Vera Korzun Completes S.J.D. Requirements to Become Fourth Graduate of Program


Joining an accomplished group of legal scholars, Vera Korzun is the fourth recipient of a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) at Fordham Law. She received her S.J.D. degree earlier this month.

Korzun’s S.J.D. research project explored various aspects of international commercial and investment treaty arbitration. Her research grew from her original interest in international commercial arbitration of antitrust claims.

“One of the major questions my research explores is whether private arbitrators in international commercial arbitration should be raising issues of domestic antitrust law on their own motion,” Korzun said.

According to Korzun, not all mandatory law provisions will be considered mandatory and applied by arbitrators in the context of international arbitration. However, private parties should not be able to select international arbitration to resolve their dispute solely to avoid mandatory law. In addition to these issues, public policy concerns come into play, as the outcome of antitrust disputes often have implications beyond the disputing parties.

To satisfy the requirements of the S.J.D. program, Korzun completed three papers:

  • “An Empirical Survey of International Commercial Arbitration Cases in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1970-2014,” published in the Fordham International Law Journal, provides insight into the multifaceted partnership between domestic courts and international arbitrations. The paper was co-authored with Fordham Law Professor Thomas H. Lee, who served as Korzun’s academic adviser.
  • “Arbitrating Antitrust Claims: From Suspicion to Trust,” published in the New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, examines the evolving role of international commercial arbitration in the enforcement of domestic antitrust laws. The paper received an honorable mention in the competition for the 2016 Colin B. Picker Graduate Prize, which is awarded by the Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law.
  • “The Right to Regulate in Investor-State Arbitration: Slicing and Dicing Regulatory Carve-Outs,” forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, demonstrates how the state’s right to regulate public welfare objectives has become constrained by provisions of international investment agreements and decisions by arbitral tribunals in investor-state dispute settlement.

During her S.J.D. candidacy, Korzun presented her scholarship at academic conferences and workshops at leading U.S. law schools. In addition to the three S.J.D. papers, she published a conference paper on corporate interest and the right to regulate in investor-state arbitration as well as a book chapter on sources of state practice in international law.

Korzun is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law, where she teaches international commercial arbitration, investor-state arbitration, and comparative law. She also serves as the executive director of the Fordham Corporate Law Center.

With the degree, Korzun plans to continue teaching and hopes to join academia full time. “I will certainly expand my research and writings to other areas of law but will retain my interest in international dispute resolution,” she said.

Korzun received an LL.M. from the University of Michigan before applying to Fordham’s S.J.D. program, which was launched in 2010. She also received an LL.M. in international business law from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, a master’s in law and economics from the University of Hamburg in Germany, and a J.D. and Ph.D. in law from Belarusian State University in Minsk, Belarus.

“Fordham has a great S.J.D. program. I relied on the invaluable guidance of my academic adviser, Professor Thomas H. Lee, and adjunct professors Barry E. Hawk and Arthur W. Rovine, who served as my dissertation committee members,” Korzun said. “I also benefited enormously from the intellectual wealth of the Law School community and had all the resources I needed at the School to conduct my research. In terms of studying international arbitration, New York City is probably one of the best places to be.”


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