Sustainable Development in Global Trade (WTO) Law

A.Y. 2021/2022
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
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
This course aims at providing students with the legal tools and the proper legal method to deal with sustainable development in global trade law. The course follows an international law perspective and focuses on the analysis of the World Trade Organization (WTO) legal framework and the Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), and their relationship with the rules and principles on sustainable development. To this aim, it provides a general overview of the legal discipline of international trade, with a main focus on the international trade of goods. Specific attention is devoted to the analysis of the interaction between the WTO/RTAs rules and non-trade concerns, such as the protection of human rights and the environment, food security, the fight to COVID-19, climate change, sustainable logging, mining and fishing.

Detailed programme:

Part I:
· Sustainable development as an objective of the WTO /RTAs
· the WTO
· The GATT (General Agreement on General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade): rules and principles
. The general exceptions: the protection of the environment, human rights and national security
· the SPS Agreement (Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures)
· the TBT Agreement (Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade)
· The treatment of developing countries.
. the US/China trade war and the crisis of the WTO

Part II:
· RTAs, rules and relationship with WTO law
. the RTAs' rules and chapters on sustainable development

PART IV: trade and non-trade concerns- selected issues:
. trade and child/ forced labour
. trade and COVID-19
. trade of sustainable fish products
. trade of sustainable timber products
. trade of sustainable minerals and diamonds
. trade and climate change
Prerequisites for admission
The knowlege of international law is recommended.
Teaching methods
The course combines traditional lectures with more interactive activities (such as case-studies and mock trials. Attendance is mandtory (75%). The working language is English.
Teaching Resources
TEXTBOOK: Van den Bossche, Prevost, Essentials of WTO Law, Cambrige UP, 2021
READINGS: mandatory/suggested readings will be listed or uploaded on ARIEL. A detailed syllabus will be uploaded on ARIEL at the beginning of the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam can be taken either through partial assessments during the course (oral and written tests, solution of case-studies) or one oral overall exam at the end of the course.
IUS/13 - INTERNATIONAL LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professor: Bonfanti Angelica
Tuesday from 15 to 17
Department of Italian and Supranational Public Law - because of coronavirus emergency, office hours are online- please contact Prof. Bonfanti by email