LLM International Trade Law and Policy - Foundations

Module leader:  Dr Luca Rubini

Teaching and assessment (2016-2017): Semester 1, Essay - 6,000 words

Module description:

This module explores the rules governing international trade, focussing in particular on WTO law. Although concentrating on the law governing the world trading system, the legal debate will be continuously linked with the policy debate raised by the several issues of globalization, free trade, protection of non-economic values and human rights. Reference will be made to economic and political arguments.

Seminar topics:

  • The theory of international trade: the benefits, and the concerns, of free trade
  • The debate on globalization and trade (analysis of i) socio-, economic, non-economic and ethical implications, and ii) of whether globalization can be governed through rules)
  • A brief history of the GATT and the WTO, and brief reference to the other institutions whose powers may have an impact on trade, such as the IMF, the World Trade Bank, the EU and other regional areas
  • The institutional analysis of the WTO: organizational structure of the WTO and its decision-making; amendment of WTO instruments; rules of interpretation; the debate on its future
  • The system of dispute settlement, focussing in particular on the issues connected to the participation of third parties and the (effective) implementation of rulings and recommendations (so-called `compliance¿ problem)
  • The main rules of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
  • The functioning and the main rules of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), with a case-study on the impact of the GATS on the national regulation of public services
  • The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and its most debated aspects
  • The rules relating to technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS)
  • The regulation of subsidies in the WTOAgriculture and development, and their relationship
  • The regulation of dumping and the competition policy debate
  • The role of non-economic values and Human Rights in the context of WTO law