• Class Number 5676
  • Term Code 3040
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Esme Shirlow
    • Esme Shirlow
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/04/2020
  • Class End Date 12/06/2020
  • Census Date 01/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 20/04/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces students to the key components of public international law related to the protection of foreign investment, and considers the procedural means by which disputes about those protections are settled. Among the topics covered in the course include:
• policy rationales and legal frameworks for foreign investment
• policy challenges associated with the international regulation of investment
• historical background, including the liberalisation of foreign direct investment, the growth of international agreements related to foreign investment, and historic means of protection (including diplomatic protection and gunboat diplomacy)
• sources of international investment law
• the scope of an investor's right to arbitration under investment treaties and concession agreements
• standards of investment protection, including minimum standards of treatment under customary international law, and protection from expropriation and unfair and inequitable treatment
• investor-State dispute settlement, including arbitration and mediation
• procedural issues in investor-State dispute settlement, including selection of a forum and arbitrators, choice of law, parallel proceedings, and interaction with domestic and other international systems for dispute settlement
• State defences to investor claims
• remedies for breach of investment treaties
• the future of the international investment regime: challenges and opportunities

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Critically analyse the historical and contemporary evolution of international investment law and arbitration.
  2. Evaluate the legal rules, policies and policy considerations underlying this field of law, including the political, economic, and legal issues involved in the regulation of foreign investment and the impact of this area of law in society.
  3. Synthesise and apply the substantive and procedural elements of international investment law and arbitration.
  4. Plan and execute legal research on issues relating to international investment law and arbitration, and present the research findings in written and oral form.
  5. Select, apply and evaluate a range of approaches to conduct legal analysis and develop appropriate solutions to complex legal problems.

Research-Led Teaching

Esmé researches public international law, international dispute settlement, and international investment arbitration. For further details of Esmé's research and teaching interests, see: https://law.anu.edu.au/people/esme-shirlow

Required Resources

A reading list and electronic resources will be provided through the Wattle site.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

Extensions, late submission and penalties: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Further information about the course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to international investment law and arbitration
2 Standards of investment protection: expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, full protection and security, non-impairment, national and most-favoured nation treatment, umbrella clauses
3 State responses to investment claims
4 Remedies and Enforcement; The future of international investment law and arbitration

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Analytical Reflections 45 % 11/05/2020 25/05/2020 2,3,4,5
Take-Home Assignment: Problem Question 55 % 02/06/2020 19/06/2020 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Effective participation in this course will be achieved by a combination of:

1.   Reading, analysing and critically reflecting upon the readings;

2.   Engaging with the ideas and discussion generated in course intensive;

3.   Engaging in informal discussion with your peers and others about the issues and ideas encountered in this course (including outside of class).

Assessment Task 1

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 11/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 25/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5

Analytical Reflections

Details of Task: This task will comprise prompts to which students will be required to develop a short analytical response. This task will assess students' ability to engage with the readings critically and reflectively, and to develop confidence in engaging intellectually with the materials and discussions about the materials covered in the course. It will assess students' ability to formulate and defend an argument that addresses core issues related to international investment law and arbitration. It will provide students with an opportunity to plan and execute legal research and to present their findings in written form.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Non completion of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Release date: 24 April 2020 via Wattle.

Due date: 17:00pm (AEST) 11 May 2020 via Wattle. Late submissions are accepted but a mark penalty will be imposed see below.

Estimated Return date: 2 weeks after submission

Weighting: 45%

Word limit: 1,800 words (Students will be given two prompts, with each response to be no more than 900 words in length, inclusive of footnotes in AGLC/OSCOLA format)

Assessment Criteria:

  • Understanding of relevant law and legal policy
  • Critical and analytical response to the topic
  • Structure and organisation of ideas
  • References to, and engagement with, relevant primary legal and secondary scholarly sources
  • Written expression, including use of legal terminology, proof-reading, grammar, and punctuation

Assessment Task 2

Value: 55 %
Due Date: 02/06/2020
Return of Assessment: 19/06/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Take-Home Assignment: Problem Question

Details of Task: In this task, students will be given a factual scenario and asked to analyse the issues of investment law raised by that scenario. This task assesses students' ability to recognise, explain and apply the substantive and procedural elements of international investment law and arbitration. It will test students' capacity to analyse hypothetical scenarios using the skills and materials they cover in the course, and their capacity to identify and develop appropriate solutions to complex scenarios. 

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Non completion of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Release date: 9:00am (AEST) 29 May 2020 via Wattle.

Due date: 5:00pm (AEST) 2 June 2020 via Wattle.

Estimated Return date: 2 weeks after submission.

Weighting: 55%

Word limit: No longer than 2,200 words. No Bibliography is required for primary or secondary sources used in the take-home examination, but brief in-text references are required that are sufficient to identify the source (and the location of quotes, where these are used). References will be counted towards the word count.

NOTE: No extensions will be granted for the completion of this assignment. ALL students are expected to be available during the period of the assignment to complete this assessment task. Failure to submit the assignment will result in a mark of 0. If a student experiences circumstances which, if the task were an exam, would entitle them to a deferred exam, the student should email enquiries.law@anu.edu.au supplying evidence and, if approved, the student will be able to defer the take-home assignment.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Understanding of relevant law and legal policy
  • Critical and analytical response to the topic
  • Structure and organisation of ideas
  • References to, and engagement with, relevant primary legal and secondary scholarly sources
  • Written expression, including use of legal terminology, proof-reading, grammar, and punctuation

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Esme Shirlow

Research Interests

Public international law, international dispute settlement, international investment arbitration

Esme Shirlow

By Appointment
Esme Shirlow
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Esme Shirlow

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions