Sustainable Development in Global Trade (WTO) Law

A.Y. 2022/2023
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
Course syllabus
The 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 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 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
No prerequisite is needed. However, a basic knowledge in
International is highly recommended.
Students must have an excellent knowledge of the written and spoken English language
Teaching methods
The didactic method combines traditional approach (lecturing by the Professor) with interactive activities among participants (case-studies, case-law, group works and presentations).
Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all communication during lectures will be in English, and all literature and auxiliary materials are in English.
The detailed course programme and the didactic material is available on ARIEL.
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 final exam is oral. A written mid-term examination will also take place.

The purpose is to appraise students' capacity to investigate economic issues from a legal perspective, in particular their ability in analysing investment issues, according to international and EU law. Particular attention is given to the proper use of legal lexicon.
The active participation of attending students in interactive learning activities will be taken into account.
IUS/13 - INTERNATIONAL LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professor: Silingardi Stefano
Tuesday: 11.30-13.30