This module addresses the foundations, rules and policy underlying the contemporary international investment law regime, and aims at providing students with a solid understanding of how international investment arbitration works. It introduces students to the history, sources, obligations, dispute settlement and controversies of international investment law and arbitration.


Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • understand the historical background to the contemporary international investment law regime, including the customary law on diplomatic protection and state responsibility for injuries to aliens
  • critically discuss all the key issues and the latest developments in international investment law and arbitration
  • identify and appreciate the more subtle analytical and methodological issues arising in investment treaty arbitration.
  • ascertain the role of public international law principles and concepts in foreign investment protection.



The course covers both core and specialized issues of international investment law, as one of the fastest developing areas of public international law. Topics such as investor-state dispute settlement under ICSID and non-ICSID arbitration rules, the definition of foreign investments and foreign investors under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, substantive standards of treatment (expropriation, fair & equitable treatment, non-discrimination, umbrella clauses), host states’ right to regulate, EU’s competence regarding foreign direct investment and the modern backlash against investment arbitration, will be examined through the lens of the law of treaties and the law of State responsibility.

Academic Requirements

Participants should have at least some basic previous knowledge of Public International Law.

Teaching method

Teaching will be conducted through interactive, discussion-based, seminars and student participation in the lectures will be required. Basic and further reading lists will be circulated prior to the classes.


The course is taught by Lecturer Anastasios Gourgourinis.

Assessment and testing

  • Final written exam, open book, essay questions - 2 hours (60%)
  • Mid-term written exam, open book, essay questions - 2 hours (30%)
  • Class participation (10 %)

Each participating student may submit one optional practice essay for feedback during the semester.