3 ECTS credits
75 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 8020291GNR for all students in the 1st semester at a (G) Postgraduate - preliminary level.

1st semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Social Sciences & SolvayBusinessSchool
ES Academische eenheid
Educational team
Nicolaos Lavranos (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
21 contact hours Lecture
Course Content
  1. Introduction into International Investment Law
  • Historic overview of the development of international investment law
  • The origins and sources of investor-state arbitration
  • The role of diplomatic protection in investment disputes+drawbacks and advantages of diplomatic protection
  • The purpose and main content of an investment treaty
  • The main institutions involved in international investment law
  • Recent developments in international investment law from a global perspective
  1. Protection Standards contained in investment treaties
  • The beneficiaries of investment treaties (who is protected? what is protected?)
  • The protection standards contained in investment treaties
  • FET (European style+ NAFTA style minimum standard of customary international law, new CETA FET)
  • MFN, NT
  • umbrella clause
  • Full protection and security
  • Exceptions (tax carve out, denial of justice)
  1. Procedural aspects of investment treaty arbitration
  • The main procedural requirements for initiating an investment treaty arbitration claim
  • Consent
  • “cooling off period”
  • Exhaustion of local remedies
  • “fork-in-the-road” clause
  • Arbitration institutions and regimes: ICSID and non-ICSID investment arbitration
  • Choice of arbitration rules (ICSID, UNCITRAL, SCC)
  • The importance of the seat of arbitration in non-ICSID cases
  • The selection process of arbitrators, the constitution of the tribunal
  • Challenge of arbitrators, ethics, impartiality and independence of arbitrators
  • jurisdiction and admissibility, objections to jurisdiction
  • Sectoral exclusions, mail box companies, double nationality, host state national
  1.  The arbitration process
  • The jurisdictional phase
  • The merits phase
  • Main principles of interpretation and application of investment treaties
  • Written procedure, oral hearings, cross examination of expert witnesses
  • The damage calculation (various methods of calculating damages)
  • Costs, length of arbitration
  • Third part funding
  • The emergency procedure
  1.   Recognition, enforcement, annulment, setting aside procedures
  • The various options of annulment of awards and setting aside procedures
    • at ICSID
    • before national courts (non-ICSID)
    • indirectly before the CJEU
  • The various procedures for enforcement of arbitral awards under the ICSID Convention and the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards
  • Sovereign immunity in enforcement proceedings
  1.  Practical session:
  • Mock arbitration
  • The group of students will be split into three groups (claimant, respondent and tribunal) and will argue a case before the tribunal and which will be decided by the tribunal.
  • The case will be given to students at the end of the first class, so that they have sufficient time to prepare
  1.   Recent developments in International Investment Law
  • The exit of several south American states from ICSID
  • The termination of BITs by an increasing number of states
  • The public debate against ISDS and BITs in Europe
  • The problems of finalizing investment treaties (CETA, TPP, TTIP)
  • The reform efforts (modification protection standards, filter mechanisms, the UNCITRAL transparency rules)
  • The newly proposed investment court system (ICS) in EU investment treaties
  • The push for the creation of a multilateral investment court
  • The push towards “inclusive” and “good” investments
Course material
Handbook (Required) : International Investment Law, Text, Cases and Materials, Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer, 3rd, Edward Elgar Publishing, 9781788977234, 2020
Handbook (Required) : Rules and Practices of International Investment Law and Arbitration, Yannick Radi, 1st, Cambridge University Press, 9781107499577, 2020
Additional info

Study material

Slides prepared by the lecturers.

Y. Radi: Rules and Practices of International Investment Law and Arbitration (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

9781107499577 (paperback), 9781316182383 (ebook)

Text of ICSID Convention (available at: https://icsid.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/ICSID%20Convention%20English.pdf)

Text of UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (available at: https://uncitral.un.org/sites/uncitral.un.org/files/media-documents/uncitral/en/uncitral-arbitration-rules-2013-e.pdf)

Stockholm Chamber Arbitration Rules 2017 (available at: http://www.sccinstitute.com/media/169838/arbitration_rules_eng_17_web.pdf)

Complementary study material

Will be recommended by the lecturers.

Learning Outcomes

Algemene Competenties

Students will have an understanding of, and ability to apply, principles of the following:

  • Foundations of International Investment Law
  • Protection Standards contained in investment treaties
  • Procedural aspects of investment treaty arbitration
  • The arbitration process
  • Recognition, enforcement, annulment, setting aside procedures
  • Recent developments in International Investment Law


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Oral Exam with a relative weight of 100 which comprises 100% of the final mark.

Additional info regarding evaluation

Not applicable.

Allowed unsatisfactory mark
The supplementary Teaching and Examination Regulations of your faculty stipulate whether an allowed unsatisfactory mark for this programme unit is permitted.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of Laws: Dual Master in Comparative Corporate and Financial Law (only offered in Dutch)
Postgraduate Certificate Economic Diplomacy: Standaard traject
Postgraduate Certificate Flagship Programme in Economic Diplomacy and International Business: Standaard traject