Panel 1: The Role and Reach of International Arbitration in Disputes between Sovereign States


On October 5, 2016 at Penn State Law School, the Penn State Research and Career Development Network for Law and International Affairs, Center for Global Studies, The Penn State International Arbitration Group, and Foundation for Law and International Affairs hosted the seminar on the topic of “The Hague Ruling on the South China Sea: The Divergence of Law and Diplomacy.”

Featured guest speakers from China, the US, Italy, the UK attended the seminar. The Interim Dean and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs, Professor James W. Houck, gave the opening remarks. The seminar included three panels.

Panel 1 was moderated by Professor Catherine A. Rogers. Professor Rogers is a scholar of international arbitration and professional ethics at Penn State Law, with a dual appointment as Professor of Ethics, Regulation, and the Rule of Law at Queen Mary, University of London, where she is also Co-Director of the Institute for Ethics and Regulation. The speakers on this panel included Professor Thomas E. Carbonneau, Dr. Liang Zhang, and Mr. Oluwaseun Ajayi. Professor Carbonneau is a scholar of international, comparative, and domestic arbitration. He is the faculty director of Penn State’s Institute for Arbitration Law and Practice and oversees the publication of the Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation. Dr. Liang Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate at International Economic Law Institute, Xiamen University; his interests are basic theory of international law and international economic law. Mr. Ajayi practices complex litigation in the Washington, DC area and most recently represented sovereign state-owned financial institutions and international clients in U.S. litigation.

The panel discussed “The Role and Reach of International Arbitration in Disputes between Sovereign States.” Professor Carbonneau talked about the role and function of international arbitration from a historic perspective. Dr. Liang Zhang shared his opinion on the foundation, function and limitation of International arbitration in the State-State Disputes Settlement. Mr. Ajayi presented his thoughts on “International Litigation in U.S. Courts: Reflections on Advocacy for Sovereign States and Sovereign State-Owned Entities.”