Law School Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Business, Governments and International Investment Law
Code LAW378
Coordinator Professor M Sattorova
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15


1. To stimulate the academic and practical interest of students in an increasingly important and challenging area of law.

2. To encourage and develop analytical thinking.

3. To foster students' ability to create effective solutions to legally and factually complex problems.

4. To develop students' capacity to construct an effective argument, soundly based in critical analysis of the law

5. To cultivate a range of fundamental legal and transferable skills.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Use and understand complex legal texts, case law, and academic writing to identify solutions for law and policy issues arising from the application of international investment law

(LO2) Develop a critical understanding of the institutional and normative foundations of international investment law

(LO3) Critically appraise international investment law from the perspective of different groups of states, business interests and other stakeholders

(LO4) Critically evaluate the role and existing scope of investor-state dispute settlement, particularly in light of growing criticisms of free trade agreements such as TTIP and CETA.

(LO5) Demonstrate an ability to create and present arguments defending and/or criticising international investment law

(S1) Communication: influencing skills argumentation

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual): Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving: Critical analysis

(S4) Critical thinking and problem solving: Problem identification

(S5) Working in groups and teams: Negotiation skills



The module will address key topics concerning the protection of business under international investment treaty law and investment dispute settlement.
The topics to be covered during this module may include the following:
History and political economy of international investment law. Who is protected? The notion of investment and investor. How the law protects businesses from discriminatory treatment by governments? Protection of foreign investors' property and contracts: nationalisation, expropriation, and regulatory interference. What is the fair and equitable treatment standard and how do businesses benefit from it? The arbitration industry and business actors: an overview of investor-state arbitration. Business and society: interplay between international investment law and human rights, sustainable development, and environmental protection.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: Since the module will draw on a number of textbooks and articles, a module handbook with lecture outlines will be made available prior to the relevant sessions to facilitate the students engagement with the lectures. Lectures will focus on key topics within the syllabus, with particular emphasis on novel and complex legal issues. They are designed to provide the students with a detailed outline of the relevant law and legal issues, including details of key cases and principal legal and policy issues. Lectures will complement and elaborate on the material contained in the students' lecture notes and should therefore be attended. To make full use of lectures, the students should read handouts prior to the relevant lecture.

There will be 8 lectures, 120 min each, in weeks 1-6, 8, 11.
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Scheduled Directed hours: 16 hours

Notes: It is advised that students read recommended literature prior to att ending lectures as this will enhance their learning experience and help them better understand the learning materials

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar
Description: Seminars are designed to enable students to consolidate knowledge gained during the lectures and to examine the issues
covered in the module in sufficient detail. These issues will be
discussed and debated, any particular problems or gaps in the knowledge identified and clarified, and feedback given to students to facilitate their learning progress. In preparation for the seminars, students will be given a list of essential reading usually including academic articles and book chapters, as well as primary legal materials such as treaty texts and caselaw.
There will be 3 seminars, each lasting 120 minutes and expected to held in weeks 4, 6, and 10.
Scheduled directed hours: 6 hours
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Seminars will be focused on enhancing analytical and communication skills by adopti ng a problem-based learning method, as well as encouraging critical legal thinking in questioning efficacy and normative stances underpinning international investment law.

Teaching Method 3 - Online Exercises
Description: Students will be provided with online exercises both in preparation for seminars and by way of learning summary after
seminars. These exercises will variously comprise short MCQ tests and self-assessment exercises on Canvas.
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: This activity is designed to help deepen students' understanding of the subject and to help them to produce their best work for written assessment.
Unscheduled Directed Student Hours: 12
Self-directed Learning Hours: 12

Teaching Method 4 - Formative Feedback (revision and coursework preparation sessions)
Description: Drop-in sessions "Planning Your Coursework"
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Students will be offered 4 two-hourly drop in sessions to di scuss their coursework plan. In week 11, a revision lecture will take place to discuss formative feedback and answer the questions students may have encountered during their revision/self-study sessions.
Unscheduled Directed Student Hours: 8 hours

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 16





Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 112


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Semester 2    100       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Other Staff Teaching on this Module


Modules for which this module is a pre-requisite:


Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Co-requisite modules:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Additional Programme Information