LWMTIT-International Investment Law

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Mr Matthew Windsor

Email: m.r.windsor@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module offers an in-depth introduction to the law of foreign investment and investment treaty arbitration. Through a close analysis of the substance of bilateral investment treaties and the settlement of investor-state disputes via arbitration, students will acquire understanding of the law, politics and economics of the investment treaty regime.


The module is designed:

  • To provide a comprehensive overview of the major legal and policy debates in international investment law.

  • To evaluate the practice and process of investment treaty arbitration.

  • To stimulate the interest of students in a vital area of international economic law.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts in international investment law.

  • Appraise international investment arbitration from the perspective of host states, multinational corporations and other interest groups.

  • Critically reflect on how economic globalisation shapes national regulatory preferences.

Additional outcomes:

 In addition to those listed in the School’s ‘core skills statement’, the module encourages the development of:

  • Advanced research and writing skills through close analysis of primary and secondary materials on international investment law and arbitration.

  • High-level oral communication skills through reflective class discussion.

  • Ability to construct an effective argument based on analytical thinking.

Outline content:

The module will cover topics such as:

  • Standards of investment protection (non-discrimination against foreign investment, fair and equitable treatment, guarantees of compensation for expropriation, and umbrella clauses).

  • Treaties, rules and institutions governing investment treaty arbitration (including the ICSID Convention, UNCITRAL Rules and megaregional agreements).

  • The process of investment treaty arbitration (jurisdiction and admissibility, applicable law, standard of review, remedies and compensation, enforcement and compliance with arbitral awards).

  • The interpretation of bilateral investment treaties by arbitral tribunals.

  • The politics of investment treaties in developed and developing countries.

  • The impact of international investment law on environmental protection, public health and human rights.

  • Current challenges in investment treaty arbitration (transparency, consistency of decisions, appointment of arbitrators, third-party funding, proposals for a multilateral investment court). 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will consist of 10 two-hour seminars. A handout will be provided for each seminar with a list of required and recommended readings.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study: 180
Total hours by term 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

An assessed essay of 15 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules).

Formative assessment methods:

A formative assessment, which will be marked and returned with feedback.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the standard University policy

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT Programme Handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 10 January 2020


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