Investment and International Law (6 ECTS)
Lecturer: Prof. Dr M.M.T.A. Brus (coordinator)
When: Block 4
Brief course description: International investments are a core aspect of the global economy. Investments mostly are made by multinational corporations and are of great importance for the economies of both the home and the host states of the investments. On the one hand, investors try to reduce risks and favour a stable and predictable investment climate in which they are protected against undue interference by states. On the other hand, host states want to be able to formulate and enforce their national or regional (e.g. EU) economic, environmental, tax, human rights and other policies without being completely subjected to restrictive international investment regulations. In the past decades around 3,000 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and a number of multilateral investment treaties have been concluded worldwide to regulate and protect international investments. This course analyses the history and nature of these agreements and their development over time, revealing a cautious tendency to transform these agreements from instruments merely protecting the interests of private foreign investors into instruments which provide a more equitably balance between the interests of foreign investors and those of the host countries, in particular developing countries. Disputes about the application and interpretation of these agreements are often subjected to international investment arbitration. This, for international law rather unique, state v. non-state actor confrontation in international arbitration will be discussed, providing insights into, among others, the critique on the tribunals as a body curtailing the regulatory freedom of the host states. This course is broader than a course on international investment law, as it aims to put investment issues in the context of the evolving system of international law, including law-making aspects relating to developing a more general legal framework for international investment instead of the 3,000 bilateral arrangements, the international responsibilities of non-state actors, and developments in dispute settlement.
Teaching method: The course will be a combination of lectures and seminars. The seminars are designed to allow students to learn from each other through oral presentations and discussion. Students will have to write a final paper for the course on a relevant topic of their own choice.
Assessment: The written paper and the oral presentation form the core of the assessment, supplemented by the active participation in class discussions.
*Official course information and schedules during the academic year can be found in Ocasys.
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