This seminar provides an introduction to international investment arbitration from the perspectives of both public international law and legal practice. While the seminar will combine theory and practice, particular attention will be paid to the impact of investor-state arbitration on both the behavior of states and the international legal system as a whole.
The seminar begins with an introduction to international investment arbitration, with topics including a brief overview of international arbitration generally, the goals and purposes of investor-state arbitration, bilateral investment treaties, and the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The seminar then turns to select topics and issues in international investment arbitration, including: the creation and substance of bilateral investment treaties, state compliance with investment tribunal awards, the interplay of investor-state arbitration and domestic litigation, enforcement of ICSID awards, recent attempts to bring “class action” arbitrations, the enforcement of bond debt through investor-state arbitration, the role and independence of arbitrators, present challenges to the ICSID system, and the recent state backlash against investor-state arbitration. The seminar will conclude with a case study of Argentina—the country subject to the greatest number of investor-state claims in recent years.
While the seminar will approach these and related questions from an academic perspective, guest practitioners will be invited to join the discussions for several sessions to infuse the discussions with the experience of lawyers practicing investor state arbitration. Students will be expected to complete a seminar research paper on a topic of their choice.