Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Law

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - M (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - IM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - AFC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - DSBA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - PPA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13) - FIN (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/13)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

Public international law.

Mission & Content Summary


This course deals with the international regulation of trade and investment relationships between countries and between countries and enterprises in the framework of the globalized world economy. As to international trade law, the focus is on the law of the World Trade Organization as the general multilateral regulation of trade. This part of the course focuses on the origins of the multilateral commercial system (GATT 1947), on the WTO institutional framework, including the dispute settlement system, and on the main sectorial agreements (on goods, including the GATT disciplines, GATS on services, TRIPS on intellectual property). The main subjects are analyzed through case studies based on the decisions of Panels and the Appellate Body of the WTO. The regulation of trade in regional agreements (Free Trade Areas), mainly those involving the EU, and its relationship with the global system is also analyzed, focusing on current issues such as de-globalization and neo-protectionism. As to international investment law, the focus is on the international legal regime of promotion and protection of foreign investment mainly found in the substantive rules and dispute settlement provisions of international investment agreements (IIAs), mainly bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and investment chapters of regional trade agreements (RTAs) such as NAFTA, ECT, CETA. The course consists primarily of seminars and group work. Attending students are involved in the study of legal cases.


  • Multilateralism and regionalism in the governance of  world trade.
  • From GATT 1947 to the WTO: the Uruguay Round Results.
  • The WTO institutional framework.
  • The Dispute Settlement System.
  • Basic issues under GATT 1994; non discrimination (NT and MFN treatment).
  • Dumping, Subsidies, Safeguards.
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: the precautionary principle.
  • GATS: national regulation and liberalization of services.
  • The WTO and the protection of non-trade interests: exceptions, environment, human rights.
  • The challenge of economic regionalism to the multilateral system and neo-protectionism.
  • Standards of protection of foreign investments in bilateral and regional treaties.
  • Investment dispute settlement by arbitration.
  • From investment to a court system?

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Illustrate the main features of the multilateral and regional systems regulating international trade and investment.
  • Explain and describe the main case-law for both disciplines.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Correctly interpret and use international trade law provisions. 
  • Analyze the main provisions of a bilateral investment treaty.
  • Discuss the complex legal and political issues surrounding the WTO and investment treaties.
  • Teamwork (through assighte presentations to groups) and communication skills (through case-law simulation).

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


The course hosts guest speakers from foreign universities and international organizations. Students learn from the analysis of key case-studies (e.g. "the Trump trade war") and group assignments (i.e. presentations based on the analysis of WTO Dispute Settlement Body decisions).

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


  • For attending students part of the final mark (up to 3 point out of 30) depends on the results of the group assignments and presentations in the class.
  • The final written exam consists on:
    • Three questions (to be chosen out of four) students answer in one page max each.
    • One problem question which is based on the cases presented in class.


Students have to answer three questions in one page each and to one problem question.

Teaching materials


  • The WTO Agreements and texts of Panels and Appellate Body Reports, (
  • The ICSID Convention and the texts of international investment awards.
  • P. VAN DEN BOSSCHE, W. ZDOUC, The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization, Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • C. SCHREUER, Investments, International Protection, Max Plank Encyclopedia of Public International Law, (available in electronic format at Bocconi library).
Last change 13/06/2019 15:00