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030238 SE Seminar in International Law: Investment Law and Non discrimination (2016W)

(for undergraduate and graduate students)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 3 - Rechtswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work

Personal Registration via E-Mail: katharina.erhart@univie.ac.at until 10 October 2016

Registration prerequisites: knowledge of international law evidenced by law degree or diploma exam in international law attached to registration email


max. 25 participants
Language: German, English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Wednesday 12.10. 17:00 - 18:30 Seminarraum SEM42 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 4.OG (Kickoff Class)
Thursday 15.12. 09:00 - 18:00 Seminarraum SEM42 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 4.OG
Friday 16.12. 09:00 - 18:00 Seminarraum SEM42 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 4.OG


Aims, contents and method of the course

This seminar aims at exploring the concept and use of non-discrimination standards in international investment law practice. Participants are invited to select a seminar topic from the following list.

Assessment and permitted materials

written seminar paper, oral presentation and participation in the discussion

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics


Historic Origin of MFN Clauses

The Use of MFN Clauses in Different Contexts (Trade, Investment, Privileges and Immunities, etc.)

Conceptual Underpinnings of MFN Treatment (ejusdem generis principle, importation of treaty standards or only de facto treatment, treatment "no less favourable" vs. "equal" treatment, etc.)

MFN and Substantive Treatment (FET, Expropriation, etc.)

MFN and Dispute Settlement (Maffezini vs. Plama and other cases)

National Treatment:

National Treatment and Entry or Establishment

The Relevance of GATT/WTO Jurisprudence for National Treatment in Investment Law

Discriminatory Intent as a Requirement for a Breach of National Treatment?

The Identification of a Domestic Comparator "Like Circumstances" or "Like Situations"

Less Favourable Treatment Discrimination vis-à-vis Nationals

Lack of Justification for Different Treatment

Reading list

Freya Baetens, ‘Discrimination on the Basis of Nationality: Determining Likeness in Human Rights and Investment Law’, in S Schill (ed.), International Investment Law and Comparative Public Law 279-315 (Oxford University Press 2010).
A. K. Bjorklund, ‘National Treatment’, in A. Reinisch, Standards of Investment Protection (Oxford University Press, New York 2009) 29.
N. DiMascio and Joost Pauwelyn, ‘Nondiscrimination in Trade and Investment Treaties: Worlds Apart or Two Sides of the Same Coin?’, (2008) 102 American Journal of International Law 48-89.
Meinhard Hilf and Robin Geiß, ‘Most Most-Favoured-Nation Clause’, in R. Wolfrum (ed.), Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Vol. VII (2012), 384-395.
ILC, Report of the Study Group on the Most-Favoured-Nation Clause, Doc. A/CN.4/L.828 of 16 July 2013.
J. Kurtz, ‘The Use and Abuse of WTO Law in Investor-State Arbitration: Competition and Discontents’ (2009) 20 EJIL 749-771.
Federico Ortino, ‘Non-discriminatory treatment in investment disputes’, in P.-M. Dupuy, F. Francioni and E.-U. Petersmann (eds.), Human Rights in International Investment Law and Arbitration (Oxford University Press 2009),
August Reinisch, ‘Maffezini v Spain Case’, in R. Wolfrum (ed.), Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Vol. VI (2012), 973-978.
Stephan W. Schill, ‘Allocating Adjudicatory Authority: Most-Favoured-Nation Clauses as a Basis of Jurisdiction – A Reply to Zachary Douglas’, (2011) 2(2) Journal of International Dispute Settlement 353.
Stephan W. Schill, ‘Multilateralizing Investment Treaties through Most-Favoured-Nation Clause’, (2009) 27 Berkeley Journal of International Law 496.
UNCTAD, Most Favoured-Nation Treatment, Series on International Investment Agreements II, UNCTAD/DIAE/IA/2010/1 (2010).
Andreas R. Ziegler, ‘Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) Treatment’, in August Reinisch (ed.), Standards of Investment Protection 59-86 (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:27