LEGAL528-19B (HAM)

Foreign Investment Law

30 Points

Edit Header Content
Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
Te Piringa - Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law Dean's Office


Edit Staff Content




Placement Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)



You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
Edit Staff Content

Paper Description

Edit Paper Description Content

International investment law is one of the most contentious areas of international law today. The topic is relevant to New Zealand given the inclusion of a Chapter on Investment Protection and investor/State arbitration in several free trade agreements and given the increasing importance of foreign investment within New Zealand's economy.

This course will assess the standards of protection that States have to grant to foreign investors by virtue of international investment agreements: the controversial fair and equitable treatment and national treatment among others; the protection against direct expropriation and when new regulation adopted by a State can be considered as an indirect expropriation of a foreign investment that has to be compensated by the State and its tax payers. The paper will also examine the positive and negative features of investor/State arbitration; and some of the most contentious aspects of this field of law: its interactions with the protection of human rights, aboriginal rights, health and the environment. We will look at these topics together and discuss international awards with a view to understanding their implications for host States, foreign investors, and civil societies.

We will explore cases dealing with States' actions and regulations in several continents. If you come, for instance, from China, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or any member of the European Union, you will be able to understand or enhance your understanding of your country's policy and actions concerning international investment agreements.

Obviously, we will also look at the New Zealand regulation of foreign investment: the Overseas Investment Act 2005. In sum, this paper has a local and global focus. You will grasp the law, the history and the politics of this domain.

Edit Paper Description Content

Paper Structure

Edit Paper Structure Content

Classes will generally follow a lecture format, though there will be ample opportunity for class discussion. The course is conducted with the assistance of Powerpoint-based lectures. Students are expected to have completed the assigned readings in time for the class and should be prepared to discuss and analyze the relevant reading materials in an interactive classroom setting.

We will have a 10 minute break approximately mid-way through each class.

Edit Paper Structure Content

Learning Outcomes

Edit Learning Outcomes Content

Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • 1. Identify and understand the concepts related to the protection of international investment in factual situations.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 2. Assess specific factual situations from States', foreign investors' and civil society´s standpoints
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 3. Identify the potential policy implications for States, foreign investors and other stakeholders of the application of these concepts.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 4. Identify and assess the main criticism to international investment law.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 5. Form his or her own judgment on the benefits and limitations of international investment law and bilateral investment treaties.
    Linked to the following assessments:
Edit Learning Outcomes Content
Edit Learning Outcomes Content


Edit Assessments Content


The purpose of this paper is to make sure you carry out a research project that is meaningful to you.

To this end, I will be available to offer you advice on drafts of your research project and/or your final essay.

Edit Additional Assessment Information Content

Assessment Components

Edit Assessments Content

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Class participation
2. In-class presentations
3. Research-proposal
12 Sep 2019
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Research paper
25 Oct 2019
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
Edit Assessments Content

Required and Recommended Readings

Edit Required Readings Content

Required Readings

Edit Required Readings Content

All law students are required to purchase, for use in all law papers, a copy of Coppard, McLay, Murray & Orpin, New Zealand Law Style Guide, 2nd edition, Thomson Reuters (2018). This is available from Bennetts.

Other required readings will be posted on Moodle before each lecture.

Edit Required Readings Content

Recommended Readings

Edit Recommended Readings Content

R. Doak Bishop, James Crawford & W. Michael Reisman, Foreign Investment Disputes: Cases, Materials and Commentary (2005).

Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Olufemi Elias, and Panos Merkouris (eds), Treaty Interpretation and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: 30 Years on. (2010).

Douglas, Zachary;Pauwelyn, Joost;Viñuales, Jorge E,The foundations of international investment law: bringing theory into practice. (2014).

Weiler, Todd,The interpretation of international investment law: equality, discrimination, and minimum standards of treatment in historical context. (2013).

Dolzer, Rudolf;Schreuer, Christoph,Principles of international investment law(2012).

Dupuy, Pierre-Marie;Francioni, Francesco;Petersmann, Ernst-Ulrich,Human rights in international investment law and arbitration (2009).

Muchlinski, Peter;Ortino, Federico;Schreuer, Christoph,The Oxford Handbook of international investment law (2008).

Brown, Chester;Miles, Kate,Evolution in investment treaty law and arbitration. (2011).

Meg N. Kinnear, editor.; Geraldine R. Fischer, editor.; Jara Mínguez Almeida, editor.; Luisa Fernanda Torres, editor.; Mairée Uran Bidegain, editor. Building international investment law : the first 50 years of ICSID(2016).

SchillI, Stephan, International investment law and comparative public law (2010).

Alvarez-Jimenez, Alberto. "International Investment Law, Time, and Economics: Fixing the Length of Economic Crises as a Costs-Allocation Tool between Host States and Foreign Investors" World Trade Review (2019).

Alvarez-Jimenez, Alberto. "Tobacco Control Measures and International Investment Law after Philip Morris v Australia and Philip Morris v Uruguay" American Review of International Arbitration (2019).

Alvarez-Jimenez, Alberto. "The International Law Gaze: Allard v. Barbados" New Zealand Law Journal (2018).

Alvarez-Jimenez, Alberto. "The International Law Gaze: Lilly v Canada" New Zealand Law Journal (2017).

Alvarez-Jimenez, Alberto, The Interpretation of Necessity Clauses in Bilateral Investment Treaties After The Recent ICSID Annulment Decisions" Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy 411 (2011).

Alvarez-Jimenez, Alberto, "Foreign Investors, Diplomatic Protection and the International Court of Justice’s Decision on Preliminary Objections in the Diallo Case" 33 North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation 437 (2008).

Edit Recommended Readings Content

Online Support

Edit Online Support Content

Online support for this paper is provided via Moodle.

Edit Online Support Content


Edit Workload Content

Students should expect to spend 300 hours in total on this paper. In addition to lecture attendance, significant time will need to be spent on background and complementary reading. Students should allow for periods of more-focused research time in the preparation of assignments.

Edit Workload Content

Linkages to Other Papers

Edit Linkages Content





Restricted papers: LAWS528

Edit Linkages Content