The subject of investor-state disputes and their resolution lies at the cutting edge of international law, and is a major factor in the development of the global economic system in years to come. Study of this form of arbitration provides insight into the evolving shape of customary international law, the conflict between capital-importing and capital-exporting states, and the status of individuals in the international legal order. This seminar will provide students with a firm grounding in the history, present practice, and future implications of arbitration between foreign investors and host states, sanctioned by multilateral and bilateral investment treaties. Topics that will be covered in this course are the history of the treatment of aliens and investments under international law; an overview of the most important international treaties that give investors a right to arbitration of claims; the most important elements of procedure that characterize investor-state arbitration, including tribunal composition, jurisdiction, evidence, award and challenge or annulment; substantive law of investment arbitration, the standards that apply when a tribunal determines whether a breach of the treaty has occurred; and the future development of investor-state arbitration including the challenges of globalization and other stresses, the clash of capital-importing and capital-exporting countries, environmental protection and free trade, restrictions on state sovereignty, the construction of an international investment jurisprudence, the limits on arbitrability, and the expansion of multilateral investment protections worldwide.
Active participation in discussion of the course materials is required. Furthermore, each student will prepare a substantial research paper, which will serve as the basis for an oral presentation. Students will also be responsible for critiquing other students' research projects.