Master’s degree in Economics and Data Analysis

International economic law

Course code
Name of lecturer
Annalisa Ciampi
Annalisa Ciampi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
secondo semestre (lauree magistrali) dal Mar 1, 2021 al Jun 1, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course deals with the international regulation of trade and investment in the framework of the globalized world economy at the beginning of the second Millennium. The course is in two parts. In the first part, the focus is on the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the main multilateral regulation of trade. The course concentrates on the origins of the multilateral commercial system (ITO and GATT 1947), the WTO institutional framework including the dispute settlement mechanism,  the principles of non-discrimination and the main exceptions thereto, with a particular attention to the regional trade agreements and the so-called new generation of free trade agreements (FTAs). The main subjects are analyzed through case studies of Panels and Appeals Body’s reports. The second part of the course examines the substantive standards for the protection of foreign investment and the related dispute settlement mechanisms under the relevant international treaties (bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and FTAs). The role of private players and the importance of international discipline in economic choices, as well as the relevance of WTO law and international investment law in the EU legal system are also examined. At the end of the course students should be able to: identify, outline and explain the main principles that apply in the field of international trade; identify, evaluate and compare investment protection standards and procedures across countries.


The introductory 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 first 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); European law and the WTO: what protection for private parties; The WTO institutional framework; The Dispute Settlement System; Basic issues under GATT 1994; MFN and national 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; Trade wars and protectionism in the age of coronavirus.
In the second part, the course covers the fundamental principles of international investment law: substantive standards of protection and the settlement of disputes under existing Investo-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), the new Investment Court System (ICS) and the proposed Investment Multilateral Court (IMC). In this part, the course will benefit from the participation of an international guest lecturer, with expertise in international investment law.
The teaching method combines lectures with class presentations and class discussion on specific subjects and case studies on the basis of distributed materials posted 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 aims at ascertaining the student's acquired capacity of legal analysis of relevant international treaties and cases. It shall consist of three open questions.

Relevant WTO Agreements and Panels and Appellate Body Reports and other materials will made available on moodle during the course.

As part of their final evaluation, students will be given the opportunity to prepare a class paper based on a case in-class presentation as well as a written essay.

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