International Investment Protection
The international regime for the protection of foreign investments forms an important part of International Economic Law. Switzerland alone has entered into over 120 Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BITs) in order to protect the investments of Swiss companies in partner countries from non-commercial risks such as unlawful expropriation, discriminatory regulations or restrictions on capital flows. Investment protection clauses are also part of multilateral treaties and negotiations, such as the Energy Charter Treaty and TTIP.
The lecture offers an in-depth introduction to international investment protection law with a focus on both the substantive principles governing the protection of foreign investments and the settlement of disputes between the host state and the foreign investor. Following an overview of the history and the underlying rationale of investment protection law, the course will examine the general principles such as expropriation, non-discrimination and fair and equitable treatment. Particular emphasis is placed on the tension between the international obligations relating to investment protection and the states’ sovereign right to regulate social standars, environmental protection or human rights issues.
- Switzerland Model BIT 1995 (Swiss Model BIT)
- European Free Trade Association – Singapore BIT (EFTA – Singapore BIT)
- Nord American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, Chapter 11)
- Energy Charter Treaty (ECT)
- OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises (OECD Declaration)
- Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft, Ressort Internationale Investitionen und multilaterale Unternehmen (SECO)
- International Centre for Settlement in Investment Disputes (ICSID)
- Arbitration Institute of Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC)
- European Commission (DG Trade)
- Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
- Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Investment Policy Hub (UNCTAD)