Woods, LaFortune LLP

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COVID-19 and the Risk of Foreign Investor Challenges

Posted by on Sep 17, 2020

Michael Woods was quoted in the September issue of the Canadian Bar Association’s online magazine, National, about concerns that the global COVID-19 pandemic might lead to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) claims aimed at government measures put in place in response to the challenge. Michael has experience form both the government and investor perspective and has served as counsel in several ISDS cases pursuant to NAFTA Chapter 11 as wells as Foreign Investment Protection Agreements (FIPAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). Here is a link to the article:...

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Considering International Trade Law – Indigenous Perspectives & Possibilities – March 19th at the University of Ottawa

Posted by on Feb 15, 2019

Michael Woods is scheduled to participate on a panel discussion on Indigenous perspectives and international trade law at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law on March 19, 2019. His participation reflects his ongoing involvement in the field as a member of the executive of the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO) and the Global Affairs Canada Indigenous Working Group which advised the Government on Canada’s international trade agenda.  Michael will be joined by the Chair of IITIO, Wayne Garnons-Williams and he head of the Government  of Canada’s Trade Law Bureau, Robert Brookfield.  The organizers are encouraging members of the public to attend as this will be and open event. Lunch will be...

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The Trade Law Division’s 25th Anniversary – Canada’s Public Service Excellence

Posted by on Jul 2, 2018

Both Gord LaFortune and Michael Woods had an opportunity to celebrate their trade law roots with over 150 old colleagues and a new generation trade lawyers as the Government of Canada’s Trade Law Davison celebrates its 25th anniversary on June 22, 2018. In 1993 the Department of External Affairs and International Trade (now Global Affairs Canada) and the Department of Justice (now Justice Canada) created the joint unit made up of lawyers from both departments was called the Trade Law Division with the acronym JLT. Its mandate was to counsel the Government of Canada on all aspects of international trade law. Both Gord and Michael were early members of JLT which has established itself as a model unit for legal advice, advocacy and litigation in international trade and investment law – a Canadian center of excellence in international trade and investment law. As former public servants we noted with pride that that Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Public Policy and the prestigious UK- based Institute for Government was recently rated as the world’s best public service. We congratulate both former colleagues who helped build the JLT and current hard working men and women who are maintaining...

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I’d Cut Down Every Law in England… !

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018

It is almost that time of the year of for newly minted law graduates.  There are days when I reflect on the growth of the rule of law in the international context and its importance for order and justice in the world. This included international trade law.  But as we know the rule of law in this context remains vulnerable to local views and narrow national self-interest.   When I was called to the bar (many years ago) the great criminal lawyer and fighter for civil rights. Author Maloney QC, quoted from the play about Sir Thomas More – A Man for All Seasons by Richard Bolt. When Sir Thomas is threatened by Richard Rich – a man seen as dangerous man, his family urges him to take whatever means necessary to dispose of him. ROPER Arrest him. ALICE Yes! MORE For what? ALICE He’s dangerous! ROPER For libel; he’s a spy. ALICE He is! Arrest him! MARGARET Father, that man’s bad. MORE There is no law against that. ALICE (Exasperated, pointing after RICH) While you talk, he’s gone! MORE And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law! MORE Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER I’d cut down every law in England to do that! MORE  Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s...

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