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School of Law

SOLM048 Investment Treaty Arbitration: International Agreements and Substantive Protection

Module Description

The aim of this course is to establish students’ knowledge and critical understanding as well as provide an insight into the practice of international investment arbitration at the juncture of dispute resolution and public international law and policy. The focus will be on BITs, FTAs and other International Investment Agreements, Investor Protection and State Defences.

There are a number of reasons why a course on substantive protection of investors through investment arbitration is important at this time. Indeed, recent and rapid changes in investment arbitration prompted by globalisation and widespread foreign investment. There are also debates about legitimacy crisis and further debates about the negotiation and drafting of new generation treaties – so-called mega-regionals.

This module explores:

  • Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) – content and negotiations
  • Multilateral Treaties – content and negotiations.
    •    Energy Charter Treaty, NAFTA, CAFTA, ASEAN
    •    as well as CETA, TPP (CPTPP) and TTIP
  • Case law on expropriation
  • Case law on fair and equitable treatment
  • Case law on umbrella clauses and fork-in-the-road
  • Case law on full protection and security
  • Case law on MFN
  • Balancing interests - public interest, public policy and regulatory chill
  • Treaty Shopping
  • Transparency and Third-Party-Funding
  • Damages Assessment

The course is divided into three main topics:

  • Topic 1: Major Treaty Systems - Fragmentation and new Regionalisation
  • Topic 2: Case Law of and case studies relating to Substantive Protection
  • Topic 3: Specific Policy issues and State Perspectives to Investment Arbitration and ISDS

Applicable Groupings 


30 Credits

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