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QLLM397 Investment Treaty Arbitration (Sem 1)

Cannot be taken with QLLM187/QLLM188.

Module description

The legal environment for international trade and foreign investment has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Foreign investors are much more willing to pursue a claim of, for example, alleged expropriation or discriminatory behaviour by a host State. Further, public international law principles must also be considered once a state is involved. Principles of state responsibility, expropriation and acts tantamount to expropriation, what comprises fair and just compensation, immunity from suit and immunity from execution. These public international law principles overlap somewhat uncomfortably with the commercial interests of foreign investors. Developments in investment arbitration and trade dispute resolution have been rapid in recent years. It is now crucial that academics and legal practitioners are aware of the complex international legal elements involved in the resolution of investment and trade disputes.

The module is divided into three main topics:

  • Topic 1: International Investment Disputes Out-of-Court: Principles and Historical Evolution (2 sessions)
  • Topic 2: ICSID (6 sessions)  
  • Topic 3: Bilateral Investment Treaties (3 sessions).

Module content

  • Introduction: International trade and investment disputes out of court  
  • Regulatory and institutional framework
  • Basic principles of dispute settlement with reference to trade and investment
  • Applicable law issues
  • Bilateral Investment Treaties  
  • Enforcement of decisions and awards
  • Grey zone between substance - procedure / public - private international law
  • Case studies.



Applicable Groupings

  • LLM in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution
  • LLM in International Business Law
  • LLM in Public International Law
  • LLM in Energy and Natural Resources Law
  • Laws (General)
  • LLM Flexible Study.

Mode of Assessment

2 x 2,500 word course essays


22.5 credits

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