King's College London

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Ms Mona Pinchis-Paulsen

Biographical details

Mona is currently completing her Ph.D. in Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law, University of London (King’s College) under the supervision of Dr. Federico Ortino and Dean David Caron. Mona's doctoral project is titled: The Life and Death (and Re-Birth) of “Fair and” “Equitable Treatment:” A Historical Examination of Twentieth Century International Trade and Investment Law Treaty-Making and Political Decision-Making.

Mona’s thesis seeks to understand why governments began including the ‘fair and’ ‘equitable treatment’ (FET/ET) concept in investment-focused treaties when today, its vagueness opens the door to innumerable types of complaints from private investors against host governments. To resolve this question, Mona’s work focuses on the historic archived materials (collected in Geneva, Paris, London, and Washington, D.C.) of trade and investment law-making and policy-making from 1919 to 1962. In the time-period studied, Mona’s thesis shows how international institutions, governments, and other actors associated diverse reasons for citing FET/ET within international trade and investment law policy and agreements.

Prior to beginning her Ph.D., Mona worked for Appleton & Associates’ international dispute resolution practice. As an international legal researcher and scholar-in-residence, Mona drafted legal arguments for NAFTA and non-NAFTA arbitrations, provided in-depth review of international law and procedural course of action, and addressed the challenges that lawyers faced in a variety of international investment cases.

In 2006, Mona successfully received both a Canadian Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and an American Juris Doctor (J.D.) in Law. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in History (emphasis on North American Constitutional History). Called to the Ontario Bar in 2007, Mona gained experience at a premiere Canadian law firm, where she worked in transnational matters, including competition law and energy procurement. Mona is a 2011 graduate of the Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International & Comparative Law at The George Washington University Law School.  Supervised by Professor Steve Charnovitz, Mona examined the WTO subsidy rules, with respect to the American subsidies program to General Motors Corp.

Mona is currently the Assistant Editor for the Journal of International Dispute Settlement. In 2016, Mona served as a Visiting Lecturer for the 'International Investment Law' LLM course. In 2013 and 2014 she was a Tutor for the ‘Elements of the Law of Contract’ LL.B. course at King’s, and coached for the King’s College London team in the 2013 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Moot Competition. For the 2016/2017 academic year, Mona will be a Visiting Student Researcher at Stanford Law School.



Research interests

Mona's research explores the following topics:

  • the historical development of international investment law and policy;
  • the politics and economics underlying international economic treaty design;
  • the relationship between international investment standards and various trade law standards;
  • the functions of international institutions focused on trade, economic and financial governance;
  • the formation and evidence of customary international law; and
  • modern law-making approaches, including 'collective decision-making' and informal law-making.

In addition to her doctoral work, Mona is interested in the following topics:

  • the historical analysis of international law, generally;
  • the regulation of international trade, with a particular interest in subsidies;
  • rules governing the conduct of transnational business; 
  • the on-going Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations and the Trans-Pacific Partnership;
  • the EU proposal for a multilateral investment court, as elaborated within the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement.

Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Frankfurt Investment Law Workshop: International Investment Law and History

Mona Pinchis-Paulsen (Invited speaker)
14 Mar 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Participation in conference

Society of International Economic Law

Mona Pinchis-Paulsen (Participant)
12 Jul 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

The International Law Association (ILA) British Branch Spring Conference: "Foundations & Futures of International Law"

Mona Pinchis-Paulsen (Participant)
24 May 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Seventh Annual International Graduate Legal Research Conference

Mona Pinchis-Paulsen (Participant)
9 Apr 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Types of Business and Community - Other

Coach of the 2013 King's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Moot team

Mona Pinchis-Paulsen (Advisor)
Feb 2013Oct 2013

Activity: OtherTypes of Business and Community - Other

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