Module SXL-4410:
Global Trade Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

15 Credits or 7.5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Wei Shi

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To provide an overview of the economic theory underpinning contemporary international economic relations. This involves analysis addressing the interaction of law and business, especially WTO law and banking regulations. The module will be taught taking into account the general economic and philosophical underpinning of world trade law and regulation.
  2. To develop a sound knowledge of the arguments for and against free trade, the history of the GATT system, and the creation of the WTO, and the broad institutional dimension of international economic relations, and more specifically the institutional legal framework of the GATT/WTO.
  3. To facilitate the understanding of the broad principles underpinning WTO law, and with an analysis of specific agreements and disputes.
  4. To provide a review of legal aspects of the interaction between banking regulation and international trade in financial services.
  5. To explore various problems to the free trade principle, including GATT, Article XX and security/safeguards exceptions, and the contemporary legal problems of WTO.
  6. To pay special attention to the analysis of dispute settlement system underpinning the WTO.
  7. To provide an opportunity to develop advanced research skills.
  8. To provide an opportunity to develop professional skills in law and management.

Course content

This course is a survey of the international legal framework for international trade provided by World Trade Organisation (WTO). The focus of this course is to examine the origins, structure and scope of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and, since 1995, of the WTO. Considerable attention will be given to the core principles of the GATT 1994, and these core principles will be placed in their historical and intellectual context. The course also addresses some current WTO controversies, such as international trade in services, TRIPs and access to essential medicines, the trend towards regional and bilateral trade agreements and how the WTO deals with developing countries.

The course is divided broadly into three parts:

The first part begins with a review of the economic theory underpinning contemporary international economic relations. It covers the arguments for and against free trade, the history of the GATT system, and the creation of the WTO. It moves on to consider the broad institutional dimension of international economic relations, and more specifically the institutional legal framework of the GATT/WTO. This includes analysis of dispute settlement system underpinning the WTO.

The second part is concerned with the broad principles underpinning WTO law, and with an analysis of specific agreements and disputes. It begins by examining core notions and principles such as tariffs/quotas, Most Favoured Nation and National Treatment. Also included will be analysis of various problems to the free trade principle, including GATT, Article XX and security/safeguards exceptions.

The third part of the course will be devoted to contemporary legal problems of WTO. This session concerns an in-depth examination of some of the issues that are currently most debated in the world trading system, such as the Doha Round and the future of the WTO. Within international intellectual property issues, this session generally consists: 1) justifications for intellectual property in an international context; 2) The TRIPs and its implications to developing countries; 3) international dispute resolution involving intellectual property debates.

Assessment Criteria

good

60-69% Displays accomplished ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing good quality skills to conduct research. Good work in this module will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at, or informed by thinking at, the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student's own research. It shows an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

excellent

70%+ Displays mastery of a complex and specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing advanced skills to conduct research. Excellent work in this module will contain the qualities recognized in good work, but will show them in a more consistent way, and at all points. It will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at the forefront of this academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student's own research or to advanced scholarship. It shows throughout an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can critically evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline, and do so in a consistent manner. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

threshold

50-59% Displays ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing appropriate skills to conduct research. Work at threshold quality demonstrates an adequate knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, some of which is informed by thinking at the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a developing understanding of techniques applicable to the student's own research. It shows an ability of apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced by the work indicates that the student can evaluate scholarship in the field.

Learning outcomes

  1. Be aware of some current WTO controversies, such as international trade in services, TRIPs and access to essential medicines, the trend towards regional and bilateral trade agreements and how the WTO deals with developing countries.

  2. Formulate, investigate and refine suggestions for the development and/or reform of the existing law.

  3. Describe the main rules and principles operating in the areas of WTO law and set these in their appropriate context.

  4. Be aware of the different theoretical notions of WTO law and their influence on business management.

  5. Understand the effect of parties' strategies on the actual functioning of the arbitral process, and be able to advise clients on the drafting and enforcing of arbitration agreements and awards and the conduct of arbitral proceedings.

  6. Be familiar with the origins, structure and scope of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and, since 1995, of the WTO.

  7. Understand the core principles of the GATT 1994, which are being placed in their historical and intellectual context.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 128
Seminar

The module will consist of 11 x 2 hour seminars. Each lecture will be a preparatory introduction to the related seminar. For each seminar students will be expected to have prepared essential reading together with either preparation of problem questions, for which they will be expected to prepare brief answers which will enable them to participate in discussion of the questions in the seminars, or alternatively to prepare short individual preparations. The course includes a variety of practical exercises and mock arbitration cases aiming to provide students with critical skills and practical insight into handling different disputes. Other forms of teaching exercises such as team presentations may be used from time to time.

22

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • demonstrate the ability to work with others in a team to achieve reasoned, critical, comparative perspectives upon legal questions.
  • present reasoned, critical, comparative responses to the views of others on legal subjects within a Welsh, United Kingdom, European and/or global context;
  • present to others from a specialist or non-specialist background, reasoned, critical, comparative presentations relating to legal subjects within a Welsh, United Kingdom, European and/or global context;
  • write sustained critical expositions of any given area of the legal subjects studied and present the findings clearly, logically and coherently;

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: