About

What is Forward From Jay?

I created this website to contribute to public discussion surrounding investor state dispute settlement (ISDS). Highly publicized negotiations surrounding trade and investment agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership have generated significant debate surrounding a facet of international law that it has never been seen before, despite the system’s 50+ years of existence. Much of the discussion generated, however, has been dominated by critics of ISDS who have put forward arguments against the system that rely on misconceptions and — all too frequently — fear-mongering.

Forward From Jay exists as a counterbalance to ISDS critics who have so far done a better job at publicizing their case than members of the international arbitration community.

Who am I?

My name is Thomas. I work for a “Big 4” professional services firm in Vancouver, Canada. Previously, I worked at an international consultancy firm in Malaysia and Singapore.

I hold a B.A. in political science and philosophy and an M.A. in political science. My master’s thesis was an assessment of proposals to reform the ISDS system and much of my research involved critically analyzing some of the major anti-ISDS arguments in the literature. Unsurprisingly, I found that most of the arguments were not very good.

I am also currently an LL.B. candidate with the University of London and anticipate graduating from the program in 2017.

What’s in a name?

The Jay Treaty was a landmark treaty between the United States and Great Britain that marked the re-emergence of international arbitration as an important aspect of how states conduct their affairs. I’ve named this website Forward From Jay because I’m passionate about how we can continue to move international arbitration forward from the Jay Treaty as a positive and progressive tool of global governance and global rule of law.

As usual

This is a personal website. Any opinions that may be expressed on this website are mine and mine only.

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