Over 3000 international investment agreements (IIA) currently operates through Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and investment protection provisions of free trade agreements (FTAs). Investment agreements are concluded by the investor’s home country and the host country. Its aim is to protect the investor and investment made in the territory of the host country. By the nature of mixing public-private law, investment treaties usually have a wider implication for the domestic regulatory regime of host states. Notable examples include trade, tax, intellectual property, renewable energy, environment and public health policies. How to balance investor’ rights and the host state’s right to regulate in public mattes has thus become a topical issue in investment relations.
On dispute settlement, foreign investor are given the direct rights to use international arbitration challenging the host state’s measures. The arbitral rules of the ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) and United Nations Commission International Trade Law Arbitration Rules (UNCITRAL) are the two rules which have been most commonly used. As practiced, the number of investor-State arbitrations has mushroomed as hundreds of millions of dollars have been awarded as compensation remedies. Investment arbitration usually affects a wider public interest of a host state and thus has invited hot debates within international economic community.
Tentative topics to be discussed follow.
(1) Overview of International Investment Law – Proliferation in Asia
(2) Definition on investors and investments
(3) Non-discrimination treatment: National Treatment; Most Favoured Nation
(4) Indirect expropriations and right to regulate
(5) Fair and equitable treatment: the emerging proportionality principle?
(6) Full protection and security/ umbrella clause
(7) Cross-cutting Issues in Investment Law – Asia Perspective on Sustainable Environment and Public Health
(8) BIT dispute settlement in East Asia and the dispute settlement in the investment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
(9) Introduction to ICSID arbitral rules(I): ICSID Jurisdiction, applicable law and interim measure
(10) Introduction to ICSID arbitral rules(II):Challenge and annulment procedures
(11) Introduction to ICSID arbitral rules(II): Enforcement and sovereign immunity