• Offered by School of Regulation and Global Governance
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject RegNet
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Law, International Business, Legal Practice, International Affairs
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
International Investment Treaties: Law, Arbitration and Policy (REGN8053)

This course on “International Investment Treaties: Law, Arbitration and Policy” examines an important and fast-growing area of the law and policy. More than 3500 investment treaty agreements now exist worldwide in the form of bilateral investment treaties and free trade agreements with investor-state provisions. Investment treaty obligations have been included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and form part of the draft texts being negotiated for the Transatlantic Treaty and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Investment treaties typically permit foreign investors to bring arbitral claims directly against states if they believe that they have been discriminated against, treated unfairly or inequitably or had their property expropriated without adequate compensation. Since the late 1990s, thousands of investor-state arbitrations have been filed and hundreds of investor-state awards have been issued. Investor-state claims are often controversial. Some of these claims involve sensitive issues of public policy. For instance, Australia was sued by Philip Morris over its Tobacco Plain Packaging Act, Germany was sued by Vattenfall over its decision to phase out nuclear power, and South Africa was sued by mining companies over its decision to apply affirmative action schemes for historically disadvantaged South Africans. Some states have also been deluged by claims, such as Argentina, which has faced more than 50 claims since its 2001 economic crisis.

This course introduces students to the main legal principles and policy controversies surrounding the investment treaty system and investor-state dispute settlement.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the legal and policy debates in the investment treaty field, including current and proposed reforms.
  2. Critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of investor-state dispute settlement.
  3. Research key issues and challenges in investment treaty policy with respect to a particular issue, country or region of the world.
  4. Critically appraise and persuasively communicate ideas in writing about investment treaty policy with respect to a particular issue, country or region of the world.

Indicative Assessment

  1. In-class participation and electronic submission of two questions for each session a day prior to class (10%)
  2. Short answer and multiple choice exam (30$)
  3. Research essay - 5,000 words (60%)

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This course will require 30 contact hours and 130 hours workload in total.

Requisite and Incompatibility

This course will be co-badged between CoL and CAP. International Law will be a prerequisite for students taking the Masters in International Law. For all other LLM and CAP students, there will be no prerequisite.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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