Access to Sustainable Finance

Access to Sustainable Finance: The Impact of Private International Law

14 September 2023

A fair, shared and inclusive global economy can only be concretised through a framework that allows access to sustainable finance. Robust procedural and substantive legal frameworks contribute towards this ecosystem by answering questions of private international law, such as applicable law, jurisdiction, as well as recognition and enforcement. Private international law also provides mechanisms of international cooperation to allow such questions to be answered clearly and effectively. In particular, coordinated guidance frameworks relating to digital currencies and payment systems, the treatment of digital assets and tokens, artificial intelligence (AI) and automated contracting, cross-border insolvency proceedings, and novel governance structures such as decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) and voluntary and compliance markets on carbon credits will contribute to the goals of sustainable financing and access to capital. Examining each of these examples, this event will address the impact of private international law rules on cross-border access to capital and finance, sound commercial and business governance, and sustainable development.

About the Speaker:

Dr Gérardine Goh Escolar is Deputy Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). Concurrently, she is Head of the HCCH’s International Commercial, Digital and Financial Law Division, with primary responsibility over the normative projects on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), Digital Assets and Tokens, and the Digital Economy, as well as the HCCH 1985 Trusts and 2006 Securities Conventions, and the HCCH 2015 Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts. Dr Goh Escolar was previously in practice, acting as counsel, advocate and consultant in international litigation and arbitration proceedings, first with a specialist international law boutique, and then with a top-tier global law firm headquartered in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). Prior to that, she was Legal Advisor to the President of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, and principal legal officer in the chambers of a Judge at the International Court of Justice. She has also served as legal officer with the federal government of Germany, in-house counsel at a technology company, and vice-president of external relations at an information technology startup. Dr Goh Escolar is full Professor (Adjunct) at the Faculty of Law, and Academic Fellow at the Centre for Technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and the Law (TRAIL), both at the National University of Singapore. She has extensive academic experience over two decades, having taught and conducted research for the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations, and the World Bank, as well as at universities and institutes in Austria, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Chair: Dr Emily Lee, Director, Asian Institute of International Financial Law, Faculty of Law, HKU

Enquiries: Flora Leung at