Simon F.S. Li Professor of Law





(852) 3943 1139

(852) 2994 2505

Room 638
Faculty of Law
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sha Tin, NT, Hong Kong SAR

Bryan Mercurio is the Simon F.S. Li Professor of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Professor Mercurio specialises in international economic law (IEL), with particular expertise in the intersection between trade law and intellectual property rights, free trade agreements, trade in services, dispute settlement and increasingly international investment law. Professor Mercurio served as Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty from 2010-14 and again from 2017-19.

Professor Mercurio is co-author of one of the most widely used textbooks on WTO law (Hart Publishing, 2018, 3rd ed) and co-editor of the leading collection on bilateral and regional trade agreements (Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed, 2016). His most recent monographs respectively explore the international and domestic framework for pharmaceutical patent law and policy (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and policy considerations underlying and shaping government policies on cross-border data flows (Anthem Press, 2022). His next monograph will focus on the legality of capital controls under the various strands of IEL (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2023).

Professor Mercurio has recently been awarded Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) Senior Research Fellowship in the amount of HK$7,798,380 for a five-year interdisciplinary project entitled, ‘Access to Vaccines in a Post-COVID-19 World: Sustainable Legal and Policy Options’. He is only the second person in law to receive the fellowship. He also recently received a Hong Kong General Research Fund (GRF) grant in the amount of HK$1,069,050 for a three-year project entitled ‘Engaging with China to Reform the World Trading System’. In 2021, Professor Mercurio received the Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme entitled ‘Reshaping Global Trade: The Impact and Effects of the US-China Trade War’. He has also successfully completed a project funded by the Hong Kong Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office Public Policy Research Funding Scheme entitled, ‘Regulating Cross-Border Data: A Public Policy Framework for Hong Kong’, and GRF projects on capital controls and pharmaceutical law and policy, respectively.

Professor Mercurio is an active participant in a number of associations and networks, including the European Commission funded Jean Monnet Network in Trade and Investment in Services Associates (TIISA) and the ISDS Academic Forum. He was a member of the founding committee and served on the inaugural Executive Board of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), a founding member of the SIEL Intellectual Property Law Network, a founding member of the Asian International Economic Law Network and is a Member for Hong Kong in the Asian WTO Research Network. In 2010 he authored the case for the ELSA WTO Moot Court Competition and from 2013-2016 served as a member of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development/World Economic Forum E15 Expert Working Group on Trade and Innovation.

Prior to relocating to Hong Kong, Professor Mercurio taught in the faculty of law at the University of New South Wales. He has held visiting positions at several institutions in Asia, Europe and North America and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School. Prior to academia, Professor Mercurio worked both in government and private practice. He remains a frequent consultant and advisor to governments, industry associations and law firms on a wide range of trade and investment matters and has extensive experience in negotiating free trade agreements and in assisting governments with the technical aspects of drafting services schedules for market access commitments and reservations.


  • PhD, awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence, Macquarie University
  • LLM in International Law (Distinction), University of New South Wales
  • JD (Hons) Case Western Reserve University, School of Law
  • BA (Politics & Government) (Hons) Ohio Wesleyan University
    • Admitted to the State Bar of California
    • Admitted to the District of Columbia Bar Association


  • International trade law
  • International economic law
  • International investment law
  • Intellectual property
  • Law and Development


Publications since 2016


  • Capital Controls and International Economic Law (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2023)
  • Empowering Transformation: Connectivity and Cross-Border Data Flows (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2022) (edited with Ronald Yu)
  • Regulating Cross-Border Data Flows: Issues, Challenges and Impact (Anthem Press, 2022) (with Ronald Yu)
  • ASEAN Law in the New Regional Economic Order: Global Trends and Shifting Paradigms (Cambridge University Press, 2019) (edited with Pasha Hsieh)
  • Drugs, Patents and Policy: A Contextual Study of Hong Kong (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
  • World Trade Law: Text, Materials and Commentary (3rd edition, Hart Publishing, 2018) (with Simon Lester and Arwel Davies)
  • Contemporary Issues in Pharmaceutical Patent Law: Setting the Framework and Exploring Policy Options (Routledge, 2017) (edited with Daria Kim)

