LW7096 - Law of the WTO

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of the laws relating to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). You will examine: (1) History: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This historic international convention was the only multilateral instrument governing international trade from 1948 until the establishment of WTO in 1995. Principal Rounds, specifically Uruguay Round (1986-1994). During a series of multilateral negotiations, efforts were made to reduce tariffs. The last one, the Uruguay Round, was the most extensive of all. It led to the creation of the WTO. (2) Institutional WTO Law: Agreement establishing the WTO. Presentation of the ministerial conference, the general council, the dispute settlement body, the trade policy review body, the council for trade in goods, the council for trade in services, the council for trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. Dispute settlement understanding. The WTO provides a unique and efficient disputes settlement system, where rulings are adopted by negative consensus. (3) Substantial WTO Law: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994. Study of the most-favoured-nation treatment, national treatment, rules for regional agreements, anti-dumping rules etc. General agreement on trade in services (GATS). Study of market access, national treatment, special treatment of least-developed countries. Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property.

How will I learn on this module?

You will receive a mixture of lectures and workshops. The lectures will cover a range of key theoretical and practical concepts in the law of the WTO. The workshops will provide you with an opportunity to explore the theory covered in the lectures and gain further practical insights based on contemporary developments. Directed learning will focus on pre-reading, activity-based learning through specially designed workshop exercises and the use of the e-Learning portal (Blackboard Ultra). Your Formative assessment will be achieved by self-test questions and case studies in module materials, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises. Answers to self-test questions and answer plans to the case studies will be provided on the Blackboard Ultra site and your tutor will give oral and written feedback to you as required. Your independent learning will centre on you identifying further reading and research to provide deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the WTO and its operation. Regular formative feedback will be provided by the teaching team and module tutor during timetabled sessions.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The staff who teach on this module have significant research experience in this area. As such, you will get significant academic support where necessary. All lectures will be recorded and made available to students to aid in learning and understanding. You will be encouraged to use this resource to develop your appreciation of the interrelated nature of the disparate areas of law studied as part of the module. The module will make use of Blackboard Ultra, where lecture materials, podcasts, recordings, and other learning support will be made available. The Blackboard Ultra site will also direct you to supplementary resources which you are encouraged to explore in addition to the material covered in lectures and workshops. The University has excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. You will be able to display and critically apply expert knowledge of the Law of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. You will be able to analyse and communicate complex legal and policy issues relating to issues surrounding the WTO.

3. You will be able to critically evaluate source material, suggest alternative approaches to the issues arising from the WTO and the application of these in practice. You will reflect on the application of your knowledge and that of others within practical contexts

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. You will take responsibility for your own independent learning in respect of the law of the WTO and policy, working independently to further enhance existing skills and develop new skills to a high level

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be achieved by self-test questions in module materials, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises.

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of assignment, which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module. This assignment aims to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues around the law of the WTO presented within the module and to explore these in line with directed and independent learning.

The module is assessed by coursework with a maximum word limit of 3,000 words. The assessment will take the form of a problem-based scenario which will be designed to facilitate examination of specific aspects of relevant WTO law and related legal research and may include discussion of recent developments, where appropriate assessment criteria will be provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.





Module abstract

By studying on this module, you will gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of WTO Law, informed by current practice, advanced scholarship and research, including a critical awareness and evaluation of current issues and developments in the subject. You will examine the history of the WTO, the institutions and the principle way in which the WTO operates. The module will engage you in critical discourse in relation to WTO Law, allow you to formulate balanced judgements on the role of the WTO in the management and regulation of international trade. With trading relationships under increasing scrutiny, studying on this module will significantly enhance your employability.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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