JJUA55095U Regulation of Foreign Direct Investments in Developing Economies

Volume 2015/2016

Developing countries have become a major focus of foreign direct investments. In particular, BRICS economies have already caught up with OECD countries, with nearly 35% of the global FDI net inflows. Such growing importance of developing economies has been followed by rising concerns on the regulatory framework for foreign investments in those countries, particularly with regard to their compliance with international agreements and standards, as well as to the subsequent effects on investors and their respective home countries. This course aims to cover the various international legal aspects of foreign direct investments and how they have been challenged by current policies adopted by developing countries. Namely, the course will examine the general principles and rules that govern the establishment of foreign businesses on the territory of another host country, the standards of protection of such investments, and the extent to which they have been effectively implemented by developing and BRICS economies on a case-by-case basis.

The course will cover the following topics:

• The theory behind the practice of FDI: conflicting economic theories on the relation between foreign capital and economic development

• institutional and structural risks to investments in developing countries

• the rise of BRICS as central actors in global investments.

• Concepts and factors affecting the regulatory framework on FDI: direct vs. portfolio investments, main actors and interests, state and private responsibility, sources of international investment law, new forms of investment.

• Regulation of entry and investor’s obligations
• Standards of investor protection
• IPR protection and technology transfers
• Nationalization and expropriation rules
• Bilateral investment treaties
• The multilateral framework on foreign investment
• Anticorruption practices
• Dispute settlement mechanisms (arbitration and ICSID procedures)

Learning Outcome

Students should become able to:
- Present and explain the practice of foreign direct investments and their main components.
- Identify the main aspects of developing and BRICS economies and their importance to foreign investors.
- Navigate and operate between the different international principles and rules on foreign investments, according to the various subject matters in dispute.
- Analyze, operate and review bilateral investment treaties, and the main issues around their negotiation.
- Present, analyze and review the content of certain domestic regulations on foreign investments, particularly by identifying their consistency or not with current international standards.
- Explain the functioning of the ICSID and arbitration procedures, as well as to analyze cases assigned in readings.
- Present policy solutions and criticize existing proposals to current challenges in the regulation of foreign investments.
- Communicate and formulate her/his knowledge and arguments professionally and linguistically correct, in a structured and coherent way.

- The course will be mainly based on the following book: M. Sornarajah, The International Law on Foreign Investment, 3rd edition, Cambridge University Press (2010). ISBN 978-0521747653 (approximately 500 pages)

- Additional readings will consist in selected book chapters and articles from other authors, and will be provided in a reading list. They will be available at Absalon and REX.

- PowerPoint presentations will also be made available to students.

- Total readings are approximately 750 pages.

The course will be composed of lectures and case discussions. Students are expected to
present and discuss the assigned readings in class.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 364,5
  • Seminar
  • 48
  • Total
  • 412,5
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20
Oral exam with preparation, 20 minutes.
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

14. - 18. of December 2015 (Preliminary dates)

Criteria for exam assesment

Students will be assessed on the extent to which they have acquired the knowledge and competencies, as defined in the content and learning objectives of the course.