International economic law

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The international economic law course focuses on the main areas of international economic relations, namely trade, foreign investments, currency arrangements and business and human rights. The purpose of the course is to open students to the legal analysis, offering them the tools for a proper understanding of the rationale and content of relevant treaties and other international law rules. Accordingly, the course will complement other courses included in the master programme, addressing international economic relations from the perspective of the political, economic or historical analysis.
International trade law, international investment law, international monetary law, and business and human rights law are examined through the prism of multilateral cooperation, including the relevant policies of the European Union.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will be able to: 1) gain an overall knowledge of the most fundamental concepts of public international law; 2) apply them to the realm of economic relations, in view of understanding the legal dynamics of inter-State relations in trade, investment, financial and business and human rightsmatters and improving their ability to contextualize their economic and political implications; 3) develop autonomy of judgement and learning skills in the subject matter of the course; 4) master the correct terminology of international economic law.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second trimester
Should it become necessary to move to online teaching, the programme will be modified as follows:

Teaching methods:
As for the teaching modalities (distance, in-person or blended), depending on the health emergency-related circumstances ruling at the time, any instructions provided by the University will be duly followed. Information on how to access the distance or in-person classes, as well as any other communication or information on the course, will be published on the course's ARIEL website in due course. For any information on access to classrooms, please refer to the University's website.

Reference materials:
The programme and reference materials will not be subject to any variation.

Methods of assessment and evaluation criteria:
Methods of assessment will remain unchanged. Written examinations may take place via the Moodle platform and/or the Proctorio system, while oral examinations may take place on Microsoft Teams. In any event, assessment criteria remain unchanged.
Up-to-date information will always be made available in due course on the Ariel page of the course, which students are invited to check periodically.
Course syllabus
The course is structured in three units:

Unit I: International Trade Law
- The WTO framework
- Customs obstacles to trade under WTO law;
- The principle of non-discrimination in WTO law;
- The equilibrium between trade liberalization and other societal values and interests under the law of the WTO;

Unit II: International Investment Law (IIL)
- Scope and rationale of IIL. History and evolution;
- Investment and investor: definitions and case studies; main standards of protection;
- The expropriation of foreign investment;
- Non-economic concerns in IIL and the right to regulate;
- Investor-State dispute settlement and its reform.

Unit III:
Unit III.A) Business & Human Rights (B&HRs) Law
- Scope and basic concepts of B&HRs law
- Analysis of the main instruments on B&HRs: the 2011 OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the 2011 UN Guiding Principles of B&HRs; the negotiation of the first binding international instrument on B&HRs and the EU directive on mandatory due diligence and corporate accountability
Unit III.B) International Financial Law
- The International Monetary Fund: objectives, organization, and functions
- The World Bank and other international financial institutions
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisite is needed. However, a basic knowledge in International Economics and International and/or European Law is highly recommended.
Teaching methods
The didactic method combines traditional approach (lecturing by the Professor and content-oriented classes) with innovative pedagogy methodologies, entailing a high level of interaction among participants (case-studies, case-law, mock trials, group works and presentations). Active participation by students is expected.
Teaching Resources
Units I and II:
D. COLLINS, Foundations of international economic law, Cheltenham/Northampton, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019:
Introduction, chapter 1;
International trade law, chapters 2-5;
International investment law, chapters 6-8.

Unit III:
Unit III.A:
M. BUSCEMI, N. LAZZERINI, L. MAGI, D. RUSSO, Legal sources in business and human rights: evolving dynamics in international and European law, 2020, Brill, (e-book: available on Part I, Chapters 2, 3; Part III, Chapters 9, 10;
together with the text of the main B&HRs instruments available on Ariel

Unit III.B:
R. LASTRA, International Monetary and Financial Law (2nd ed.), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015 (e-book: available on
Part III (Developments at the International level), chapter 12 (History of international monetary cooperation), chapter 13 (The Law of the International Monetary Fund)

The programme of the exam will also include the materials uploaded on the Ariel website of the course. For attending students, specific attention is given to the case studies discussed during classes.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final exam is written, and it consists in three open questions covering the three units of the course. The purpose is to appraise students' capacity to investigate economic issues from a legal perspective, in particular their ability in analysing trade, investment, financial and B&HRs issues, according to international and EU law. Particular attention is given to the proper use of legal lexicon.

Attending students have the possibility to take two intermediate exams instead of the final exam: one at the end of the two units (Unit I-II), one at the end of the third unit (Unit III). The active participation of students in interactive learning activities will be taken into account.
IUS/13 - INTERNATIONAL LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Buscemi Martina
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