Journal Articles

  • ‘The Challenges and Effectiveness of a TRIPS Waiver for COVID-19 Vaccination and Treatment’, (2022) __ World Trade Review __ (forthcoming, with Pratyush Upreti)
  • ‘The Legality of a TRIPS Waiver for COVID-19 Vaccines under International Investment Law: Can (Intellectual Property) Investors Receive Compensation through Investor-State Dispute Settlement?’ (2022) 71 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 323-355 (with Pratyush Upreti)
  • ‘WTO Waiver from Intellectual Property Protection for COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments: A Critical Review’ (2021) 62 Virginia Journal of International Law Online 9-32
  • ‘The Legitimacy of Controlling Capital Flows Under International Economic Law During a Retreat from Globalization’ (2021) 70 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 59-101 (with Ross Buckley and Erin Fu Jiangyuan)
  • ‘The IP Waiver for COVID-19: Bad Policy, Bad Precedent’ (2021) 52 IIC – International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law 983-988
  • ‘Do Beijing’s Capital Controls Restrict Hong Kong?: Reality or Illusion’ (2021) 9 Chinese Journal of Comparative Law 109-122 (with Erin Fu Jiangyuan)
  • ‘On the Importance of Developing a Coherent Policy Facilitating and Regulating Cross-Border Data Flows’ (2021) International Trade Law and Regulation 97-104
  • ‘As makeshift as we are: Hong Kong’s pragmatic approach to Nutrition Claims’ (2021) 27 UC Davis Journal of International Law and Policy 261-298 (with Maggie YY Zhang)
  • ‘Challenging Coerced Conformity in Pharmaceutical Patent Law: Promoting a Holistic Review’ (2020) 51 IIC – International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law 330-340
  • ‘Regulating Tax Havens: Insights from the WTO Appellate Body Decision in Argentina – Financial Services’ (2020) 35(2) Banking and Finance Law Review 249-78 (with Antoine Martin)
  • ‘Liberalization Commitments, Financial Stability Safeguards and Capital Controls: Practice Evolutions from GATS to TPP and Mega-Regional Trade Agreements’ (2019) 9(1) Trade, Law and Development 71-96 (with Antoine Martin)
  • ‘Holes in the Silk: Investor Protection under China’s Belt and Road Initiative’ (2019) 14 Global Trade and Customs Journal 251-258 (with Dini Sejko)
  • ‘Smoke Them Out: Why Excluding Tobacco from the Scope of International Investment Agreements is Unwise and Unnecessary’ (2018) 37(1) Medicine & Law 125-145 [invited contribution]
  • ‘Towards Convergence of Trade and Investment Law? A Right to take Prudential measures for the Preservation of Financial Stability’ (2018) 51(3) The International Lawyer 553-586 (with Antoine Martin)
  • ‘Australia’s Position on Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Fruit of a Poisonous Tree or a Few Rotten Apples?’ (2018) 40 Sydney Law Review 213-254 (with Kyle Dickson-Smith)
  • ‘The IMF Mandate on Capital Controls: Legal Analysis of the Article IV Byroad and the Institutional View of 2012’ (2017) 34(3) Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 529-556 (with Antoine Martin)
  • ‘The IMF and its Shifting Mandate Towards Capital Movements and Capital Controls: A Legal Perspective’ (2017) 44(3) Legal Issues in Economic Integration 211-35 (with Antoine Martin)
  • ‘Doha Dead and Buried in Nairobi: Lessons for the WTO’ (2017) 16(1) Journal of International Trade Law and Policy 49-66 (with Antoine Martin)
  • ‘Intellectual Property and Free Trade Agreements: A Call to Return to Basics’ (2016) Pandora’s Box 43-53 [invited contribution]
  • ‘The Flow-on Effect: How the TPP will re-shape trade relations in Asia’ (2016) 7 European Yearbook of International Economic Law 515-525 [invited contribution]

