Learn the features and dynamics of an important field of international law that grants rights to foreign investors to foster States’ development.
Are you aware of the controversial situations facing States and foreign investors nowadays in relation to, for instance, the protection of public health and the environment? Do you recall recent cases such as Philip Morris v Uruguay and Vattenfall v Germany? In the aftermath of these high profile cases and in the context of the negotiation of new international investment agreements, like the CETA and the TPP, local populations, policy-makers and NGOs have come to realize the societal importance of international investment law. Passionate and sometimes ill-informed discussions have resulted from this realisation. They have focused on the features of international investment law, which has traditionally granted rights to foreign investors to foster States’ economic development. Central to these discussions are the issues of: the balance between the protection of foreign investors and the right of host States to regulate in order to protect public welfare objectives; the duties and obligations of foreign investors; the promotion of sustainable development in international investment law; the legitimacy of arbitration tribunals to decide on disputes between host States and foreign investors; the coherence of arbitration practice. Learning and understanding the features and dynamics of international investment law is key not only for international lawyers and policy-makers, but it is also important knowledge for all well-informed citizens. In this law course, you will: discover the history of international investment law and understand the dynamics which shape its evolution; learn the objectives of international investment law and the specific rights international investment agreements grant to foreign investors; discover how those rights have been interpreted by arbitration tribunals; master the features and functions of investor-state arbitration; understand why international investment law and investor-state arbitration are currently the subject of criticism and be able to assess the soundness of this criticism; gain insight into the content of treaties newly concluded, and be able to assess how they address the issues of the right of host States to regulate, of foreign investors’ obligations and of the legitimacy of arbitration tribunals.