JUS5851 – International Investment Law

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course concerns the relationship between foreign investors and host country governments under international law. The main focus of the course is on the protection of foreign investor rights against exercise of government authority, but the responsibility of foreign investors is also dealt with. 

Protection of foreign investment has for a long time been part of international law. But in recent decades the field has undergone substantial transformation. While foreign investors earlier had to rely on diplomatic protection from their home state, international investment law is to day based on a system of arbitral settlement of disputes between individual investors and host country governments. The field today has a genuine and practical significance both for companies making investments abroad and for host countries where such investments are made, especially developing countries.

The course encompasses the history, development and basic architecture of international investment law, as well as the main rules and standards of its substantive law. The course charts how the law from its fragmented basis in primarily bilateral investment treaties and principles of customary international law, has undergone a dynamic development through international arbitral practice. Currently more than 1000 known arbitral cases have been raised under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties. It has made the field of international investment law into a vibrant legal industry where most international law firms in the great arbitration centres of the world have separate departments specializing in such cases. But it has also created strong controversy and the field is the subject of constant demands for reform and political and academic controversy.

The aim of the course is to develop an understanding of the nature and function of the various legal instruments, mechanisms and processes constituting international investment law, as well as the key issues of the substantive law. The course also aims to provide a critical perspective on the function of the law and its future development.

For students enrolled in Rettsvitenskap (jus) (master - 5 år): Have you considered a specialization as part of your degree? The course is part of the profile Internasjonale kommersielle relasjoner

Read more about profiles.

Learning outcome

The course aims to give an understanding of the nature and function of the various legal instruments, mechanisms and processes constituting international investment law. It further aims to develop an in-depth understanding of key issues of the substantive law and policy of foreign investment protection, as well as a critical perspective on the function of the law and its future development.

You may read more about achievement requirements under Detailed course information for the current semester.


You may register for this course if you have admission to a Master’s programme at UiO or the faculty's exchange programme. You can also register for this course if you do not have admission to any programme at UiO, but meet the formal prerequistites.

All students are required meet the formal prerequistites.

Have you met the formal prerequisites at another institution than the University of Oslo, and the results are not formally registered at UiO, you must apply for admission to courses at Master’s level . Students with admission to Master’s degree programmes at other faculties than The Faculty of Law must also apply for admission.

When your admission is in order you must register for courses in StudentWeb


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students must fill one of these requirements:

  • Passed 1st - 3rd year of the 5-years degree Master of Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) (or exams that qualify for exemption for these) or
  • Hold a 5-years Master’s degree in Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) or equivalent.

Exemptions from the formal prerequisites will be given to students with admission to the faculty's own exchange or master’s degree programmes. This rule does not apply to students with admission to other master’s degree programmes at the University of Oslo, unless otherwise agreed.

Recommended previous knowledge

Students are expected to have basic knowledge of international law.



Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all communication during lectures/seminars will be in English, and all literature and auxiliary materials are in English.


In the spring semester 2022, the exam will be a 24 hour home exam, maximum 3000 words.

Footnotes should be included in the word count of the main text. Not included in this count: front page (with name and title etc.), summary, table of contents and references (bibliography). (If relevant for the paper).

Assignments/papers with text exceeding the word limit will not be accepted.


Examination support material

All support materials will be permitted throughout the exam.

Use of sources and rules for citing 

The standard rules on cheating and plagiarism apply to assignments.  This means that you must provide a reference whenever you draw upon another person’s ideas, words or research in your answer to the exam question(s). You cannot copy text directly from textbooks, journal articles, court judgments etc. without highlighting that the text is copied.

Thus, pieces of text quoted verbatim from these and other sources must be italicised or otherwise highlighted so that it is obvious that the pieces of text are quotes.

Example of highlighting in a text:

"Laurent Bailay and Bernard Van der Lande propose to define a mobile payment as a “payment for products or services between two parties for which a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, plays a key role in the realization of the payment”. (European Commission, GREEN PAPER Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments, page 5)"

Failure to cite sources or highlight quotes in your exam answer may be considered as evidence of cheating.

Previous exams

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Marking criteria 

This  guide is used by examiners for grading this course.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take this exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.


The language for this course is English. Students enrolled in the
Masterprogrammet i rettsvitenskap must pass one
English subject as part of their degree, this course will meet these

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language