Book Chapters

  • ‘Arbitration Pursuant to Article 25 DSU: Dispute Settlement System of the World Trade Organization (WTO)’ in Hélène Ruiz Fabri (ed) Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law (MPEiPro) (Oxford University Press, 2022)
  • ‘Does a Smart City Need a Coherent Policy on Cross Border Data Flows to really be Smart?’ in Thanh Phan and Daniela Damian (eds) Smart Cities in Asia: Regulations, Problems and Development 49-63 (Springer, 2022) (with Ron Yu)
  • ‘Art XXIX GATS – Annexes’ in Rüdiger Wolfrum and Peter-Tobias Stoll (eds) Max Planck Commentaries on World Trade Law (2nd ed, Brill, 2022)
  • ‘Art. II GATS – MFN’ and ‘Annex on Art. II Exemptions’ in Rüdiger Wolfrum and Peter-Tobias Stoll (eds) Max Planck Commentaries on World Trade Law (2nd ed, Brill, 2022)
  • ‘Compulsory licensing for environmental purposes’ in Panagiotis Delimatsis and Leonie Reins (ed) Trade and Environmental Law 429-437 (Edward Elgar, 2021)
  • ‘Convergence, Complexity and Uncertainty: AI and Intellectual Property Protection’ in Shin-Yi Peng, Ching-fu Lin and Thomas Streinz (eds) Reconfiguring International Economic Law in an AI Era 139-154 (Cambridge University Press, 2021) (with Ronald Yu)
  • ‘Longer, Deeper, Farther: Pharmaceutical Patents in Free Trade Agreements’ in Amaka Vanni and Srividhya Ragavan (eds) Intellectual Property Law and Access to Medicines: TRIPS Agreement, Health, and Pharmaceuticals 82-93 (Routledge, 2021)
  • An AI Policy for the (near) Future’ in Ingo Borchert and L. Alan Winters (eds) Addressing Impediments to Digital Trade 73-101 (Centre for Economic Policy Research Press, 2021) (with Ron Yu)
  • ‘Keep Calm and Carry On: Lessons from the Jurisprudence on Fair and Equitable Treatment and Intellectual Property Rights’ in Christophe Geiger (ed) Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Investment Law 159-181 (Edward Elgar, 2020)
  • ‘A ban on electronic nicotine delivery systems: step one in the WTO discrimination analysis’ in Lukasz Gruszczynski (ed) The Regulation of E-cigarettes: International, European and National Legal Challenges 126-149 (Edward Elgar, 2019)(with Marina Foltea)
  • ‘Moving toward Liberalization: the ATISA and Beyond’ in Pasha Hsieh and Bryan Mercurio (eds) ASEAN Law in the New Regional Economic Order: Global Trends and Shifting Paradigms 85-110 (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
  • ‘ASEAN Law in the New Regional Economic Order: An Introductory Roadmap to the ASEAN Economic Community’ in Pasha Hsieh and Bryan Mercurio (eds) ASEAN Law in the New Regional Economic Order: Global Trends and Shifting Paradigms 3-21 (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
  • ‘Harmonization without Localization: Trendspotting pharmaceutical patent law in recent FTAs’ in Shin-Yi Peng, Han-Wei Liu and Ching-Fu Lin (eds) Governing Science and Technology under the International Economic Order: Regulatory Divergence and Convergence in the Age of Megaregionals 318-337 (Edward Elgar, 2018)
  • ‘TPP Promoting Financial Services as an Investment Playground: Crystalizing a Change in Approach from GATS?’ in Julien Chaisse, Henry Gao and Chang-fa Lo (ed) The Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Paradigm Shift in International Trade Regulation? (Springer, 2017) 223-240 (with Antoine Martin)
  • ‘Patent Linkage Regulations: The Importance of Context and of Balancing Competing Interests’ in Bryan Mercurio and Daria Kim (eds) Contemporary Issues in Pharmaceutical Patent Law: Setting the Framework and Exploring Policy Options (Routledge, 2017) 97-122
  • ‘Introduction: A Holistic Approach to Pharmaceutical Patent Law and Policy’ in Bryan Mercurio and Daria Kim (eds) Contemporary Issues in Pharmaceutical Patent Law: Setting the Framework and Exploring Policy Options (Routledge, 2017)(with Daria Kim) 1-6
  • ‘Water is not medicine: the tension between access to water and intellectual property rights in the area of water technologies’ in Julien Chaisse (ed) The Regulation of the Global Water Services Market (Cambridge University Press, 2017) (with Antoine Martin) 112-136
  • ‘Trade in Pharmaceuticals: Patents and Access to Medicines since TRIPS – Some certainty and several lingering questions’ in Julien Chaisse and Tsi-Yu Lin (ed) International Economic Law and Governance: Essays in Honour of Mitsuo Matsushita (Oxford University Press, 2016) 427-444
  • ‘Intellectual Property’ in Simon Lester, Bryan Mercurio and Lorand Bartels (eds) Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements: Analysis and Commentary (2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, 2016) (with Michael Handler) 324-363

