This course studies the use of international arbitration in the energy sector, and how disputes arising in this context are resolved. From the investment perspective, foreign investors require strong guarantees that states will respect the “rules of the game” that constitute the basis of their investments. On the other, states can use their sovereign powers to regulate and protect public interests and interfere with foreign energy investments, which are of socio-economic importance. This course aims to review and understand the overall framework of international energy investments, including investment treaties and dispute resolution mechanisms.
The world is facing an economic energy revolution and of consequences of climate change is the increase on the use of different energy sources (i.e., solar, hydro, wind, nuclear, fossil fuels, etc), yet there is a small number of players in the Energy industry. Energy projects often require public-private long-term partnerships; often surrounded by uncertainty, social and political instability brought about by regulatory actions made by the host-state of an investment. This is global phenomena which permeates all hemispheres, continents, developed and developing economies. There are some mixed signals about the present and the future of the energy industry; while there are serious decarbonization targets; foreign investments have been compromised in lieu of increasing the use of greener energy sources and more recent electricity crisis. Therefore, during the life of an energy project it is quite likely that legal disputes arise, where energy companies are reluctant to bring claims in 'foreign courts'. International arbitration is often the place for disputes to be resolved before an independent and neutral arbitral tribunal. This module provides students the understanding of commercial and investment issues of disputes in the energy sector. It also combines theoretical critical thinking about fundamental aspects of the dispute resolution process and investment law, with practical insights and hands-on case studies on the energy sector.
3 ECTS credits