The Academic Forum on ISDS (hereinafter referred to as the "Forum"), was officially established recently with its secretariat located in Geneva. The Forum emphasizes its neutrality and academic nature, aiming to provide intellectual support and debate venues for relevant international organizations and countries, especially Working Group III of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), on the current reform of ISDS, and to contribute to shaping a more sustainable ISDS mechanism that is in accordance with the rule-of-law. The Forum is an invitation-based forum with about 150 scholars in the field of international investment law and dispute settlement worldwide, covering almost all legal systems and geographical regions. At present, the Forum has seven expert working groups. In addition to a bi-annually meeting in parallel with Working Group III of UNCITRAL, it also holds special meetings regularly to cooperate, write reports, publish articles and provide advice. The official website of the Forum is tentatively designated as: https://www.cids.ch/academic-forum.
To better serve the global academic community, the Forum recently established a Steering Committee as its permanent decision-making and day-to-day management body. The members of the decision-making committee are composed of scholars with international academic influence, activity and public interest. Elected by international peers and voted at the Vienna Conference in October 2018, 13 scholars from nine countries were appointed members of the first decision-making committee, including Australia (Anthea Roberts), Canada (Andrea Bjorklund), China (Manjiao Chi), Egypt (Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab), France (Diego P. Fernández Arroyo, Catherine Titi), Norway (Malcolm Langford, Daniel Behn), Switzerland (Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler，Michele Potestà) , the U.K. (Stavros Brekoulakis) and the U.S. (George Bermann, Won Kidane). Professor Malcolm Langford of the University of Oslo School of Law served as the first Chairman of the Decision-Making Committee on the recommendation of all members.
Professor Chi Manjiao also participated in many important works of the Forum besides serving as a member of the Decision-Making Committee, including the Forum's Fourth Expert Working Group (the concept of "error" and "correctness" of international investment arbitration awards), and worked with several international counterparts to draft a multilingual version of the Terminology Collection of International Investment Law. The results of these studies are expected to be presented to participating countries and observers at the UNCITR AL Working Group III meeting in New York in April this year.