George K. Foster

Professor of Law

Legal Research Center 223
Legal Assistant:


Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Foster was a partner in the international law firm Dechert LLP, based in its New York office. He represented clients in court litigation in New York, California, and the District of Columbia, and in arbitrations around the world under the rules of the major arbitration institutions. Many of his cases involved sovereign states as parties, including several investment treaty arbitrations before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. He also advised clients on trade law issues and transactional matters associated with foreign investments, and acted regularly for both governments and private clients.

His research interests lie primarily in legal issues relating to foreign investment, sovereign immunity, international arbitration, and the rights of Indigenous peoples.

While in law school, Professor Foster served as the Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs. In addition, from 2003 to 2005 he was an adjunct professor of International Business Transactions at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions

Academic Credentials

  • BA, 1994 with highest distinction University of California, Berkeley
  • JD, 1998 University of California Los Angeles School of Law (Order of the Coif)


  • Foreign States, Private Proxies, and “Discretionary” Torts on U.S. Soil (in progress)
  • Rethinking Sovereign Veil-Piercing, 66 William & Mary Law Review __ (forthcoming)
  • Indigenous Participation in Resource Development: The Promise and Limitations of International Safeguards in Research Handbook on the International Law of Indigenous Rights (Dwight Newman ed., 2022)
  • The Participation Principle and the Dialectic of Sovereignty-Sharing, 44 Seattle University Law Review 1009 (2021)  SSRN Link
  • Essential Preconditions for an Indigenous-Industry Agreement with Community Legitimacy in Indigenous-Industry Agreements, Natural Resources and the Law 31 (Ibironke T. Odumosu-Ayanu & Dwight Newman eds., 2020)
  • Investor-Community Conflicts in Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Rethinking “Reasonable Expectations” and Expecting More from Investors, 69 American University Law Review 105 (2019) SSRN Link
  • Community Participation in Development, 51 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 39 (2018) SSRN Link
  • Combating Bribery of Indigenous Leaders in International Business, 54 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 59 (2015) SSRN Link
  • When Commercial Meets Sovereign: A New Paradigm for Applying the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in Crossover Cases, 52 Houston Law Review 361 (2014) SSRN Link
  • Investors, States, and Stakeholders: Power Asymmetries in International Investment and the Stabilizing Potential of Investment Treaties, 17 Lewis & Clark Law Review 361 (2013) SSRN Link
  • Recovering “Protection and Security”: The Treaty Standard’s Obscure Origins, Forgotten Meaning and Key Current Significance, 45 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law (2012) SSRN Link
  • Foreign Investment and Indigenous Peoples: Options for Promoting Equilibrium Between Economic Development and Indigenous Rights, 33 Michigan Journal of International Law 627 (2012) SSRN Link
  • Striking a Balance between Investor Protections and National Sovereignty: The Relevance of Local Remedies in Investment Treaty Arbitration, 49 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 201 (2011) SSRN Link
  • Collecting From Sovereigns: The Current Legal Framework for Enforcing Arbitral Awards and Court Judgments Against States and Their Instrumentalities, and Some Proposals for Its Reform, 25 Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law 665 (2008) SSRN Link
  • Managing Expropriation Risks in the Energy Sector, 23 Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law 36 (2005)
  • A Revolution in International Patent Protection: The U.S. and India in the Uruguay Round Its Aftermath, 3 UCLA Journal of International Law & Foreign Affairs 283 (1998) (winner of UCLA’s Benjamin Aaron Award)