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Regular version of the site

Research Seminar "World Trade Organization"

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
2 year, 4 module


Course Syllabus


The course aims at developing the skills of legal analysis and research in the field of international law using the legal framework of the World Trade Organization. The course focuses on the skill of interpreting international treaties, resolving legal controversies, structuring legal argumentation through the analysis of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body cases. The course covers the underlying principles of international trade law, such as most-favoured nation treatment and national treatment, as well as the basic features of the WTO as an international organization, such as decision making procedures and accession. The course develops the skills of students to interpret and apply international treaties, interpret and apply the findings of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, provides an understanding of the basic structure of the WTO institutions and legal texts, and fosters knowledge and skills necessary for practice in international trade litigation, skills useful in international trade negotiations and policymaking.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • obtain the understanding of the place of international trade rules within the international legal and political system;
  • obtain the ability to resolve conflicts between international treaties, including in the field of international trade;
  • obtain the ability to apply the rules of the WTO Agreements and plead cases based on WTO rules;
  • obtain the ability to provide a reasoned and concise legal advice on the given cases;
  • obtain the ability to deal with the constructed moot situations and cases, develop the solutions.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Develop the skills in the field of judicial work and in the field of law enforcement
  • Develop the skills in the field of legal analysis, research and application
  • Skills of students to interpret and apply the WTO agreements developed
  • Develop the skills in the field of legal analysis of documents, skills of legal opinions and pleadings drafting
  • Skills of students to formulate the position of national authorities in international trade disputes developed
  • Skills of students to interpret and apply the findings of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body developed
  • Detailed knowledge of the dispute settlement system of the WTO, including its system of sanctions
  • Knowledge of the system of legal texts, ability to resolve legal conflicts
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • The system of international economic law
  • History of international trade law
  • WTO Legal texts
  • WTO law and public international law
  • Fundamental principles of international trade law
  • Tariffs and non-tariff barriers
  • WTO dispute settlement mechanism
  • Perspectives of the development of international economic law
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Written Assessment
    The written assessment takes form a resolution of a practical case, based on the material covered in class and during self-study. Students are informed on the date of the in-class written assessment no less than 7 days beforehand. The written assessment is open book, students could use any materials and devices they consider appropriate. The duration of the assessment is 45 minutes. The written assessment may be also held remotely through Zoom and LMS platforms, with students uploading their assessment papers to LMS Projects.
  • non-blocking Oral exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 4th module
    0.6 * Oral exam + 0.4 * Written Assessment


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Guzmán, A. T., & Sykes, A. O. (2007). Research Handbook in International Economic Law. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Marceau, G. Z. (2001). Conflicts of norms and conflicts of jurisdictions : the relationship between the WTO agreement and MEAs and other treaties.
  • Matsushita, M., Schoenbaum, T. J., Mavroidis, P. C., & Hahn, M. J. (2015). The World Trade Organization : Law, Practice, and Policy: Vol. Third edition. OUP Oxford.
  • Mavroidis, P. C., Horn, H., & American Law Institute. (2013). Legal and Economic Principles of World Trade Law. Cambridge University Press.
  • Mitchell, A. D., Sornarajah, M., & Voon, T. (2015). Good Faith and International Economic Law (Vol. First edition). Oxford, United Kingdom: OUP Oxford. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1200898
  • Rolland, S. E. (2013). Development at the WTO. Oxford University Press.
  • Stoll, P.-T., & Schorkopf, F. (2006). WTO : World Economic Order, World Trade Law. Leiden: Brill | Nijhoff. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=202942
  • Van den Bossche,Peter, & Zdouc,Werner. (2017). The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization. Cambridge University Press.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Cottier, T. (DE-588)1011627426, (DE-576)160629268. (2005). International trade regulation : law and policy in the WTO, the European Union and Switzerland; cases, materials and comments / Thomas Cottier; Matthias Oesch. Stämpfli [u.a.].
  • Gantz, D. A. . (DE-588)171114132, (DE-576)253796407. (2013). Liberalizing international trade after Doha : multilateral, plurilateral, regional, and unilateral initiatives / David A. Gantz. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Low, P., & Capling, A. (2010). Governments, Non-State Actors and Trade Policy-Making : Negotiating Preferentially or Multilaterally? Cambridge University Press.
  • Mavroidis, P. (2008). Trade in Goods: The GATT and the Other Agreements Regulating Trade in Goods. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.b.oxp.obooks.9780199552139
  • Piérola, F. (2014). The Challenge of Safeguards in the WTO. Cambridge University Press.
  • Van Damme, I. (2010). Treaty Interpretation by the WTO Appellate Body. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.2ED13F43