We are pleased to announce the winners of the UNIDROIT and Sustainable Development Essay Competition, supported by the International Law Institute (ILI) and facilitated by the UNIDROIT Foundation:

First Position: Ekaterina PannebakkerSustainable Development Clauses in International Contracts through the Lens of the UNIDROIT Principles

Ekaterina Pannebakker is Assistant Professor at Leiden University, the Netherlands, since 2016. She specialises in private international law and commercial contract law. Her research agenda focuses on challenges posed by sustainable development to fundamental aspects of private international and commercial law. Ekaterina holds law degrees in French law and Russian law, and a LL.M and PhD degrees from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her PhD thesis addressed comparative and uniform law approach to letters of intent in international contracting. Ekaterina was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge, UK, and at UNIDROIT, Italy. Before joining academia, Ekaterina served four years as legal counsel at a multinational company.

Second Position: Joel Lee The Role of the Cape Town Convention in Promoting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

Joel Lee is currently a Government Counsel at the International Law Division of the Department of Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. He is also a part-time lecturer at the Law Faculty of the University of Hong Kong. He previously worked in the private practice as a banking and finance lawyer, focusing on debt finance transactions, financial regulations and corporate insolvency matters.

Third Position: Nicholas MouttotosThe UNIDROIT Principles on International Commercial Contracts and Sustainable Development

Nicholas Mouttotos is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bremen under the Walter Benjamin position (German Research Foundation, DFG). He holds an LL.B. from the University of Cyprus and an LL.M. and PhD from Maastricht University. Nicholas’ main research areas of interest include the unification of contract law, the relationship between private international law and substantive (contract) law and the role of comparative law in the elaboration of national and international rules.

Fourth Position: James Patrick ChangThe United Nations SDGs – A Key to Unlocking the UNIDROIT PICC’s Unlimited Potential

James Patrick Chang holds a B.A. in History with a minor in English from the University of California, Los Angeles and a J.D. with Honors in the International Law Concentration from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where he served as an Editor on the International and Comparative Law Review. He has interned at arbitral institutions in Hong Kong and Seoul and at the Los Angeles Superior Court. He has passed the California Bar Exam.

Fifth Position: Claudia Nyon Syn YueTransforming Contract ‘Takers’ to Contract ‘Makers’: UNIDROIT Instruments and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations

Claudia Nyon Syn Yue practises as an Advocate & Solicitor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prior to practice, Claudia read law at the University of Warwick. She was the selected recipient of the UNIDROIT Alumni Associate Grant 2021.

The winners of the essay competition will be invited to present their research at a webinar hosted by UNIDROIT on Monday, 28 August at 13.00 CEST. Register now to attend the webinar at:


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