Joanna Lam

Joanna Lam

Professor MSO

Joanna Lam is Professor mso at the Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) and Head of the Study Hub for International Economic Law and Development (SHIELD) at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. Together with Julien Chaisse, she serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of World Investment & Trade.

Lam specializes in international business law and arbitration. Her recent research focuses on investor obligations; contracts in the energy sector; and transparency in international economic dispute resolution. Lam's work has been supported by, inter alia, Fulbright Foundation, Carlsberg Foundation, Dreyer Foundation, Harvard University and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. She is currently the PI of the project ENERGIZE: Re-Shaping International Investment Law for the Green Transition, conducted in collaboration with University of Hamburg and University of Warsaw (Independent Research Fund Denmark).

Joanna Lam graduated from Harvard Law School and holds doctoral and habilitation degrees in juridical sciences. She is also a licensed attorney-at-law. She was a Fulbright Fellow at Harvard Law School, and subsequently held visiting appointments at, inter alia, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), Harvard Law School and University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Lam is an author and editor of a number of books, including the monograph Legal Interpretation in International Commercial Arbitration (Routledge 2014), and the volumes Establishing Judicial Authority in International Economic Law (Cambridge University Press 2016; Joanna Jemielniak, Laura Nielsen and Henrik Palmer Olsen eds.) and Language and Legal Interpretation in International Law (Oxford University Press 2022; Anne Lise Kjær and Joanna Lam eds.). Her articles were published in, inter alia: Journal of International Economic Law, Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, Leiden Journal of International Law, European Business Law Review and Journal of International Arbitration.

Primary fields of research

International Economic Law

International Commercial Contracts

International Arbitration

Legal Interpretation and Argumentation

Current research

investor obligations

contracts in the energy sector

hybrid processes (arb-med, med-arb) in arbitration

transparency standards in trade and investment disputes


Course Director/Instructor

International Commercial Contracts (MA)

Arbitration and Mediation in Commercial Disputes (MA)

International Economic Law (BA)

Theory and Methodology in Law (PhD - private and economic law; comparative analysis) 


MA and BA:

supervision of theses in Danish and English in the areas of international business law and arbitration. 

PhD students and postdocs:

Lam had supervised three PhD projects to completion and is currently a supervisor of further two PhD projects. She has served as the chair of assessment panels and as reviewer of four PhD projects. She has also been an advisor for two postdocs, with external funding obtained from Carlsberg Foundation and the Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Continuous Education

Coordinator of the 4EU+ Summer School in International Business Law (partners: University of Copenhagen, Charles University, University of Warsaw and Université Paris-Panthéon-Assas)

ID: 14014740