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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - International Dispute Resolution

Opening Lecture by Prof Dr van Houtte, 19 October 2018


Very rarely do we see a dispute revolutionising an entire field of law, but such has been the impact of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (IUSCT) in the field of Public International Law and international arbitration. IUSCT is a special Tribunal, which was established in 1981 to settle hundreds of claims arising due to US sanctions on the Iranian assets following the capture of the US embassy by Iran’s revolutionary group. The number of cases and the complexities involved are such that the Tribunal still exists and is expected to take another decade to wind down.

On 19 October, we had the privilege to host Prof Dr Hans van Houtte at Humboldt University of Berlin. He delivered a lecture on ‘IUSCT and its Contribution to Public International Law’ on the occasion of the official opening of the 4thyear of the IDR LL.M. Prof. van Houtte who chaired the IUSCT for 8 years from 2010-2017, took the students through the 37-year thrilling journey of IUSCT. He later discussed how IUSCT has had an influence on UNCITRAL rules on arbitration, investment arbitration, principles of lex mercatoriaand has played a pivotal role in rise of The Hague as the ‘capital of justice’. He then opened the floor for questions and was pleased to enter into dialogue with the budding IDR LL.M. students and the arbitration lawyers in the audience.

The lecture was followed by a reception generously sponsored by the law firm Bodenheimer Herzberg.


Vinayak Kapur, IDR LL.M. Candidate