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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is a promising method for bone tissue engineering applications. For enhanced bone regeneration, it is important to have printable ink materials with appealing properties such as construct interconnectivity, mechanical strength, controlled degradation rates, and the presence of bioactive materials. In this respect, we develop a composite ink composed of polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), and hydroxyapatite particles (HAps) and 3D print it into porous constructs. In vitro study revealed that composite constructs had higher mechanical properties, surface roughness, quicker degradation profile, and cellular behaviors compared to PCL counterparts. Furthermore, in vivo results showed that 3D-printed composite constructs had a positive influence on bone regeneration due to the presence of newly formed mineralized bone tissue and blood vessel formation. Therefore, 3D printable ink made of PCL/PLGA/HAp can be a highly useful material for 3D printing of bone tissue constructs.
For the judgment ye judge ye shall surely be judged, you gets no love
Since classical times, international law has focused on restraining states’ freedom of action on the global and regional stages, from setting rules on protection of diplomats to ensuring non- interference with commerce on the high seas.
In recent decades, however, international legal constraints have shifted far behind national borders. Multilateral lending institutions’ structural adjustment programs require sovereign nations to slash budgets, privatize public enterprises and cut pensions. Tax treaties limit how and when countries can collect revenue from multinational business enterprises operating in their borders. Trade agreements have shifted from simply locking in low tariffs to forbidding policies that today's rich countries once deployed to climb up the economic developmental ladder themselves. And all of these constraints are backed up by developed countries’ bilateral foreign- aid programs.
One newly controversial instrument in this arsenal is the investor– state disputesettlement (ISDS) system contained in thousands of trade and investment treaties. Its defining feature: allowing foreign investors to sue host states outside of national courts before transnational tribunals. These disputes are triggered by multinational companies that are unhappy with host- state regulations. The tribunals themselves are comprised of arbitrators hired by the litigating company and country on a case- by- case basis. Corporations have employed this dispute- settlement instrument to launch aggressive claims against states over environmental conservation, financial stabilization and publicservice provisions.
Since a tribunal issued the first investment treaty award in 1990, more than 700 investor– state dispute- settlement lawsuits have been launched—most of them in just the past few years. And criticisms of the system are growing in number. The online newssite BuzzFeed ran a four- part investigative series by Pulitzer Prize– winning author Chris Hanby, titled “Global Super Court: The Secret Threat That Makes Companies More Powerful than Countries” (Hanby 2016a). Time magazine's Washington correspondent Haley Edwards published a popular book for Columbia Global Reports, called Shadow Courts: The Tribunals That Rule Global Trade (Edwards 2016). New York Times now regularly runs articles on developments in ISDS practices, featuring titles such as “Trans- Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S.” (Weisman 2015).
When I began this project in 2012, I was interested in the link between investment
treaties and economic development. Namely, did these pacts make it more or less likely
that countries would move up the income ladder? As I dug in, it became rapidly apparent
that there were two ways of approaching this question. First, one could look at whether
the act of signing or ratifying investment treaties actually succeeded in bringing in investment.
This research area was already well trod by political scientists and economists, who
tended to black- box what investment law was really about. A second approach (the one
I took) looked instead at how much discretion do investment- treaty arbitrators have, and
what are the potential implications of this discretion for development?
This question required that I speak to the individuals who are in the room—arbitrators themselves. This Appendix reviews how social scientists have historically
studied adjudicators and how I extended and modified their approach in my primary
research, including through assembling original datasets of investment arbitrator
interviews and case outcomes.
I hate when organizations say, “Investor– state dispute settlement restricts sovereignty, human rights, environment, and so forth.” Bullshit! That is in a sense a criticism of the whole system of treaty or international law. You gave something to get something. You have voluntarily agreed to have what you do judged by certain standards. If you don't want that, then don't enter into the treaty. When you see how hard environmental organizations work to get treaties concluded? To ban various substances? They want states bound, okay? So it is a question of, what is your cause?
— Investment arbitrator interviewed for Judge Knot
Is another investment law possible? Up to this point, we have seen how investment arbitration builds on long- standing and increasingly conservative projects in Western liberal thought about the appropriate balance between state and market (chapters 2 and 3), represents an ingenious but asymmetric and complex substitute for missing governance institutions in the global economy (chapters 4 and 5) and tangles up domestic politics and law (chapter 1).
The downsides of this system are increasingly getting notice. Witness chapter 1's opening quote from comedian John Oliver, fuming over controversial tobacco arbitrations and raging that investors even have the option of second- guessing democratic decisions in international arbitrations. But this last chapter's leading quote reminds us that second- guessing states is precisely what the international law project is all about. Putting constraints on carbon emissions, war and child labor are just some of the achievements of a project that goes back centuries. Is our discomfort with investment arbitration about something specific and isolatable to it, or a vestigial Biblically inspired dislike of those that would dare to judge us (or our democratic choices)?
