Since the 18th century, and the advent of the industrial revolution, Birmingham has been inextricably connected with trade. Its economy is still extensively outward-looking.

Birmingham Law School has a long tradition in research and teaching trade law, be it at the regional or international level. Work on the EU internal market – the most advanced trade area in the world – and on the multilateral trade regulation, the World Trade Organization (WTO), have always been at the core of the group of EU and international trade lawyers at Birmingham.

More recently, expertise in trade law has acquired an extra degree of relevance due to various events. Following the economic and financial crisis at the end of 2000s, there have been signs of an increase in protectionist behavior by various countries, including the US, especially after the election of Donald Trump as president. In the UK, the June 2016 referendum, where the majority of voters opted for the UK to leave the EU, marked another important event, with crucial implications for trade. There fundamental trade issues that the UK will have to deal with, and that will shape its future, are the creation of new trade deals with the EU and with the rest of the world, together with finding a renewed trade profile inside the WTO framework. With which countries will the UK have to negotiate first? What will be its economic interests and political priorities in these negotiations? What are the main trade barriers that will have to be dealt with? What does the WTO regulatory framework have to say about this renewed trade competence? How will investment and global-value-chains be affected? What will be the impact on these trade deals on innovation, jobs and immigration? What will be the reaction of other WTO Members?

Many more systemic questions are constantly raised in a broader context. Can we say that, after the withdrawal of US from TPP and UK from the EU, we are witnessing the end of regionalism? Will there be a new interest toward multilateralism as reaction to the rise of protectionist measures across various countries?

These are just few of the questions that need to find an answer in the years to come, and that Birmingham academics are ready to tackle.



  • Luca Rubini - International trade law, law, policy and history of subsidy and state aid laws, EU internal market, competition and external relations law 
  • Rilka Dragneva-Lewers - regional trade agreements, Eurasian economic integration, EU external relations 
  • Maria Anna Corvaglia - International trade law, public procurement, trade and labour rights, regional trade agreements.
  • Martin Trybus - EU internal market law, public procurement, defence and security law and policy
  • Julian Lonbay - EU internal market law, especially in relation to legal and educational regulation and services

Publications (selection)

  • Luca Rubini and Jennifer Hawkins, What shapes the law? : reflections on the history, law, politics and economics of international and European subsidy disciplines, Florence : European University Institute, 2016, Global Governance Programme 
  • Graham Gee, Luca Rubini and Martin Trybus, "Leaving the EU? The Legal Impact of 'Brexit' on the United Kingdom", Special Issue (2016) 22 European Public Law
  • Maria Anna Corvaglia, “Public Procurement and Private Standards: Ensuring Sustainability under the WTO Government Procurement Agreement” (2016) Volume 19, Issue 3 Journal of International Economic Law 
  • Rilka Dragneva, Kataryna Wolczuk (2015), Ukraine Between the EU and Russia: The Integration Challenge (Palgrave Macmillan) 
  • Martin Trybus, Buying Defence and Security in Europe: The EU Defence and Security Procurement Directive in Context (CUP: Cambridge, 2014), XXXVI + 534 pp
  • Rilka Dragneva, Kataryna Wolczuk, eds., Eurasian Economic Integration: Law, Policy and Politics (Edward Elgar, 2013) 
  • Martin Trybus and Luca Rubini, The Treaty of Lisbon and the Future of European Law and Policy (Edward Elgar, 2012)
  • Luca Rubini, The Definition of Subsidy and State Aid - WTO and EC Law in Comparative perspective (Oxford University Press, 2009) 

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