Miami Law Co-Hosts Webinar: COVID-19's Effects on International Economic Law, Focus on Latin America

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Miami Law’s International and Graduate Programs Office and Externado University of Colombia’s Economic Law Department jointly hosted a bilingual webinar on “Trade and Investment in the Hemisphere Under Crisis: Where We Go From Here.” Renowned experts in international economic law from different parts of the world discussed the impact of COVID-19 in the field of international economic law with a focus on Latin America.

“The conference brought together many of the region’s thought leaders in international economic law who are recommending policy changes surrounding actions and reactions to fallout from the global pandemic,” said Kathleen Claussen, co-lead faculty for the event. “It provided access to these pivotal experts and discussion of novel ideas that are being explored or implemented throughout the Americas.”

The program opened with remarks by Miami Law’s Anthony E. Varona, dean and M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law, and José Manuel Álvarez-Zarate, who leads the department of international economic law and master’s program at UExternado.

Álvarez is an expert in international economic law in Colombia and Latin America, and member of the Latin American Network of International Economic Law.

Miami Law and UExternado have an academic collaboration agreement.

Yasmina Assis, associate director of Miami Law’s International Graduate Law Programs, said, “The webinar is the first collaborative academic initiative under the agreement with UExternado. We look forward to many more and believe our Miami Law community as well as UExternado law community will greatly benefit from jointly hosted educational initiatives.”

The conference featured two panel sessions: “Trade Dynamics in a Pandemic,” moderated by Alvarez, and included speakers Nicolas Cobo, Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile; Carolina Palma, University of Costa Rica; Michelle Ratton-Sanchez, Law School of Getulio Vargas Foundation; and Victor Saco, Pontificia Universidad Católica in Peru.

“Changes in Investment Restrictions and Flows due to COVID-19,” followed with Claussen moderating and speakers including Sebastian Espinosa, Legal Secretariat of the Presidency of Ecuador; Fabio Morosini, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul; and Enrique Prieto-Rios, Rosario University. Speakers offered their insight on the ways in which countries have adjusted their trade and investment laws given the pandemic as well as their thoughts on the immediate and long-term impacts of the virus.

“We are living in a time that is more globalized and interconnected as ever, which despite the geographical distances, holds us closer together. This has been proved during these unprecedented times of a global pandemic where measures adopted by one country, even if they are adopted in a national level, may have an impact in the international sphere by affecting trade and building contingencies to international disputes,” said Juliana Carbonell a J.D./LL.M. student in international law who attended the webinar. “’Trade and Investment in the Hemisphere Under Crisis’ may be a pioneer in shortening distance and raising awareness on the importance of bringing the international law community together. I would like to thank the University of Miami School of Law and the Universidad Externado for opening a space such as this one to accomplish a significant goal.”

The conference was co-sponsored by the Latin American Network for International Economic Law, the American Society of International Law International Economic Law Interest Group, and the American Society of International Law Latin America Interest Group.

Watch the video of the webinar here.