Representative Publications, 2004-2015

  • Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements: Commentary and Analysis (2nd ed, Cambridge University Press, 2016) (edited with Simon Lester and Lorand Bartels)
  • International Economic Law after the Global Crisis: A Tale of Fragmented Disciplines (Cambridge University Press, 2015) (edited with CL Lim)
  • “Safeguarding Public Welfare? – Intellectual Property Rights, Health and the Continuing Evolution of Treaty Drafting in International Investment Agreements” (2015) 6 Journal of International Dispute Settlement 252-276
  • “China, Intellectual Property and the WTO: Challenging but not a challenge to the existing legal order” in Colin Picker and Lisa Toohey (eds) China in the International Economic Order: New Directions and Changing Paradigms (Cambridge University Press, 2015) 293-318
  • “The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Becoming a Game Changer” (2014) 37 The World Economy 1558-1574
  • “International Investment Agreements and Public Health: Neutralizing a Threat through Treaty Drafting” (2014) 92(7) Bulletin of the World Health Organization 520-525
  • The Regulation of Services and Intellectual Property (Ashgate Publishing, 2013) (edited with Markus Krajewski)
  • “Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Intellectual Property Rights in International Investment Agreements” (2012) 15(3) Journal of International Economic Law 871-915
  • “Beyond the Text: The Significance of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)” (2012) 15(2) Journal of International Economic Law 361-390
  • “‘Seizing’ Pharmaceuticals in Transit: Analysing the WTO Dispute that Wasn’t” (2012) 61(2) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 389-426
  • “Reconceptualising the Debate on Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development” (2010) 3(1) The Law and Development Review 65-107
  • “Treaty Interpretation in WTO Dispute Settlement: The Outstanding Question of the Legality of Local Working Requirements” (2010) 19(2) Minnesota Journal of International Law 275-326 (with Mitali Tyagi)
  • “Is China a ‘Currency Manipulator’?: The legitimacy of China’s exchange regime under the current international legal framework” (2009) 43(3) International Lawyer 1257-1300 (with Celine Sze Ning Leung)
  • “Why Compensation Cannot Replace Trade Retaliation in the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding” (2009) 8(2) World Trade Review 315-338
  • “The WTO and its Institutional Impediments’ (2007) 8(1) Melbourne Journal of International Law 198-232
  • “Resolving the Public Health Crisis in the Developing World: Problems and Barriers of Access to Essential Medicines’ (2007) Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights 1-40
  • “TRIPS-Plus Provisions in Regional Trade Agreements’ in Lorand Bartels and Federico Ortino (eds) Regional Trade Agreements and the WTO Legal System (OUP, 2006) 215-238.
  • WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding: A Detailed Interpretation (Kluwer Law International, 2005) (with Yang Guohua and Li Yongjie)
  • “TRIPs, Patents and Access to Life-Saving Drugs in the Developing World’ (2004) 8 Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review 211-253
  • “Improving Dispute Settlement in the WTO: The DSU Review – Making It Work?’ (2004) 38 Journal of World Trade 795-854