International Investment Law Concepts for Foreign Investors: Part 1 Basics of International Law

6 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2018 Last revised: 3 May 2018

See all articles by Alan Franklin

Alan Franklin

Global Business Risk Management

Date Written: April 12, 2018


This Article is part 1 of a three-part series on international law basics for foreign investors. Part 2 discusses treaty law, and part 3 discusses customary international law.

In part 1, basic concepts of public international law are introduced including sovereignty of nations, sovereign immunity, restrictive concepts of immunity, transnational law. It also discusses “subjects of international law” and the fact that corporations are generally not considered subjects of international law and are therefore not bound legally by international law obligations. This concept, while subject to refinement, is a crucial element for investor to make sense of many aspects of law, such as whether corporations are legally required to comply with international conventions and treaties on human rights.

It looks at how working with international organizations such as the World Bank, which is a subject of international law, can be beneficial to an investor. It also looks at the concept of transnational law, and the various meanings that the term can encompass.

Keywords: international law, transnational law, sovereignty, sovereign immunity, subjects of international law

JEL Classification: K33, K4, K2, M16, M38, M48, F01, F02, F2, F21, F23, F33, F34, F38

Suggested Citation

Franklin, Alan, International Investment Law Concepts for Foreign Investors: Part 1 Basics of International Law (April 12, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Alan Franklin (Contact Author)

Global Business Risk Management ( email )

635 Blenkin Avenue
Parksville, British Columbia V9P 2K7
416 454 6133 (Phone)


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