International Trade Law (2015/2016)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Sondra Faccio
Sondra Faccio
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
2° Periodo di lezioni - aprile/maggio 2016, 2° Periodo di lezioni - febbraio/marzo 2016

Lesson timetable

2° Periodo di lezioni - aprile/maggio 2016
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall G  
Friday 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall G  
2° Periodo di lezioni - febbraio/marzo 2016
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall G  
Friday 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall G  

Learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to provide students with an overview of the legal and institutional foundations of international commercial law. It will discuss basic principles governing international economic relations, with special emphasis on trade, investment and international monetary relations. It will describe the basic principles which presided over the New International Economic Order as well as the so called Washington Consensus and will approach current debate on sustainable development. The course will covers the law of GATT/WTO, thus analysing the basic law of the world trading system, and international investment law, studying the main standards applied to foreign direct investments.


The aim of this course is to provide students with an overview of the principle, rules and institutional foundations of international commercial law.

The program will develop as follows:

1.Introduction to international economic law

2.Historical background – from the New Economic Order to the Washington Consensus
a)Changes in the international panorama after decolonization
b)UNGA Resolutions during the 1960s/1970s
c)Permanent sovereignty over natural resources
d)The Washington Consensus

3.WTO - the institutional setting and the normative standards
a)Introduction to trade relations and the World Trade Organisation
b)Historical perspective: from the GATT to the WTO
c)Institutional setting of WTO
d)Normative standards (most favored nation; national treatment)

4.WTO – dispute settlement mechanism
a)The Dispute Settlement Mechanism
b)Panel and Dispute Settlement Body
c)Selected case law

5.Actors and financial institutions
a)Introduction to the main financial institutions: the International Monetary fund and the Wold Bank

6.International investment law: sources and the definition of investment
a)Sources of international investment law (BITs e IIAs)
b)The definition of investment according to international treaties and international investment arbitration (Salini test)

7.Standards of treatment
a)The Fair and Equitable Treatment Standard
b)Direct and indirect expropriation
c)Relative standards: most favored nation; national treatment

8.Investment dispute settlement and legal consequences
a)Investment dispute settlement mechanisms
b)The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes ('ICSID')

9.Current debate – soustainable development
a)Conflicting interests in investment and trade law
b)Human Rights, Environmental and Labor issues in investment law and trade law

10.Guest lawyers/practitioners in the field of international commercial law

The lecture will be structured in two parts: lecturing and giving key concepts, on the one hand; working groups, with the aim of stimulating students' analysis and debate on selected practical cases, on the other hand. Attending students will be required to participate in working groups and present their analysis of the case to the class.
Lectures will be held in English if requested by the majority of attending students.

Course material:

Course material will be available online through e-learning.

WTO agreements, Panels' reports and Appellate Body's reports (, as well as, arbitral investment awards shall be used as complementary material for exam preparation.

Suggested textbooks:

P. C. MAVROIDIS, G. A. BERMANN, M. WU, The Law of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Documents, Cases & Analysis, Thomas Reuters United States (2010);

F. GALGANO, F. MARRELLA, Diritto del commercio internazionale, CEDAM (2010);

A. TANZI, International Investment Law and Arbitration: an introductory case book, CEDAM, (2013).

Students that do not attend classes:

E. SCISO, Appunti di diritto internazionale dell'economia, 2 ed., Giappichelli, (2012).

The most part of the material is in English, therefore, a basic knowledge of the language is required (B1).

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam.
Students who attend classes and participate in the working groups, will also be assessed on the bases of the working groups' activities.

Teaching aids