Sustainable Development in Global Trade (WTO) Law

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims at
- analyzing international trade law and its relationship with the international framework on sustainable development;
- Examining the main WTO covered agreements and Regional Trade Agreements, in light of the connected issues concerning sustainable development.
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
- understand and evaluate critically the international trade legal issues and their relationship with sustainable development;
- interpret the international trade legal provisions, taking account of the international legal framework on sustainable development;
- understand and evaluate critically the jurisprudence developed by the WTO in this field and the law-making process, as currently evolving within and out of the WTO;
- use their communication skills (written and oral) in this field, including arguing convincingly, with logical and legal thoroughness and propriety of legal language.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Should the emergency measures for COVID-19 be still in place at the time the course will be held (second semester), lectures will be taught online (Microsoft Teams). Specific instructions will be uploaded on the ARIEL website.
Course syllabus
Part I (dr. Benedetta Cappiello)

International trade and the law of the WTO
- Introduction to the WTO: a background
- focus on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (the GATT)
- the national treatment clause
- the most favored nation clause
- Rules on market access: tariffs and quantitative restrictions

Focus on WTO and Human Rights protection
- Art. XX: how to apply it
- art. XX: environmental protection

WTO and the dispute settlement system
- Rules of procedure
- the crisis

Part II (dr. Francesco Cazzini)

Sustainable development in trade of goods
- Rules regarding the harmonization of national rules: WTO Law on TBT & SPS measures
- trade, agriculture and food security
- innovation and intellectual property protection: foundations and challenges
- WTO law on subsidies and countervailing measures
- international economic law and the pursuit of core societal values and interests

Beyond the WTO
- Mega-Regional trade agreements and the future of the WTO
- US-China trade war
- the treatment of developing countries.
- extending the scope of WTO law (?)
Prerequisites for admission
A good command over international law is recommended.
Teaching methods
The course is entirely taught in English.
Class attendance is mandatory (75% of the total classes).
The didactic method combines both traditional approach (lectures, case-studies) and more informal or interactive methods.
Teaching Resources
A list of suggested and mandatory readings is available on-line (ARIEL platform). The detailed course programme is provided at the beginning of the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Students are evaluated through their participation during the course (30%) and on the basis of a final oral exam (70%).
IUS/13 - INTERNATIONAL LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professor: Cazzini Francesco
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