Institute Prize

Turkish lawyer seals the win for acclaimed ICC Institute Prize

  • 1 December 2017
ICC Institute Prize

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Institute of World Business Law has named Berk Demirkol as laureate of the sixth edition of the ICC Institute Prize for his thesis on judicial acts and investment treaty arbitration.

Open to anyone aged 40 or under, the renowned award honours excellence in legal writing that innovates and contributes to the field of international commercial law, including arbitration.

According to Mr Demirkol, judicial acts of states are becoming increasingly subject to international investment claims. His manuscript discusses the distinctive particularities of these claims. Mr Demirkol believes that although there are no special responsibility regimes for different functions of the state, the application of investment treaty standards and the threshold for their breach may vary depending on the function involved. Therefore, in order for the state to incur responsibility for a wrongful act committed in the exercise of its judicial function, Mr Demirkol suggests that three specific conditions should be met:

  • the investor must establish that the state is responsible for a breach attributable to the state;
  • the investment tribunal has jurisdiction over the particular dispute; and
  • the damage that the investor has suffered is a result of the particular breach.

The manuscript also addresses questions regarding the substance, jurisdiction, admissibility and remedies in cases where state responsibility arises from a wrongful judicial act.

A total of 23 theses, representing 14 countries competed for the 2017 biennial prize. An international jury comprising eight members of the ICC Institute reviewed all entries. Head of the jury, Ercument Erdem, said: “It was a great pleasure to learn that this edition of the ICC Institute Prize had so much interest from candidates around the world.  Mr Demirkol’s thesis, in particular, stood out as it was extremely well structured and thought out, in addition to being a very topical subject. The comprehensive and erudite manner by which he handled the vast and complex subject shows in the jury’s view, his full maturity and familiarity with the issue at hand.”

Mr Demirkol is an international lawyer and young scholar at a leading university in Turkey, the University of Galatasaray. He receives the award, along with €10,000 in prize money, following the 37th Annual Meeting of the ICC Institute, being held today in Paris.

Commenting on his win, Mr Demirkol said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured that my manuscript has been granted this highly prestigious award by the esteemed members of the ICC Institute. It is thanks to this achievement that my opinions, as elaborated in my manuscript, will have the chance to reach a greater audience—and more importantly, to contribute to the literature on investment treaty arbitration.”