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Spring 2025 Course

International Arbitration: Investment

Prerequisite: To enroll in this course, students must have completed the Fall 2024 course, International Arbitration: Commercial.

Exam Type: There is no exam administered by the Registrar’s Office. Students will instead role play in a mock investment arbitration proceeding replicating real life conditions. Grading will also be based on class participation.

In 1965, the World Bank adopted the Washington Convention, establishing the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and allowing private parties to resort directly to international arbitration against States for harm done to their investments. Since then, as a result of the wide adoption of bilateral and multilateral investment protection treaties, there has been an outbreak of investor-State arbitrations that neither the drafters of the Convention nor the international community at large had anticipated.

This course will explore where investment arbitration stands today, after about three decades of growth. In particular: How has the arbitral case law tackled the most complex questions of international law? To what extent has the interplay between investment arbitration and international law nourished each of these fields of law? Why have there been calls for reform and for the termination of investment protection treaties? These questions, and many others, will be addressed through a deep immersion into the investment arbitration process, as well as through an examination of the concepts of jurisdiction and admissibility (notion of investment; nationality of investors, both physical and juridical persons; temporal application of treaties; abuse of process; etc.); the interaction between contractual and treaty breaches; treaty interpretation; and strategic options in investor-State arbitration.

Enrolment will be limited to 25 students who have completed the prerequisite course. The class will proceed based on students having carefully prepared the reading materials; only students who are prepared to make a firm commitment should enroll.

Note: This course will meet over three weeks from January 27 to February 13, 2025. The final class session will be an extended session of up to 5 hours (further details will be available closer to the start of the term on the course page).