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International Energy Law

Given its central importance to economic development, welfare and power, energy is a more than simply a sector or a commodity. It has a strategic character that makes it susceptible to politicization and conflict, and an international dimension that creates demands for cooperation among governments and international engagement by private parties. This course provides an introduction to how international law regulates energy activities. It analyzes the legal framework for trade and investment in the energy sector, covering international rules that government lawyers and lawyers representing private energy firms would encounter, including World Trade Organization rules, investment treaties and arbitration (such as the Energy Charter Treaty and NAFTA), and EU rules. We will also discuss the environmental aspects of international energy law, paying special attention to the way laws addressing climate change influence the energy sector. Finally, energy companies are among the most significant transnational corporations, operating around the globe in countries with diverse economies and systems of government. The course will therefore provide an overview of corporate responsibility and human rights consequences of energy activities. By the end of the course, students will be able to critically assess the key legal issues around the exploitation of energy sources from a multidisciplinary and global standpoint. Enrollment limited.