Advancing Doctrine through Devil’s Advocacy: A Response to Alan O. Sykes, 109 AJIL Unbound 175 (2015). Symposium on Alan O. Sykes, “Economic ‘Necessity’ in International Law”. American Society of International Law. December 2015. (Article commissioned by the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law).

The Political Economy of Crises and the International Law of Necessity, YEARBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW AND POLICY 473 (2015).

The Great Recession and the New Frontiers of International Investment Law: the Economics of Early Warning Models and the Law of Necessity, 17 JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW 517 (2014).

Boundary Agreements in the International Court of Justice’s Case-Law: 2000–2010, 23 EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 495 (2012). (leading journal in international law).

The International Court of Justice’s Use of the Vienna Convention in the Interpretation of Boundary Agreements: 2000–2010, 3 JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE SETTLEMENT 409 (2012). (leading journal in international law).

Private Rights, the Use of Maps, State Responsibility and Other Issues in the International Court of Justice’s Boundary Jurisprudence: 2000–2010, XLIX CANADIAN YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 177. (2011).

The Interpretation of Necessity Clauses in Bilateral Investment Treaties After The Recent ICSID Annulment Decisions, YEARBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT LAW AND POLICY 411 (2011). (leading journal in foreign investment law; published out of Columbia Law School).

Methods for the Identification of Customary International Law in the International Court of Justice’s New Millennium Jurisprudence: 2000–2009, 60 INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW QUARTERLY 681(2011). (leading European journal in public international law; published out of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law).

Mutually Agreed Solutions under the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding: An Analytical Framework After the Softwood Lumber Arbitration, 10 WORLD TRADE REVIEW 543 (2011). (leading journal in international trade law; academic journal published by World Trade Organization).

Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering and International Trade Restrictions After the WTO Panel Report in Colombia—Ports of Entry: How to Align WTO Law with International Law, 45 JOURNAL OF WORLD TRADE 117 (2011). (Leading journal in international trade law).

Open Hearings at the WTO Appellate Body: The Next Step, 59 INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW QUARTERLY 1079 (2010).


Foreign Investment Protection and Regulatory Failures as States’ Contribution to the State of Necessity under Customary International Law: A New Approach Based on the Complexity of Argentina’s 2001 Crisis, 27 JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION 141 (2010).

Book Chapters

Improvements to the WTO Decision-Making Process: Lessons from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in REDESIGNING THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (Debra Steger, ed. 2010).


The Alleged Right to Self-Defense Against Autonomous Non-State Actors: Steps Forward, Setbacks, and the Road Ahead. Paper presented at the 42st Annual Conference of the Canadian Council on International Law. Ottawa. November 14 – 16. 2013.

A Perfect Model for International Adjudication? Collegial Decision-Making in the WTO Appellate Body. Paper presented at the 2009 Research Colloquium on International Economic Law organized by the American Society of International Law, University of California, Los Angeles, February 13, 2009.

A Reasonable Period of Time for Dispute Settlement Implementation: An Operative Interpretation for Developing Country Complainants. Paper delivered to the lawyers of the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat and of the WTO Legal Division, Geneva, August 2007.

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