Fall 2020 • Course
International Investment Arbitration
Prerequisite: The course is open to 2Ls, 3Ls, LLMs, and SJDs. No prior courses required, although broad familiarity with public international law and international commercial arbitration will be an advantage.
Exam Type: There is no exam administered by the Registrar’s Office. Students will instead complete an oral exam, in the form of a moot investment arbitration proceeding.
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 treaty arbitration stands today, after over two decades of growth. In particular: Why have there been calls for reform and for the termination of investment protection treaties? To what extent has the interplay between investment arbitration and international law nourished each of these fields of law? How has the arbitral case law tackled the most complex questions of international law? These questions, and 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.
Enrollment will be limited to 20, and class will proceed based on students having prepared the relatively substantial reading materials. Only students who are prepared to make a firm commitment should enroll.
Note: This course will meet from the week of September 21st to October 14th. The last class session, which is a double session and includes the moot investment arbitration proceeding, will be held on October 14th at 8am. Students should be aware that this session could last until 1:30pm.