International economic law (2016/2017)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Annalisa Ciampi
Annalisa Ciampi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Secondo Semestre Magistrali dal Feb 27, 2017 al Jun 1, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

This course deals with the international regulation of trade relationships between nations in the framework of the globalized world economy at the beginning of the second Millennium. The focus is on the law of the World Trade Organization as the main multilateral regulation of trade. The course concentrates on the origins of the multilateral commercial system (ITO and GATT 1947), on the WTO institutional framework including the dispute settlement solution system, on issues raised by the current Doha Development Round 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 subject to Panels and the Appeals Body of the WTO. The role of private players is also examined as well as the importance of international discipline in economic choices, including the relevance of the WTO law in the EU legal system based on the European case law. Also examined is the treatment of investment under Bilateral Investment Treaties and related arbitration.
The principal objective of this course is to provide a theoretical and practical introduction to the main legal issues arising from the globalization of the world economy. The course examines both the wider issues of governance of the global economy and the specific legal issues arising from various types of international business transactions, particularly with respect to duties imposed on States by international trade law.


The first part of the course is designed to provide students with the conceptual tools to understand the legal foundations of the contemporary world economy. It examines international “subjects” (States, international organizations and private actors) and sources (customs, treaties and their implementation in national legal orders).
The second part of the course examines the roles of international economic institutions in the global and regional contexts. Particular emphasis is placed on the WTO and will focus on general issues including: Its foundation (Multilateralism, sectorial approach and regionalism in the governance of the world economy; 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 and MFN treatment; Dumping, Subsidies, Safeguards; The WTO and the protection of non-trade interests: exceptions, environment, human rights and other public policy concerns; The challenge of economic regionalism to the multilateral system; European law and the WTO: what protection for private parties. The course also covers the basic principles of international investment law and the settlement of disputes under bilateral investment treaties. In the last part, the course will benefit from the participation of Prof. Andrea Ortino, Senior lecturer presso il King's College (London, UK). Prof. Ortino will lecture on international investment law.
The teaching method combines lectures with class discussion on specific subjects and case studies on the basis of distributed materials distributed during the course.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Van den Bossche/Prévost Essentials of WTO Law Cambridge University Press 2016

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination shall be written and will consist of 3 questions to be answered in 1 and ½ hour.

Students who attend the course prepare on their notes, the WTO Agreements and the Panels and Appellate Body Reports and other materials made available on e-learning during the course. They can use Van den Bossche/Prévost, Essentials of WTO Law, Cambridge University Press, 2016 as a reference text.
Students who do not attend the course prepare for the exam on the basis of Van den Bossche/Prévost, Essentials of WTO Law, Cambridge University Press, 2016 or Lester, Mercurio, Davies, World Trade Law. Text, Materials and Commentary, 2nd ed., Hart Publishing, 2012.