LAWSG088 International Law of Foreign Investment

Credit value: 30 credits (15 ECTS, 300 learning hours)
Convenor: Martins Paparinskis
Other Teachers: Alejandro Escobar;
Robert Volterra
Teaching Delivery: 20 x 2-hour weekly seminars, 10 seminars per term, Term One and Two
Who may enrol: Any UCL Master’s student
Prerequisites: None
Must not be taken with: None
Qualifying module for: LLM in Corporate Law;
LLM in International Banking and Finance Law;
LLM in International Law
Introductory video
Practice Assessment: Opportunity for feedback on one optional practice essay per term (two in total)
Final Assessment: One 3-hour unseen written examination (100%)
Module Overview
Module summary:


International law of foreign investment protection, expressed in international treaties and customary law obligations and largely implemented through investor-State arbitration, disciplines and structures the manner in which States treat foreign investments and investor. This module deals with all the relevant aspects of the discipline, including its scope, content of the substantive obligations and exceptions, procedure of investor-State dispute settlement, and conceptual questions raised by the relationship between investment law and other regimes and values in international law.

Module aims:

  • to ensure that students develop a thorough understanding of the core substantive and procedural principles in investment protection law
  • to enable students to appreciate both similarities and differences between different substantive obligations, and between different procedures for settlement of investment disputes (particularly ICSID Convention and UNCITRAL Rules)
  • to enable students to discuss critically the regime of modern investment protection law
Module syllabus:

  • Development of investment law
  • Investment law sources in customary and treaty law
  • State responsibility for the breach of investment obligations
  • Scope of investment treaties; concepts of ‘an investor’ and ‘an investment’
  • Substantive obligations: expropriation, non-contingent standards, and contingent standards; defences and excuses
  • Investor-State and inter-State settlement of investment disputes
  • Jurisdiction and admissibility of investment claims
  • Arbitral process
  • Investment protection law and its Others
  • Investment protection law and the European Union
Recommended materials:

There is no single textbook for this module. However, students will find it useful to consult these books:

  • R Dolzer and C Schreuer, Principles of International Investment Law (2nd edn, OUP, Oxford 2012)
  • Z Douglas, The Law of International Investment Claims (CUP, Cambridge 2009)

As a collections of documents, students will use:

  • M Paparinskis, Basic Documents on International Investment Protection (Hart Publishing, Oxford 2012)

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment.

Preliminary reading: