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International Trade Law and Sustainable Development


Espa I.

Course director

Colombo I.


Pandey A.



This course offers a solid knowledge of the fundamentals of international trade law and seeks to expose the students to the major challenges faced by the contemporary global trading system, from the emergence of global value chains to the rise of nationalisms. It focuses on the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and covers the core disciplines of trade in goods and trade in services as well as the more specialized WTO agreements on technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, subsidies, anti-dumping measures, and intellectual property rights. The analysis of substantive WTO law will consistently rely on the jurisprudence of WTO panels and the Appellate Body, thus providing a practical understanding of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism and its procedures. In particular, the course will pay due consideration to recent trade disputes revolving around topical issues such as clean energy subsidies and health protection, and address the relationship between the global trading system and preferential trade agreements.

Basic textbook:

Peter Van den Bossche and Denise Prévost, Essentials of WTO Law (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Additional reading:

Selected articles and cases available on the portal iCorsi.


1. To understand how the trading system works;

2. To understand the basic legal rules governing trade;

3. To understand how trade can either contribute or frustrate sustainable development goals, via shaping responses to global environmental issues, public health issues, poverty and more;

4. To understand how and why the multilateral trading system is now under attack.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

Lectures, in-class discussions. 

Examination information

Written exam.