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Bristol Plays role in influencing 'SMART' trade

Dr Gammage and Professor Novitz organised SMART conference, leading the research on trade and investment issues

Press release issued: 4 May 2017

Dr Clair Gammage and Professor Tonia Novitz invite scholars to a Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART) event to consider the ways in which trade and investment law can promote and block sustainability

On 9-10 May 2017, a SMART conference organised by Law School staff will consider the interaction between public international law and private law in trade and investment (as well as between hard and soft law) from the perspective of 'sustainability'.

We can understand ‘sustainability’ as‘development that meets the needs of the present while safeguarding Earth’s life-support system, on which the welfare of current and future generations depends.’ (Griggs et al, 2013)

Yet, the means by which to achieve that objective, including the balance between environmental, economic and social pillars, remains contested.

Speakers at the event will explore the controversies that have arisen regarding the legal drivers for and barriers to achievement of sustainability and will cover diverse fields.

This includes public international law, international economic law, international human rights law, international environmental law, development, international labour law, investment law, financial securities law, EU external relations, corporate law and corporate governance.

Contributions will be published as ‘working papers’ on the University of Oslo Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series (SSRN) and will form the basis of policy papers addressed to EU institutions.

The event takes place in Oslo 9-10 March. The programme is available here -


Further information

The event is part of the SMART European Union Horizon 2020 project which began on 1 March 2016 and will run for four years. It is an interdisciplinary, multi-national research project, led by Professor Beate Sjåfjell at the University of Oslo and involving 25 research institutions and more than 50 researchers from various parts of the world. Dr Gammage and Professor Novitz are leading the research on trade and investment issues.

SMART aims to advance the understanding of how international and EU law and policy directed at private and public market actors contributes to, or undermines, sustainable development policies. Its particular focus is on international supply chains of products sold in Europe. Further information relating to the project is available at:


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