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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance

Master of Law (LLM), Paper 29


Michael Waibel

Kate Miles

Jorge E. Vinuales

The law on investment protection disciplines how States treat foreign investors and their investments. The investment regime emerges from the substantive obligations expressed in investment treaties and customary international law, and their interpretation and application by investment treaty tribunals in particular disputes. The course offers a graduate level treatment of investment law and investment treaty arbitration. It deals with both substantive and procedural aspects of investment law and arbitration, exploring its theoretical underpinnings and practical implications. Some background in international law, for instance through an undergraduate course in the subject, is desirable, but not a prerequisite.

The course has three parts. The first examines the historical origins and the economic and political rationales of the modern investment regime. The second examines substantive standards of investment protection such as non - discrimination and fair and equitable treatment in investment chapters in free trade agreements and investment treaties. It also examines the host state’s right to regulate and the interaction of investment law with other areas of international law through case studies on environmental protection and international finance. The third part looks at the institution of investment arbitration and its operation, including questions of jurisdiction, applicable law, the possibility of conflicting awards, remedies and damages, and broader questions about the regime’s functionality and legitimacy.

The course will be taught as a weekly interactive seminar. Readings are divided into primary texts, required and further reading. Students are expected to have read the relevant primary texts and the required reading in advance of the seminar to be able to participate fully in discussions. Students are encouraged to do the further reading after the class, particularly in preparation for the exam.