LAW37590 International Economic Law

Academic Year 2022/2023

Whilst Public International Law governs the legal relationships between sovereign states, International Economic Law is that area of Public International Law dealing with the trading relationships between states. The scope of this area covers not only international trade law but also international investment law; this module will concentrate on the former through an analysis of the law developed within the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The module will focus on a problem scenario involving a introduction of a series of non-tariff measures. In addressing the problem, the module will address the principles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (e.g. most-favoured-nation and national treatment) before addressing the exceptions to these principles and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. The lectures will be preceded by an introduction to the WTO's Dispute Settlement System and the problems it is currently experiencing.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module, students should have an enhanced appreciation and understanding of:
- the nature and sources of international economic law,
- the fundamental principles of the international trading system established under WTO rules, and
- the scope of the issues relating to the policy space allowed to Members of the WTO.

On completion of this module, students should also have enhanced the generally transferable skills and specific skills already developed throughout their degree programmes. This module aims to enhance the following skills:
- the ability to conduct legal research, especially using international legal materials and
- the ability to present a coherent written legal argument.

Students will be expected to demonstrate these learning outcomes through the completion of two pieces of coursework.

Indicative Module Content:

Introduction to the history of international economic law since 1945
The WTO Dispute Settlement System
The fundamental principles of the GATT - Articles I and III
The exceptions to the fundamental principles - Articles XX and XXI GATT
The treatment of developing countries in the WTO

Domestic Regulation
- Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
- Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module involves the delivery of a series of lectures with presentations in lectures being made available on Brightspace. These will indicate general reading for the topic along with additional readings and opportunities within the lectures for interaction. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Essay on general principles of the GATT Week 8 n/a Graded No


Assignment: An answer to the problem scenario addressed throughout the module Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided on both coursework assignments. Students will be afforded the opportunity to arrange an individual meeting during student consultation hours.