LWMTTA-Investment Treaty Arbitration

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Miss Pamela Nika

Email: p.nika@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
International dispute resolution through non-judicial mechanisms is becoming increasingly common. Foreign investors are much more willing to pursue claims against discriminatory behaviour by host states outside judicial fora. This however means that public international law principles must be considered in disputes between states and private parties. Principles of state responsibility, expropriation and acts tantamount to expropriation, what comprises fair and just compensation, immunity from suit and immunity from execution sit uncomfortably with the commercial interests of foreign investors. The aim of this module is to bring to the attention of students the intricacies of the legal regime on investment arbitration and allow them to identify the various dispute resolution options available to a foreign investor. The module introduces major theoretical and practical issues in resolving disputes involving states in the context of investment treaties. Students will become familiar with ICSID, BITs, NAFTA, WTO dispute settlement and the ECT systems.

The module is designed:
•to promote an understanding of the operations of investment treaty arbitration
•to promote a critical awareness of key structures, legal and policy issues in dispute resolution relevant to foreign direct investment
•to offer an understanding of, and encourage critical reflection upon, the underlying economic and legal concepts determining the choice of dispute resolution methods by foreign investors

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:
•Demonstrate an understanding of the institutional and normative foundations of international investment law
•Evaluate the existing international investment dispute resolution mechanisms from a legal perspective
•Appreciate the role of different dispute settlement agencies and techniques
•Critically appraise investment treaty arbitration from the perspective of different groups of states, business interests and other interest groups
•Carry out competent and independent research into some aspects of the law relating to investment treaty arbitration
•Present and communicate their research findings effectively

Additional outcomes:
In addition to those listed in the School’s ‘core skills statement’, the module will encourage the development of:
•The ability to comment on the current state of the law and its future directions towards effective resolution of state-investor disputes

Outline content:
The module consists of the following main themes:

1.The concept of Foreign Direct Investment
2.Challenges in Public-Private Contracting
3.The history and content of Investment Treaties
4.Alternative Dispute Resolution involving states
5.ICSID (International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes)
6.Dispute resolution under NAFTA, the WTO and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT)

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Module delivery will be through a mix of lectures and seminars.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Tutorials 2
Guided independent study 88
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
8 page essay (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the standard University policy.
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT Programme Handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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