JJUA55142U International Investment Law

Volume 2018/2019

The main objective of the course is to acquaint students with fundamental knowledge of the legal regime of international investment law in its politicaland societal context. The international investment law regime is a legal regime - which can be characterized as a specialized or subsystem of international law - governing the protection of foreign investors and investments as well as host states’ right to interfere with protected investments. The international investment law regime consists mainly of a myriad of investment treaties that typically provide investors with a catalogue of rights that protect investments as well as a treaty-based right to resolve disputes in international investment arbitration often referred to as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The international investment law regime is in a transition phase. A number of states all over the world are currently revising their investment treaty policies giving rise to expectations of significant developments in the law in the years to come. In this course the legal regime is explained in its relevant societal context whereby it is shown how other subsystems of international law, namely the human rights regime as well a key policy trends may have an impact on the international investment law regime.

This course falls in three main parts:

PART I The international law on state responsibility and treaty interpretation.

PART II The fundamental legal rules governing the protection of foreign investments, such as the rules on expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, full protection and security, nondiscrimination, internationalization of contracts and settlement of investment disputes in investment arbitration. While focusing mainly on key multilateral and bilateral investment treaties this part also addresses the relation between treaty and contract.

PART III Investment policy trends shaping the rules of the international investment law regime. This part sets out by explaining the fundamental frictions between the investment law regime and the human rights regime. In this regard, it is shown how the human rights regime may impede on the interpretation of the investment protection standards affecting inter alia the standard of compensation. Subjects included in this part is e.g. protection of property in human rights treaties, the UN Covenants of Civil and Political Rights and Economic and Social Rights and the role of NGOs in investment arbitration. Furthermore, in this part of the course the key policy trends and their impact on the international investment law regime is explained. This includes inter alia policy analysis by the United Nations’ Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the concept of sustainable development and the impact on investment treaties, EU investment policy and relevant negotiations, such as the EU-USA Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP).

This course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World, see 'Remarks' below.

Learning Outcome

At the completion of the course, students will be acquainted with the following knowledge, skills and competences to:

- Present and explain key legal problems and policy trends in relation to the topic of international investment law and policy;
- Identify legal problems and relevant principles that apply to an investment dispute; - Analyse complex legal issues relating to an investment dispute;
- Formulate an elaborate, coherent and persuasive written legal argument; - Make a critical weighing of the relevant arguments and a reasoned choice for determining theoretical and practical solutions;
- Conduct relevant, comprehensive case-law and literature research; - Communicate the findings in a professional, grammatically, and linguistically correct manner.

- The course is mainly based on the book, Rudolf Dolzer and Christoph Schreuer, “Principles of International Investment Law,” 2nd ed., Oxford University Press (2012).

- Additional readings will consist of selected book chapters, articles and reports from other authors. They will be available through Absalon and REX.

These include parts of:

• Pierre-Marie Dupuy, Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, and Francesco Francioni, “Human Rights in International Investment Law and Arbitration,” Oxford University Press (2009);

• Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, Markus W. Gehring, Andrew Newcombe ed., “Sustainable Development in World Investment Law,” Kluwer Law International (2010);

• Lone Wandahl Mouyal “International Investment Law and the Right to Regulate,” Routledge Research in International Economic Law, Taylor & Francis Group, (2016).

Total readings are approximately 500 pages.

The course enhances the students' competences in terms of managing complex issues in an
unpredictable and interchanging society using law as a tool for new solutions.
This course has no formal prerequisites. As always, a reasonable command of written and spoken English is useful.
The course will be composed of a mixture of lectures and discussions as well as group assignments with case analysis and presentations. The course will also to some extent draw on relevant external experts with practical
knowledge of investment arbitration, negotiations of investment treaties or experience as counsellors for foreign investors. The course will combine a legal
doctrinal approach with analysis offered from the perspectives of policy analysis, economics and international negotiations.
Please observe, this course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World. Students who sign up for the iEP become iCourts Student Fellows and will get a unique opportunity to become part of the research environment of iCourts – the only centre of excellence in law in Denmark. The iEP is open to all Danish and foreign MA students at the Faculty. All iCourts courses may be taken individually but only students who complete at least three of the 15 ECTS courses offered by the centre will receive a certificate confirming their participation in the iEP. Read more about the programme: http:/​​​/​​​jura.ku.dk/​​​icourts/​​​teaching-and-doctoral-training/​​​master-excellence-programme/​​​
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 356,5
  • Seminar
  • 56
  • Total
  • 412,5
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Written examination, 1 day
Assigned individual written assignment, 1 day
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

December 17-18, 2018


January 31 - February 1, 2019

Criteria for exam assesment

The examination is a written, take-home, open book, 1-day exam. The exam consists of two compulsory parts.

Part I where the students must write an individual research essay on a legal topic selected from 2 themes provided by the instructor.

Part II where the students must write a memorandum providing legal advice based on a case study, advising a fictitious government department or an investor on what to do in an investment dispute.