We can split the criticism of investment law into what I will call an abolitionist (“judge not”) camp and an institutionalist (“judge knot”) perspective. The first viewpoint is implicit in much contemporary criticism of investor– state dispute settlement (ISDS). It sees any international review of domestic regulations as illegitimate. It wonders why states ever allowed themselves to be internationally judged, let alone by clubby untenured arbitrators (partly) paid for and appointed by the corporations that bring the caseload. For the abolitionists, such a regime can only end in a chilling of government regulations, and the only solution is for countries to pull out of investment treaties posthaste.
Judicial empowerment through constitutionalization is best understood as the product of a strategic interplay between three key groups: threatened political elites, who seek to preserve or enhance their political hegemony by insulating policy making in general, and their policy preferences in particular, from the vicissitudes of democratic politics while they profess support for democracy; economic elites, who view the constitutionalization of rights, especially property, mobility, and occupational rights, as a means for placing boundaries on government action and promoting a free market, business- friendly agenda; and judicial elites and national high courts, which seek to enhance their political influence and international reputation.
—Ran Hirschl, Towards Juristocracy (Hirschl 2004, 12)
In the last two chapters, we have focused on the world inside arbitration. In the next two, we zoom our lens outward to put it in a political context.
How has the world responded to investment- treaty arbitration and arbitration to the world? More than twenty years ago, sociology- and- law scholars Yves Dezalay and Bryant Garth (1996) had a prediction. Their book was the first major study of international arbitrators. At that time, arbitration was mostly an inter- corporate affair. A typical case might involve a London insurance company that insured a Massachusetts shipper but failed to pay out on the policy. Instead of going to a court in the United Kingdom or the United States (where one party might have a home- country advantage), the two companies could opt for private arbitration in a chamber of commerce. To the extent the story involved the public sector, it was limited to the strategies the arbitration community used to get national courts to agree to help enforce the awards. Nonetheless, with the 1995 publication of the University of Miami's Jan Paulsson's famous article celebrating the first investment- treaty case (AAPL v. Sri Lanka, discussed in chapter 2), there were hints that states might soon be more directly embroiled in arbitrations. Dezalay and Garth wondered whether this meeting of private and public actors might push arbitration in a more social democratic and green direction (Dezalay and Garth 1996, 312).
Imagine a purely private market in judicial services. People would offer their services as judges, and disputants would select the judge whom they mutually found most acceptable. The most popular judges would charge the highest fees, and competition among judges would yield the optimum amount and quality of judicial services at minimum social cost [… O]ne could even] give judges property rights in precedents—e.g., a royalty every time one of their decisions was cited.
—William Landes and Richard Posner (Adjudication as a Private Good, 1979)
Serving as an arbitrator is a relatively poor way to get rich. Working as counsel to an investor can net a private lawyer more than $1,000 per hour. In contrast, arbitrators (at least at the World Bank) earn $3,000 per day. What an arbitrator gets in a day of hearings, counsel earns by lunch. Moreover, serving as counsel can fill up significant chunks of one's professional calendar for years, while an arbitrator who charges for more than a few weeks of work would seem overly costly, raise eyebrows, and risk future appointments.
What motivates arbitrators to supply investment law? I argue that a big part of the answer lies in inter- arbitrator relationships and collegial norms, even if money explains part of the motivation. This chapter represents the first scholarly attempt to formally model arbitration tribunals. It is derived from the first- hand stories of the only people who have seen inside the black box of deliberation and interpretation: the arbitrators themselves. Applying grounded theory methods (see Appendix), I show how arbitrators’ personal strategies, interests and affinities make for a perpetual fount of uneven law creation. The result is an investment arbitration system that relies heavily on the ingenuity, self- regulation and self- policing of a sprawling cohort of untenured adjudicators. The portrait in the following pages shows that arbitrators are human, like the rest of us and like other lawyers. They drink, they bicker and they gang up on one another. But they also resolve tricky issues of international political economy without armies of government or corporate bureaucrats helping them. Can we learn from their model?
The discovery of America […] naturally gave rise to a vast number of disputes which the scanty International Code of the Middle Ages was quite unable to settle. That code […] possessed no means of unraveling complications with regard to the character of the acts necessary in order to obtain dominion over newly discovered territory.
—British Foreign Secretary Charles Carmichael (1884) (quoted in China Mieville 2006)
Any scholarly consideration of international investment law faces an immediate hurdle: What theory or even what academic discipline is best suited to the task?
There are a few disciplines we can exclude from the outset, for instance economic development studies. From a pro- state dirigiste thinking of the postwar period to a market fundamentalist neoliberalism in more recent years, development scholars have thoroughly trod the terrain of the optimal balance between the state and the market in emerging economies. This happens to be much of the same subject matter that now consumes investor– state dispute settlement (ISDS) arbitrations, which are overwhelmingly brought against developing nations but increasingly against developed nations as well. The implications of this overlap are dealt with extensively in chapter 3. In this chapter, suffice it to say that economic development studies tell scholars and students a great deal about change within countries, but they say little about shifts in the international system such as investor arbitration.
