Postdoctoral Researcher in ERC-Project on Private-Public Arbitration

The Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam is offering a position for a postdoctoral researcher in the ERC-funded project ‘Transnational Private-Public Arbitration as Global Regulatory Governance: Charting and Codifying the Lex Mercatoria Publica’, coordinated by Prof Stephan Schill. The project is conducted within the framework of the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) one of the centres of excellence of the University of Amsterdam. ACIL aims to promote high-quality research and education on public international law. Its research programme focuses on development and application of international law and its interaction with national legal orders.

Lex Mercatoria Publica Project
The Lex Mercatoria Publica project analyzes the rising phenomenon of transnational arbitrations between private economic actors and public law bodies (based both on investment treaties and contracts between private and public actors) as a mechanism of global regulatory governance. Its aim is to uncover to which extent and under which conditions arbitrators generate the rules governing public-private relations rather independently of specific domestic legal systems and their democratic processes, and thereby prospectively steer government conduct. The body of law crafted by arbitral tribunals is what the project designates as ‘lex mercatoria publica’. The project aims at describing and analyzing the content of the lex mercatoria publica and develop normative criteria to assess the legitimacy of private-public arbitrations in democratic societies that are based on the rule of law.

Postdoctoral Research: Charting Arbitral Practice in Private-Public Arbitrations
During its first phase the project has explored the conditions under which different domestic legal systems permit private-public arbitrations. In the next step, for which the postdoctoral researcher will be employed, the project will engage in empirical research into the practice of arbitral tribunals sitting in private-public arbitrations, in particular contract-based disputes. The post-docs tasks will involve research into published and the collection of unpublished decisions and awards of arbitral tribunals in public-private arbitration. This research is intended to be done in close interaction with major arbitration institutions, international law firms engaged in private-public arbitration, and international arbitrators sitting in these cases. Research stays and travel abroad may be necessary for this purpose. A central question will also be whether arbitral practice develops in the context of a worldwide frame of reference, or whether regional practices dominate. The practice of private-public arbitration that is uncovered during this stage of the research will be the basis for getting a clearer picture of the principles and rules forming part of the lex mercatoria publica.

The postdoctoral researcher is expected to undertake research independently and work towards the publication of a research monograph or several publications in leading international journals. The researcher will benefit from committed research supervision by the project leader as well as interaction with other researchers in the lively and supportive intellectual environment of the ACIL, a centre of excellence at the University of Amsterdam’s Law Faculty, which has since long enjoyed a strong, international reputation for critical innovation in legal research.


 *   engages in independent scientific research that will result in high-quality publications in leading international journals;
 *   actively contribute to the research community at the ACIL and the Law Faculty, e.g. in research meetings and seminars;
 *   regularly present intermediate research results at international workshops and conferences, and publish them in proceedings and journals;
 *   participate in the organization of research activities and events, such as conferences, workshops and joint publications;
 *   may (but will not be required to) lecture on subjects in the Faculty’s curriculum.


 *   Completed PhD degree at start of the employment;
 *   demonstrable research interest in international arbitration, both commercial and treaty-based, and, ideally, also its theory;
 *   excellent command of English (written and spoken);
 *   interest in cross-disciplinary research and ability to work in a team.

Further Information
To discuss the position informally, please contact:

 *   Prof Stephan Schill –
 *   Project summary

The postdoctoral researcher’s appointment will be originally for the period of one year, with a possibility for prolongation for up to two years. The appointment preferably commences on 1 June 2016 as soon as possible. Extension of the contract is subject to satisfactory performance after the first year. The gross full-time monthly salary will be in accordance with the salary scales for postdoctoral researchers at Dutch universities, scales 10 and 11, ranging from €2,532 up to €4,654. Secondary benefits at Dutch universities are attractive and include 8% holiday pay and an 8.3% end of year bonus.

Job Application
To apply please submit the following items in Word or PDF format electronically to:  attn. Dr D.J. Den Boer, Director of the Faculty of Law:

 *   cover letter;
 *   CV;
 *   contact details of 2 referees;
 *   proof of your Master’s and PhD degrees, including grade transcripts. If you have not completed your PhD degree at the time of application, please provide a statement from your supervisor confirming the expected date of completion;
 *   a writing sample with no more than approx. 50 pages in total, such as one chapter of the PhD thesis or a scholarly paper;
 *   research proposal.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications including the research proposal is 15 April 2016.