Photo of the League of Nations, 1931

In May 2015 Dr Luca Rubini, from Birmingham Law School, organised jointly with the Global Governance Programme of the European University Institute, a path-breaking and extremely successful two-day workshop on state aid and subsidy laws.

Forty participants, coming from all over the world, and encompassing extremely distinguished former trade negotiators and public officials, practitioners and scholars specializing in law, economics, political science and history, convened in Birmingham to discuss the history of subsidy and State aid laws. The specific terms of reference were: ‘discuss what forces have shaped subsidy and State aid laws and how’.

The European University Institute has just published What Shapes the Law? Reflections on the History, Law, Politics and Economics of International and European Subsidy Disciplines, edited by Luca Rubini and Jennifer Hawkins. This ebook includes the input statements presented by the workshop participants, with two forewords by respectively the late legendary Uruguayan Ambassador and Appellate Body Member Julio Lacarte-Muro and the former judge at the General Court of the EU, Sir Nicholas Forwood QC.

This publication marks the beginning of an ambitious research project that will commence soon and will take Luca Rubini to write the first, comprehensive and contextual legal history of subsidy and State aid laws. Through the enquiry of this controversial and topical area of the law, significant insights into the working of international trade law will emerge.