|Module Title||THE WORLD TRADING SYSTEM|
|Course delivery||Seminar||2 Hours This course is taught through postgraduate seminars of one and a half hours, held once a week. See timetable for times and rooms. Materials will be assigned for reading the week before a seminar. All students are expected to come to seminars prepared to discuss the readings. Student participation is essential. Based on a schedule which we will make in the first week of the term, each student will be asked to be the primary presenter for at least one seminar. Along with the member of staff, these students will be the primary presenters in the relevant seminar, but other students must also participate in order for the seminar to be meaningful.|
|Essay||Students may choose one of the following: 1. 2 x 2500-3000 word essays. 2. 1 x 5000-6000 word essay.||80%|
NOTE: This is a tentative outline. I will add or delete subjects as the seminars progress, or possibly after our first meeting,
once I gauge student interest in areas to be covered.
The objectives of the world trading system.
A history of the world trading system, the WTO and GATT.
The economic context: the theory of comparative advantage and competing ideas.
2. Substantive Foundations
The most favoured nation principle and exceptions
Tariffs and tariff concessions
Non-tariff barriers, quantitative restrictions, technical barriers to trade
3. Regional Trade Agreements and Customs Unions
The European Community
North American Free Trade Agreement
APEC and others
4. The Constitutional Aspects of International Trade
The European Community
i. Division of powers between the Community and member States
ii. Procedures for the exercise of Community powers
iii. The effect of the exercise of Community powers in Community and domestic law
iv. Development of a common policy
v. Principles of Community external policy
The United States
i. The separation of powers between Congress, the President and the Courts
ii. The fast track
iii. Unilateral remedies, Section 301
5. Antidumping Law
6. Countervailing Duty Law
7. Safeguards and Escape Mechanisms
8. Intellectual Property and GATS
9. Dispute Settlement
10. Trade and Environment; Trade and Labour
11. Trade and Development
Aims of the module
Regulation of world trade is a subject of considerable importance in the increasingly interdependent world. The regulation of
world trade has become even more extensive since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) came into existence as a result of
the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations and as the successor to "GATT." An understanding of this system is vital
for those dealing with commercial matters that do not respect international borders. Lawyers are ever more frequently called
upon to solve complex trans-border legal problems. The topics covered in this course are relevant to any lawyer working as
counsel to companies involved in international trade, from large multinational companies to small ventures. The topics covered
are also relevant to those who work in government, particularly for those who make policy and regulation for government
bodies, as well as for academics with an interest in the subject. This course will cover the legal and institutional framework of
the WTO and international trade agreements between nations.
The law affecting international trade may be divided into two areas of study, one involving the regulatory aspects of
international trade and the other involving transactional aspects. This module concerns the regulatory aspects, or as one will
find it categorised in some texts, the "public" law of international trade. It examines the regulatory framework established by
governments to promote international trade liberalisation. The module on the Law of International Trade, by contrast, deals
with the "private" law regulating international business transactions, such as conventions dealing with international contracts and
transportation across international borders.
In this module we will cover the legal infrastructure of the WTO, the basic principles of most favoured nation and national
treatment underlying the WTO, tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers to trade, antidumping, countervailing duties, safeguards and
escape mechanisms, trade related issues in intellectual property, trade in services, dispute settlement, and the European
Community in the world trading system. Special attention will be given to the position of developing countries in world trade.
The important topics currently on the agenda, such as trade and environment and trade and labour, will be examined.
This year I am trying something new for my courses - placing course materials on the web. I anticipate that this will make the
course run more efficiently, as students often seek me out after seminars for handouts, etc. Of course, you should feel free to
consult me should you have any questions about the materials covered in seminars. I will post office hours on my office door.
Send me an e mail at email@example.com should you be unable to visit me in my office during office hours.
The objective of this module is to examine the main features of the international system regulating world trade. The module will
provide an understanding of the various objectives of the system, its key features and its institutions. Although the emphasis will
be on providing a thorough understanding of the rules that have been adopted and the way in which they operate, these will be
considered throughout in their economic, political and policy contexts.
Raj Bhala,. International Trade Law: Cases and Materials. Charlottesville: Michie 1996) and Document Supplement.
John H. Jackson. The World Trading System: Law and Policy in International Economic Relations. 2nd. London: MIT Press 1997)