Legal scholarship offers scarcely more help. The seeming legalese of investment arbitration awards—long and dense with Latin phraseology—suggests a tentative fit. Yet, as one prominent international law scholar told me, “The only trouble with teaching investment law is there is so little law in it.” She did not mean lawyers were not involved. Indeed, lawyers run the law firms, arbitration centers and tribunals that make the system possible. Rather, she was making an observation well- known to practitioners—the decisions that the lawyers make are not particularly law- like. Take the 2014 award stemming from Russia's expropriation of fallen oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky's assets, collectively referred to as the Yukos cases. While taking up thousands of pages of text, these documents focused mostly on the recitation of a factual chronology of increasing state harassment of the once- favored billionaire, with legal interpretation taking up only a few pages (Fortier et al. 2014).
If you are a country that is up and coming and trying to attract foreign direct investment, you do not want a feature on the website of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. Principally, for me, apart from the political clout of the process (which is different from being in a court) […] is what is known as the Washington factor. The Washington factor is important [for investors] to actually be able to bring your claim at the international level, where people in Washington corridors will be waking up to it, and noticing it.
—Investment arbitrator interviewed for Judge Knot
To invert the slogan from the 1980s movie Field of Dreams, just because you build it, does not mean they will come. The twentieth century is full of examples of ambitious international courts that were dreamed up, built, but then never utilized. Duke University political scientist Suzanne Katzenstein recounts stillborn proposals such as the 1907 Court of Arbitral Justice, the 1920 Criminal Court and the 1949 Human Rights Court (Katzenstein 2014). In each case, enterprising legal scholars and practitioners identified a theoretical need for international dispute resolution. But due to a lack of uptake by states and non- state actors, none of these forums ever got off the ground.
One example from the period shows why an enthusiasm gap emerged. In 1908, Pedro Diaz of Nicaragua challenged the government of Guatemala in the Central American Court of Justice over unjust imprisonment. By a 3- to- 2 vote, the judges on this then- novel panel voted against admitting his claim. Their argument: the treaty establishing the court required Diaz to go first through national courts. The doctor for his part claimed that he was unlikely to get justice from the state that had imprisoned him in the first place. After that, not many cases by individuals were brought to this particular court, none were successful and the forum disbanded a few years later (Hudson 1932).
International investment arbitration could have faced a similar challenge.
A company was able to sue a country over a public health measure through an international court. How the fuck is that possible? […] You've got to give it to them. That's impressive. Someone should really give those lawyers a pat on the back. And, a punch in the face. But […] a pat on the back first. Pat, then punch. Pat, punch. They need a pat, punch. Little pat, big punch. That's what they need.
—Comedian John Oliver (2015)
All Tangled Up
Did you hear the one about the billionaire, the nun and the lawyers? It is not a joke, but a story that reveals the enormous complexities of our international system for governing cross- border investment. The tale will take us from Manhattan to Missouri, from the Cayman Islands to Peru and back to the United States, showing us how any local investment dispute has the potential to go global.
Meet Ira Rennert. Once banned from the US securities brokerage business for taking excessive risks with his clients’ money, the American financier went on to become one of the country's foremost buyers of distressed businesses. From smelters in Missouri to coal- pulverizing plants in Kentucky to magnesium pits in Utah, Rennert had an eye for finding floundering businesses and buying them up at bargain- basement prices. He financed the deals through junk bonds—loans in the newly acquired company's name (Thornton 2003). This brought cash in the door quickly but saddled the companies he acquired with heavy debt burdens for years to come. Rennert would gradually strip down and sell these companies’ useable assets. Sooner or later, these businesses’ stock prices would plummet or they would go into bankruptcy, and Rennert would jump ship and move onto the next deal (Elstein 2011; Shinkle and Lambrecht 2002).
His business acumen made him fabulously wealthy. According to Forbes Magazine (2017), he is worth more than $4 billion, making him one of the richest men in the world. His house in the Hamptons on Long Island is the largest private residence in the United States, valued at $500 million and taking up more than 100,000 square feet. The mansion boasts a dining room table the length of a baseball diamond, 21 bedrooms, and a Broadway- size theater (Crowe 2015).
'Judge Knot' explores the biggest and the most controversial success story in international law: investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS. Since 1990, investors have launched hundreds of claims against government regulation. This exclusive inside look explains what makes the system tick: its poorly understood centuries-old origins, why corporations demand investment law solutions to political problems, how arbitrators supply these solutions, and why the system lasts despite the many politicians and citizens unhappy with it. Building off of an unprecedented set of interviews with the arbitrators who actually decide the cases, 'Judge Knot' brings together the best of political science, law and development economics scholarship and offers a concrete alternative to ISDS that leverages what works about the system and discards what does not, so that international law can be more supportive of democracy and development goals.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
The SkyMapper 1.3 m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory has now begun regular operations. Alongside the Southern Sky Survey, a comprehensive digital survey of the entire southern sky, SkyMapper will carry out a search for supernovae and other transients. The search strategy, covering a total footprint area of ~2 000 deg2 with a cadence of ⩽5 d, is optimised for discovery and follow-up of low-redshift type Ia supernovae to constrain cosmic expansion and peculiar velocities. We describe the search operations and infrastructure, including a parallelised software pipeline to discover variable objects in difference imaging; simulations of the performance of the survey over its lifetime; public access to discovered transients; and some first results from the Science Verification data.