International Investment, Development, and the Law

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Spring 2014 Course
Meets: Th, F 9:50am - 11:50am in WCC Room 1023
4 classroom credits

This course is designed to introduce first-year students to the foreign, comparative, and international law relating to international investment, an increasingly powerful force for global economic growth, development, and integration. While economic forces are the essential drivers of international investment, legal rules and institutions also affect international capital flows. Law determines whether and how foreign investment may be made in a particular country, the nature of the respective rights of investors and host states, the means by which investors and host governments may adjust their legal relationships to changing circumstances, and the processes they may use to resolve investment disputes. The rules applicable to international investments are derived from three basic legal frameworks: 1) national laws, both of the host country and the investor's home country; 2) contracts, whether between foreign investors and host governments or among investors; and 3) international law, consisting of applicable treaties, customs, and general legal principles developed by states. These three legal frameworks form the basic structure of the course. After an initial consideration of the nature of international investment and theories about its role in economic development, the course will examine the various ways that national legal systems influence, encourage, and control foreign investment. It will then consider how host governments and foreign investors negotiate and employ contractual devices to maximize rewards and minimize risks arising out of investment transactions. The final and largest part of the course is devoted the international law of investment and in particula the nature, advantages, and disadvantages of the rapidly emerging global investment regime founded upon more than 3000 bilateral and multilateral treaties. It wiil examine the the treaty rights of foreign investors, the constraints placed on state action, and the remedy of investor-state arbitration as a means of treaty enforcement. In addition to readings and class discussions, students will participate in a simulated investment treaty negotiation outside of class.

This course is one of the 1L required international or comparative courses.