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LAWS443 International Investment Law

The international community's regulation of foreign investment; the norms that have developed to govern this process and protect investors.

This paper provides an overview of international investment law.  In this context, international investment law is a reference to the universe of over 3,000 international treaties between countries in which they commit to providing protections for investments and investors from their treaty partners.  This network of treaties (or agreements) is often referred to as the international investment law regime.  The paper will examine the substantive obligations contained in investment treaties, as well as the means for their enforcement through arbitration by investors (investor state dispute settlement).  Particular attention is paid to the key provisions of treaties to which New Zealand is a party, including the China New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, the CER Investment Protocol, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Agreement, as well as to likely future directions of the discipline.

Paper title International Investment Law
Paper code LAWS443
Subject Law
EFTS 0.1
Points 15 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $710.30
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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96 LAWS points
Pre or Corequisite
Any 200-level LAWS paper not already passed.
Limited to
LLB, LLB(Hons)
May not be credited together with LAWS477 passed in 2009 or LAWS471 passed in 2012, 2014 or 2016.
LLB and LLB(Hons) students (Otago) will be eligible to enrol in this paper if they meet the prerequisite regarding second-year Law papers.
Teaching staff

Tracey Epps - Trade Law Consultant (Chapman Tripp)

Course materials will be provided.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

After completing the paper, students should have knowledge of:

  • the fundamental characteristics of foreign investment that have led to the development of the international investment regime, and a broad understanding of the history of the development of international investment law
  • the arbitration process that is established by investment agreements
  • the key substantive obligations found in international investment agreements, including non-discrimination, the international minimum standard of treatment, the obligation not to expropriate without compensation, the obligation not to discriminate against foreign investors and investment
  • how states retain policy space to regulate under investment agreements
  • when an investor will have jurisdiction to bring an arbitration claim under an investment treaty
  • the defences that may be claimed by a state under an investment treaty
  • the options that a state has for seeking to annul or set aside an arbitration award
  • current controversies, criticisms of the international investment regime, and options for reform.

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system