Wolfgang Alschner


Wolfgang Alschner
Associate Professor

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

Room: 57 Louis Pasteur, Room 376
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 2054
Twitter: @w_alschner
Work E-mail: Wolfgang.Alschner@uOttawa.ca


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 and heads the uOttawa Legal Technology Lab.

Wolfgang was visiting professor at the University of St. Gallen (Spring 2021) and the University of Bologna (Winter 2021). He also held a research fellowship with the Australian National University (2020). 

 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 the Yale 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.

Among his other roles and affiliations, Wolfgang is the editor (law) of the World Trade Review, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of International Economic Law (JIEL) and a member of the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA).  

Wolfgang is a member of the California bar. 


Areas of Expertise
  • International Investment Agreements
  • Investor State Dispute Settlement
  • Law of the World Trade Organization
  • Empirical Legal Studies
  • Computational Analysis of Law (Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning)
  • Legal Network Analysis
  • Coding for Lawyers



[on parental leave for the Winter 2022]

  • CML4136A - Advanced International Economic Law (Winter 2021)
  • CML 1105 - First Year Thematic: Data Science for Lawyers (Winter 2021) [see CBA Article]
  • CML 4514 - L’analyse de données juridiques (Winter 2021)

Students from uOttawa and from around the world can now enrol in our new distance learning Microprogram "Technology for Law | Law For Technology" (Winter 2021).


Research Projects and Opportunities
  • Ontario 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"
  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant: "Judging Equality Judgments: Applying Legal Data Analytics to the Canadian Supreme Court's Section 15 and Equality Caselaw"
  • Project with the Canada School of Public Service: "Semantic Analysis of Canadian Regulation" [github page] 

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, Manfred Elsig and Rodrigo Polanco: “Introducing the Electronic Database of Investment Treaties (EDIT): The Genesis of a New Database and Its Use” World Trade Review, forthcoming.
  2. Alschner, Wolfgang: "The OECD Multilateral Tax Instrument: A Model for Reforming the International Investment Regime?", Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2019, pp. 1-73.
  3. Alschner, Wolfgang and Kun Hui, “Missing in Action: General Public Policy Exceptions in Investment Treaties", Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy 2018, OUP, 2019.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Recent Publications on Computational Analysis of Law
  1. Alschner, Wolfgang,“AI and Legal Analytics”, in: Teresa Scassa and Florian Martin-Bariteau (eds.), AI and the Law in Canada, LexisNexis Canada, forthcoming 2020.
  2. Alschner, Wolfgang, "The Computational Analysis of International Law”, in: Rossana Deplano and Nicholas Tsagourias (eds.), Research Methods in International Law: A Handbook, forthcoming. 
  3. 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, Edward Elgar, 2020, pp. 9-28.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

For complete publication list see SSRN Author Pagehttps://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1758638 


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