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Ilaria Espa


Ilaria Espa is Assistant Professor of International Economic Law at USI, Senior Research Fellow at the World Trade Institute (WTI) and Adjunct Professor at the University of Milan. Formerly awarded a Marie Curie fellowship from the European Commission for her post-doctoral studies (2013-2015), Ilaria was a member of the WTI-based NCCR Trade Regulation Programme until its expiration in 2017 in addition to acting as Scientific Coordinator of the WTI Doctoral Programme (2015-2017). Ilaria holds a PhD in International Law and Economics from the Department of Legal Studies of Bocconi University and was a visiting scholar at Columbia Law School in 2012. She also holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in International Relations from Luiss University.

Ilaria’s areas of expertise include international economic law, with a focus on trade regulation, international environmental law, and EU law. She has published extensively on issues at the intersection of trade and sustainability, mainly in the areas of climate change, energy and commodities, as well as on the law governing the sustainable management of natural resources, always from a multi-layered governance perspective. In particular, she is the author of a monograph on Export Restrictions on Critical Minerals and Metals: Testing the Adequacy of WTO Disciplines (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and the co-editor of the volume on International Trade in Sustainable Electricity: Regulatory Challenges in International Economic Law (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Her work has also been published in leading international peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of International Economic LawWorld Trade ReviewJournal of World TradeJournal of World Investment and Trade and Trade, Law & Development. In 2013, she received the SIDI (Italian Society of International Law) prize, awarded to a younger author for meritorious scholarship published in Revue Internationale de Droit Économique.

Ilaria is an elected member of the Committees of the International Law Association (ILA) on the ‘Role of International Law in Sustainable Natural Resources Management for Development’ and 'Sustainable Development and the Green Economy in International Trade Law', and a Legal Research Fellow at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL). She has served as a member of and contributor to the Expert Group on ‘Trade and Investment in Extractive Industries’ and the Task Force on ‘Rethinking International Subsidies Disciplines’ of the E15 Initiative, an initiative jointly implemented by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF). She has acted as consultant to a number of governmental agencies, NGOs, international organizations and business associations including the World Trade Organisation, the European Commission and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. She is a frequent presenter at academic conferences and guest lecturer, and has also given numerous talks for non-academic audiences.

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