Course 2017-2018 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) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (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)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

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, discussion of the issues raised and oral group presentation.

Course Content Summary

  • 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?

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Final written exam comprising answers to short questions and the drafting of a legal opinion on a hypothetical trade or investment dispute, taking also into account the results of the presentation in class.


  • 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, D. PREVOST, Essentials of WTO Law, Cambridge University Press, 2016, paperback.
  • D. COLLINS, An Introduction to International Investment Law, Cambridge University Press, 2017.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 05/06/2017 23:27