Didactic objectives

This course aims at introducing students to one of the most dynamic, and also one of the most criticized field of public international law. In light of the history of international investment law and its future prospects, students get in-depth analyses of the substantive rules that protect foreign investors as well as of investor-State arbitration. They also learn about the increasing use of international investment law to promote and protect sustainable development objectives. Equipped with this knowledge, students are able to assess and make their own -informed- opinion on the ‘merits’ of international investment law, notably in relation to the issue of the right of States to regulate as well as the issue of the legitimacy and adequacy of arbitration to settle investor-State disputes.


The course is divided into four parts. The first one is devoted to the history of international investment law; it explains the inception and evolution of the field since the second half of the 18th century until today. The second part focuses on the rules and standards protecting foreign investors abroad, such as the fair and equitable treatment and the expropriation standards, with a particular insight into the recent evolution of treaty practice. The third part analyses investor-State arbitration from an institutional and procedural perspectives. It also delves into specific issues, for instance applicable law or reparation. The last part of the course inquires into the future of international investment law in light of the current trends in this regime; it analyzes notably the relation between international investment law and sustainable development.

Additional information

The MOOC on international investment law (https://www.edx.org/micromasters/louvainx-international-law) is part of the course. Further information on this will be given during the first session.