International Investment Law and Arbitration

Ursula KriebaumAugust 2 – August 134 ECTS credits


The legal environment for international foreign investment has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. International investment dispute resolution, in particular through international arbitration has become increasingly common. Foreign investors are much more willing to pursue claims against host States than their home States (e.g. for alleged expropriation or unfair treatment).

This course will focus on international investment disputes and their resolution through arbitration and is attractive to students interested in public international law and international arbitration. The course will address the dispute settlement mechanism as well as the substantive standards of investment protection. Teaching will vary between interactive lectures encouraging student participation, traditional lectures and case studies. Student presentations are required.


The following topics will be covered:

1. Introduction

  • The conflicting interests of the host State and the investor
  • Historical development of international investment protection


2. The Sources of International Investment Law


3. The Concept of Investment (Who is an Investor, What is an Investment)


4. Standards of Treatment

  • Fair and equitable treatment
  • Full protection and security
  • The Umbrella Clause
  • Access to justice, denial of justice, fair trial
  • National treatment
  • Arbitrary and discriminatory
  • Most favoured nation clause


5. Expropriation


6. Dispute Settlement, ICSID

  • Methods of dispute settlement
  • Treaty arbitration
  • Jurisdiction
  • Applicable law
  • Annulment
  • Enforcement of Awards


Recommended Reading: Dolzer/Schreuer: Principles of International Investment Law (2nd ed., 2012).


Requirements: Regular attendance and participation in class discussion as well as presentations (30%), participation in the mini moot (30%), and a final exam (40%).