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Module SXL-4010:
Global Trade Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Wei Shi

Overall aims and purpose

This module examines the law relating to the World Trade Organisation. It reviews the history and creation of the WTO, its institutional framework including its political organs and the dispute settlement system, and the core principles in goods and services as well as the non-economic exceptions to WTO commitments. This will equip students with a sound knowledge of the law and practice relating to international economic law in its relevant aspects.

Course content

The module will study aspects of the regulation of international trade through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organisation. It will consider the institutional framework of the treaty scheme, the removal of tariff barriers to trade, international control of dumping and subsidies, intellectual property rights under the TRIPs Agreement, environmental, health and labour conflicts, protection of human rights, services and dispute resolution. Specific issues will be examined, in particular, whether ‘regionalism’ goes against the philosophy of free trade, whether trade should be free or fair (or are both possible) and whether the substantive GATT rules and dispute settlement mechanisms are in practice fair to poor countries. Coming from a variety of jurisdictions, students will be expected to offer comparative insights to the group.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

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

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.

good

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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the application of the law to complex fact problems relating to disputes referred by countries to the WTO.

  2. Display an epistemic awareness of the law and institutional structure of the WTO.

  3. Show an ability to critically evaluate and analyse the law relating to international economic law.

  4. Formulate, investigate and refine suggestions for the development and/or reform of the existing WTO Treaty and institutional structure.

  5. Describe the main rules, principles and policies operating in the relevant areas of international economic law and set these in the appropriate context.

  6. Outline the main criticisms and proposals for the reform of the law which have been made in relation to these rules, principles and policies.

  7. Identify and analyse the relevant legislation and case law governing the law and institutional structure of the World Trade Organisation and the GATT Agreement.

  8. Show a critical understanding of the problems caused by the development of international economic law - particularly in relation to newly industrialised, former socialist and lesser developed economies.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 178
Seminar

This module will consist of 11 x 2 hour seminars. 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 outline answers which will enable them to participate in discussion of the seminar questions or alternatively to prepare short individual preparations. Other forms of teaching exercises, such as team preparations, 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 the legal subjects studied in International, Commercial and Business Law and present the findings clearly, logically and coherently;

Courses including this module