Wolfgang Alschner


Wolfgang Alschner
Assistant professor

B.A. (Dresden)
M.A. (Geneva)
LL.B. (London)
JSM (Stanford)
Ph.D. (Geneva)

Room: 57 Louis Pasteur, Room 377
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3283
Twitter: @w_alschner
Work E-mail: Wolfgang.Alschner@uOttawa.ca

Photo of Wolfgang Alschner


Wolfgang Alschner is an empirical legal scholar specialized in international economic law and the computational analysis of law.

He is a permanent faculty member of the Common Law Section with cross-appointment to the Faculty of Engineering, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is also a faculty member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa. Prior to joining the University of Ottawa, Wolfgang worked for several years as an individual contractor for UNCTAD’s Section on International Investment Agreements and as a research fellow at the Graduate Institute in Geneva and the World Trade Institute in Bern, Switzerland. He is co-founder of the investment treaty analytics portal www.mappinginvestmenttreaties.com and has published in leading peer-reviewed journals such as theYale Journal of International Law, the European Journal of International Law and the Journal of International Economic Law. His research focuses on using social and computer science methods in order to empirically investigate international law. His areas of interest include international investment law and arbitration, WTO law, regional trade agreements, international dispute settlement, law & economics and empirical analysis of law.

Wolfgang holds a PhD in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, a Master of Law from Stanford Law School, a Master in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute as well as an LLB from the University of London and a BA in International Relations from the University of Dresden, Germany.


  • CML4136A - Advanced International Economic Law (Winter 2019)
  • CML3385A - International Trade and Investment Law Practicum | CML3785A - Clinique en droit des investissements et du commerce international (Winter 2019)
  • CML4114JB - Legal Data Analysis (Winter 2019)


Research Projects and Opportunities
  • Ontarion Early Researcher Award: "Equipping Tomorrow's Lawyers - Using Artificial Intelligence for Automatic Legal Document Production and Analysis"
  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant: "Multilateralizing 'WTO-extra' Issues: A Computational Analysis of Rule Convergence in Preferential Trade Agreements"
  • Project with the Canada School of Public Service: "Semantic Analysis of Canadian Regulation"

I am looking for students in law and computer science at the JD, LLM and PhD level interested in working on these and other projects in international economic law, computational analysis of law or a combination of both.


Recent Publications on International Law
  1. Alschner, Wolfgang: "The Global Laboratory of Investment Law Reform Alternatives", AJIL Unbound, Vol. 112, 2018, pp. 237-243.
  2. Alschner, Wolfgang and Kun Hui, “Missing in Action: General Public Policy Exceptions in Investment Treaties" (under review).
  3. Alschner, Wolfgang and Damien Charlotin, “The Growing Complexity of the International Court of Justice’s Self-Citation Network“, European Journal of International Law, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2018, pp. 83–112.
  4. Alschner, Wolfgang, “The Impact of Investment Arbitration on Investment Treaty Design: Myth versus Reality”, Yale Journal of International Law, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2017, pp. 1-66.
  5. Alschner, Wolfgang and Dmitriy Skougarevskiy, “Mapping the Universe of International Investment Agreements”, Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2016, pp. 561-588.
Recent Publications on Computational Analysis of Law
  1. Alschner, Wolfgang and John Mark Keyes: "Measuring Prescriptivity in Canadian Regulations", Jurix 2018 (under review).
  2. Alschner, Wolfgang, “Sense and Similarity: Automating Legal Text Comparison", in Ryan Whalen (ed), Computational Legal Studies: The Promise and Challenge of Data-Driven Legal Research, forthcoming.
  3. Alschner, Wolfgang, Julia Seiermann and Dmitriy Skougarevskiy, “Text of Trade Agreements (ToTA)—A Structured Corpus for the Text‐As‐Data Analysis of Preferential Trade Agreements", Journal of Empirical Legal Studies", Vol. 15, No. 3, 2018, pp. 648-666.
  4. Alschner, Wolfgang, Joost Pauwelyn and Sergio Puig “The Data-Driven Future of International Economic Law”, Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2017.
  5. Alschner, Wolfgang and Dmitriy Skougarevskiy, “Towards An Automated Production of Legal Texts Using Recurrent Neural Networks", 16th International Conference Artificial Intelligence and Law, Conference Proceedings, 2017, pp. 229-332. 

Complete publication list

SSRN Author Pagehttps://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1758638 

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