LALIVEUNITAR and the Geneva-based LALIVE law firm conducted a new e-learning course on “Introduction to Investment Arbitration” from March 14 to April 15, 2011. Twenty-one lawyers, officials and professionals mostly from developing countries and transition economies participated in this executive-level course which aimed at enabling participants to analyze key issues related to investment arbitration, and to apply the principles discussed to future situations.

The course on “Introduction to Investment Arbitration”, which was mentored by an international team of four arbitration experts, had 21 participants from four continents.  It combined self-study, mentored online discussions, and self-assessments with the aim of providing participants high quality training and networking in a flexible and cost-effective way.

The diversity of participants rendered very lively and insightful discussions about the benefits and disadvantages of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). Participants studied treaty texts and case law, and debated different and sometimes conflicting interpretations and decisions.

On the whole, participants provided very positive feedback on the course, below are two comments from course participants:

“This is a very good course which I think all practitioners that are in the field should take. It helps one understand the complex nature of this field and how much you actually need to know before you venture into it. It was really refreshing and good.”

“Definitely the course had been momentous one and such an inspiration and influencing factor in my consultancy career path I intend to embark on and therefore cannot ask for more and better preparation without the insight and fortitude of this course. For a person from a developing country with an insatiable appetite for FDI portfolios that mostly ride on the back of BITs the time cannot be more opportune to have this course as the foundation.”

Investment arbitration is possibly the fastest-developing area of international law, combining elements of private dispute settlement, treaty law and public policy. Due to the widespread geographical participation of States in investment treaties and the increased use of arbitration to settle disputes involving significant amounts of money, understanding the particularities and dynamics of investment law and arbitration is becoming increasingly important. It is for this reason that UNITAR and LALIVE have developed a series of practical training modules on this topic which explain to lawyers and non-lawyers alike the specific issues relating to arbitration between foreign investors and host States, in particular under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (ICSID Convention) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs).

To register for UNITAR e-Learning courses in the areas of public finance and trade, please visit

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