Global Trade Law
Run by School of History, Law and Social Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
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.
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.
A- to A* (70%+)
· Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of the subject area.
· Demonstrate extensive background study.
· Be well structured and highly focused.
· Contain logically presented and defended arguments.
· Be free of factual/computational errors.
· Include significant elements of original interpretation.
· Demonstrate an ability to identify, develop and present new links between topics.
· Include new approaches to analysing and/or explaining a problem.
· Be presented to very high standards with very accurate communication.
C- to C+ (50-59%)
· Demonstrate knowledge of key areas/principles.
· Have some, if only limited, evidence of background study.
· Be focussed on the question with only some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure.
· Attempt to present relevant and logical arguments.
· Not contain a large number of factual errors.
· Describe major links between topics.
· Attempt to analyse and/or explain problems.
· Be free of major weaknesses in presentation and accuracy.
B- to B+ (60-69%)
· Demonstrate strong knowledge and understanding of most of the subject area.
· Demonstrate evidence of background study.
· Be well structured and focused.
· Contain coherently presented arguments.
· Be mostly free of factual errors.
· Include some elements of original interpretation.
· Describe well known links between topics.
· Analyse and/or explain problems using existing methods/approaches.
· Be presented to high standards with accurate communication.
Critically and systematically analyse the legal and regulatory order of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including the origin, structure and scope of various Agreements (such as the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade - GATT) and their application to international trade, and disputes which arise from such trades referred by countries to the WTO.
Review critically the values on which the WTO is based, and evaluate its effectiveness to regulate international trade activities in the interests of all participants.
Critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship on 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.
Critically evaluate the main criticisms and proposals for the reform of WTO Agreements and formulate suggestions for their development and/or reform, taking into consideration current political, social and economic contexts.
Demonstrate the ability to analyse World Trade Organisation Agreements and case law classifying them in terms of relevance and importance, to propose solutions to international trade problems.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
The module requires students to undertake private study in order to prepare for seminars and assessments.
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.
- 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;
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/sxl-4010.html
• Gallagher, The First Ten Years of the WTO
• Hoekman, The Political Economy of the World Trading System: From GATT to WTO
• Jackson, The World Trading System: Law and Policy of International Economic Relations
• Jackson, The World Trade Organisation: Constitution and Jurisprudence
• Jackson, The Jurisprudence of GATT and WTO: Insights on Treaty Law and Economic Relations
• Jackson, Davey, and Sykes, Documents Supplement to Legal Problems of International Economic Relations
• Matsushita et al, The WTO: Law, Practice and Policy
• Trebilcock and Howse, The Regulation of International Trade
• WTO Secretariat, A Handbook on the WTO Dispute Settlement System
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- M1AF: LLM International Commercial and Business Law year 1 (LLM/ICBL)
- M1AT: LLM International Criminal Law & Intl Human Rights Law year 1 (LLM/ICLHR)
- M1AO: LLM International Intellectual Property Law year 1 (LLM/IIPL)
- M1AI: LLM International Law year 1 (LLM/IL)
- M1AC: LLM Laws year 1 (LLM/LAW)
- M1AR: LLM Maritime Law year 1 (LLM/MLAW)