UCL Faculty of Laws


Advanced Foundations of International Law of Foreign Investment (LAWS0295)

International law of foreign investment is a field of public international law that primarily addresses the treatment of investment by States, and settlement of disputes between investors and States.

The module provides an advanced introduction to international law of foreign investment protection. This field of international law is expressed in international treaties and customary law obligations and largely implemented through investor-State arbitration, disciplines and structures the manner in which States treat foreign investments and investor. This module introduces the student to the more important aspects of the discipline, including its scope, content of the substantive obligations and exceptions, procedure of investor-State dispute settlement, and conceptual questions raised by the relationship between investment law and other fields and values in international law. 

There are no formal prerequisites for this module. Nevertheless, it is a public international law module, and a basic knowledge of public international law (sources, responsibility, actors, dispute settlement), whether derived from earlier studies or other PIL modules at UCL, will be an asset. 

Module aims 

  • to ensure that students develop an understanding of the core substantive and procedural principles in investment protection law 

  • to enable students to appreciate both similarities and differences between different substantive obligations, and between different procedures for settlement of investment disputes (particularly ICSID Convention and UNCITRAL Rules) 

  • to enable students to discuss critically the regime of modern investment protection law

Module Syllabus

  • History, sources and responsibility 

  • Scope: investment and investors 

  • Obligations: expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, national treatment, umbrella clauses, Exceptions 

  • Basis of dispute settlement 

  • Jurisdiction and admissibility 

  • Arbitral process 

  • Challenges and enforcement 

  • Criticisms and future

Recommended Materials

There is no single textbook for this module. However, students will find it useful to consult these books (both available for free via UCL databases): 

  • Campbell McLachlan, Laurence Shore, and Matthew Weiniger, International Investment Arbitration: Substantive Principles (2nd edn, OUP, Oxford 2017) 

  • Z Douglas, The Law of International Investment Claims (CUP, Cambridge 2009) 

As cases and materials, students will use: 

  • CL Lim, J Ho, and M Paparinskis, International Investment Law and Arbitration: Commentary, Awards and other Materials (2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2021) 

As a collections of documents, students will use: 

  • M Paparinskis, Basic Documents on International Investment Protection (2nd edition, Hart/Bloomsbury, 2019) 

Module reading lists and other materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have selected the course on enrolment. 

Key information

Module details
Credit value:22.5 credits (225 learning hours)
Convenor:Martins Paparinskis
Other Teachers:

Alejandro Escobar, Robert Volterra

Teaching Delivery:10 x 2 Hour Weekly Seminar, Term One
Who may enrol:LLM Students Only
Prerequisites:Not a prerequisite but prior knowledge of public international law is desirable
Must not be taken with:None
Qualifying module for:LLM in Corporate Law; 
LLM in International Banking and Finance Law; 
LLM in International Law 
Practice Assessment:Opportunity for feedback on one practice essay per term (two in total) 
Final Assessment:Controlled Condition Exam (100%)