A theory of boilerplate in international agreements
February 13, 2023 @ 2:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Michael Waibel (University of Vienna)
Chair: Dr Yusra Suedi (LSE)
‘Boilerplate’ terms are those that appear in a multitude of agreements – such as ‘entry into force’ terms copied directly from the United Nations Handbook on Final Clauses. We know little about such boilerplate in international law. However, literature in a different institutional setting, private law contracts, indicates that while boilerplate can make negotiations more efficient, it has a dark side: it may be imposed by more powerful parties to gain benefits; it can persist even as conditions change; and it can take on a life of its own and come to mean something different from what was intended by the drafters.
Michael Waibel is a professor of international law at the University of Vienna. His teaching and writing focus on international law, international economic law, sovereign debt and international dispute settlement. He received the Deák Prize of the American Society of International Law, the Book Prize of the European Society of International Law and a Leverhulme Prize for his research. He is Co-General Editor of the ICSID Reports (with Jorge Viñuales) and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Economic Law (with Kathleen Claussen and Sergio Puig).Previously, he taught for a decade at the University of Cambridge, und was from 2015-2019 co-deputy director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and Director of Studies at Jesus College. In 2010-2011 he was the Schmidheiny Visiting Assistant Professor in Law and Economics at the University of St. Gallen. In 2019, he was Nomura Visiting Professor of International Financial Systems at Harvard Law School.
This seminar is organised by the Public International Law Research Hub.