International Investment Arbitration

4 ECTS / Semester / English

The subject of International Investment Arbitration analyzes the main topics of Investor-State Arbitration, that deals with the dispute resolution between investors and foreign sovereign States. Students will have the opportunity to acknowledge the origin and context of the Washington Convention, that created the ICSID (International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes) which was pioneer in recognizing the globalization of international investments and the existence of a true Global Public Law.

Students will also acknowledge the relevance of the BIT (Bilateral Investment Treaties) signed by States. By signing those bilateral investment treaties, to promote and protect foreign investments, each State grants to nationals of the other contracting State a significative list of rights that the State is bound to respect. Furthermore, in the BITs the host States also give their consent to international arbitration directly launched by the investors in case the investor considers that the State has breached any of the rights granted in the BIT, namely breach of the fair and equitable treatment. The arbitral tribunals will apply international law in order to decide if the host State has breached its international obligations included in the BIT and will condemn the host State even if its actions (taken by law of administrative act) were lawful according to its domestic legislation. The ICSID arbitral awards are binding for the States, cannot be set aside, and can only be annulled in quite a few situations.

Those awards are enforceable in all States that are members of the Washington Convention, which is a very relevant aspect.

Although Investment Arbitration has enjoyed a great success in the last decades and has contributed to the promotion and protection of international investments in States that needed those investments, it is also subject to relevant criticism due to the alleged lack of predictability and transparency and that should not be forgotten.


Invited Professor
Invited Professor at Católica University Law School. Graduated in Law by the University of Lisbon Law School (1995). PhD in Law from Nova University Law…