The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

Main menu:

Fall 2007 - Applied Intl Arbitration Skills

Tyler, Timothy J

Unique # 29090 Credit Hours: 2 Course ID: 279M
DayTimeLocation
M3:30 - 6:45 pmTNH 3.142
Exam Type    Test Date Time      Name Range Regular Room Extegrity Room
  Final Friday, November 9 1:00 pm -   A-Z
  3.142
  3.142
Registration Information
This course is restricted to upper division students only.

Description
Class meets September 10 through October 29.

An expansive treaty network protects foreign investor's investments against improper actions by the governments, agencies, and instrumentalities of investment-receiving countries.  This network includes multilateral treaties like the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), many free trade agreements, the Energy Charter Treaty, over 2,400 bilateral investment treaties ("BITs"), and the Washington Convention.  BITs and similar treaties provide investors with both substantive and procedural protection against elements of political risk.  Substantive provisions protect against expropriation, unfair treatment, and discrimination.  Procedural protections include arbitration by foreign, private investors directly against States, which--if they lose--may have to pay damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

With oil and gas and other raw materials fetching record prices, recent examples of government interference with foreign investments in those sectors continues to rise and occupy the headlines each day.  Bolivia announced nationalizations of foreigners' oil and gas interests there.  Venezuela has increased its take in foreign companies' oil and gas projects.  The front page of any international newspaper is rife with such disputes.  And the risks go far beyond the energy sector:  construction, banking, telecommunications; all sectors face political perils when investing overseas.

This two-hour, short course will--through a course of materials by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and cases--introduce students to the network of treaty protection and its practical implementation for foreign investors.  But states are obviously concerned, given that they can now be sued, directly, by foreign investors, with awards to be paid from the national treasury.  The course will therefore address the inevitable political and economic questions raised by this significant cession of sovereignty to private actors.

Related Course Areas