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Institution: Waseda University

Period of stay: 27 September 2021 - 31 August 2022










Yuka Fukunaga is a Professor at Waseda University, where she teaches public international law and international economic law. She is also an Executive Council Member of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), an Executive Council Member of the Japan Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) and a Board Member of the Japan Association of International Economic Law. She currently serves as a Book Review Editor of the Journal of International Economic Law. She was an Assistant Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and an Intern at the Appellate Body Secretariat, World Trade Organization (WTO). She holds an LL.D. (2013) and an LL.M. (1999) from the Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo, and an LL.M. (2000) from the School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. Yuka is a frequent speaker at international conferences and has published a number of articles and chapters in the field of international trade and investment law, including “Securing Compliance with International Economic Agreements and Dispute Settlement: The Role and Limits of the WTO Dispute Settlement and Investment Arbitration” (Yuhikaku, 2013). Yuka is a winner of the Waseda Research Award in 2017.

Research Area:

International trade and investment law

Research Title:

Reform of International Economic Dispute Settlement

Research Outline:

My research objective is to examine how WTO dispute settlement and investor-state arbitration should be reformed. 

Criticisms of WTO dispute settlement and Investor-state arbitration involve many separate but closely related issues. For example, how should the Appellate Body and investment arbitral tribunals interpret applicable law and how much “precedential” value should they attach to their past decisions? How should WTO dispute settlement panels and investor arbitral tribunals make factual findings and how much deference should they give to factual determinations by the domestic authorities? How should decision makers in WTO dispute settlement and investor-state arbitration be selected?

My research seeks to answer these questions by making a comparative analysis of WTO dispute settlement and investor-state arbitration and explores the possibility of cross-fertilization between them.

The project is financially sponsored by a program of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) for Fostering Joint International Research.


Yuka Fukunaga, Precedent in Investment Arbitration: Is an Institutionalized Investment Court More Desirable?, in Chia-Jui Cheng ed., A New Global Economic Order: New Challenges to International Trade Law (Brill, 2022)

Yuka Fukunaga, Are digital trade disputes 'trade disputes'?, in Shin-yi Peng, Ching-Fu Lin, and Thomas Streinz eds., Artificial Intelligence and International Economic Law: Disruption, Regulation, and Reconfiguration (OUP, 2021)

Yuka Fukunaga, The Appellate Body’s Power to Interpret the WTO Agreements and WTO Members’ Power to Disagree with the Appellate Body, 20 Journal of World Investment and Trade 793 (2019)

Yuka Fukunaga, Margin of Appreciation as an Indicator of Judicial Deference: Is It Applicable to Investment Arbitration?, 10 Journal of International Dispute Settlement 69 (2019)

Yuka Fukunaga, Abuse of Process under International Law and Investment Arbitration, 33 ICSID Review - Foreign Investment Law Journal 181 (2018)

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