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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5645M The International Law of Foreign Investment

15 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Professor Surya Subedi

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The objective of the module is to provide a thorough understanding of the main principles of the international law of foreign investment. The focus is on the big shifts in economic relations witnessed in the recent past underlining the significance of bilateral investment treaties, regional trade and investment agreements and bilateral free trade agreements. This module will consider and evaluate in some detail the jurisprudence of the international courts and tribunals on foreign investment matters and assess the recent trends both in State practice and jurisprudence.


The main objective of this module is to cover the substantive principles of treaty law and customary international law applicable to the treatment of foreign investment by an investor receiving country and the recent trends in international investment arbitration.

In order to achieve this objective, this module will cover the main provisions in bilateral and other international investment treaties and investment protection provisions in free-trade agreements. In doing so, it will also cover an analysis of the leading cases decided by international courts and tribunals concerning international investment disputes.

The module aims to enable students to understand the interplay between law and politics in regulating foreign investment, to critically assess the provisions of various international investment treaties concerning the protection of foreign investment and to understand the mechanisms available for settlement of investment disputes between host states and foreign investors.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:
1. A comprehensive understanding of the law and practice concerning the protection of foreign investment in host countries.
2. A critical understanding of the role of the UN, WTO, OECD, ICSID, UNCITRAL and UNCTAD in regulating foreign investment.
3. A thorough understanding of the mechanisms available for the settlement of investment disputes under international law.
4. An ability to become a critical thinker in the area of investment law and practice.

Skills learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
1. The skills, techniques and tools needed to analyse and apply the law to resolve international investment disputes.
2. Critical thinking, demonstrating openness to alternative ideas and have the ability to interrogate sources.
3. Develop academic skills to enable you to source, explain and apply your discipline and be able to evaluate and analyse a range of information to put forward coherent and evidence based arguments.
4. Develop advanced communication skills, essential for effective interaction and the dissemination of complex concepts.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours135.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A formal formative assessment opportunity will be provided, which is specifically pedagogically aligned to the summative assessment task. As part of this, each student will receive individual feedback designed to support the development of knowledge and skills that will be later assessed in the summative assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/04/2024


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