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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5655M World Trade Organisation Law

15 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Professor Surya Subedi

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The big shifts in economic relations witnessed in the recent past have underlined the significance of international trade regulation in international economic relations among States. It is in this context that this course aims to consider and evaluate in detail some of the main topics within the WTO/GATT regime from the perspectives of both developed and developing countries. Particular attention will be paid to trade in goods and services, the trade- related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPs) and the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO. It will cover the substantive Rules of the GATT/WTO System and the legal and institutional aspects of the WTO and look at in more details some of the main WTO agreements such as the Agreement on Agriculture as well as the mechanism to the distortion of international trade.


The main objective of this module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the principles of international law governing the international trade in goods and services and the protection of the trade related aspects of intellectual property.

In order to achieve this objective this module aims critically to examine the main provisions of the principal WTO agreements and the institutional framework of the WTO. In doing so, the module will also cover an analysis of some of the leading cases decided by the WTO’s dispute settlement body on major international trade law issues.

The aim is to enable LLM students to develop a deeper understanding of the WTO rules and the dispute settlement mechanism and identify the merits and demerits of the mechanism.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:
1. understand the genesis of the WTO/GATT law;
2. have an understanding of the international law of trade in goods and services;
3. analyse the working of the WTO;
4. appreciate the social, economic and political dimensions to the WTO/GATT law;
5. assess critically the provisions of the main WTO agreements;
6. develop a critical understanding of the trade related aspects of intellectual property;
7. have a deeper understanding of the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO;
8. understand the interplay between law and politics as well law and economics in regulating international trade;
9. analyse critically the relationship between trade and the environment as well as international trade and human rights;
10. apply the knowledge obtained in relation to the WTO/GATT Law so as to identify and analyse problems which arise in the law and practice of resolving international trade disputes.

Skills learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
1. Critical thinking, demonstrating openness to alternative ideas and have the ability to interrogate sources
2. Develop academic skills to enable you to source, understand and apply your discipline
3. Be able to evaluate and analyse a range of information to put forward coherent and evidence based arguments
4. Develop advanced communication skills, essential for effective interaction and the dissemination of complex concepts.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours135.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A formal formative assessment opportunity will be provided, which is specifically pedagogically aligned to the summative assessment task. As part of this, each student will receive individual feedback designed to support the development of knowledge and skills that will be later assessed in the summative assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/04/2024


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