LWMTWT-Legal Aspects of International Trade and the WTO

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Anne Thies

Email: a.thies@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

The module aims to help students develop the legal knowledge and skills they need in order to understand and deal with the law of the World Trade Organization. The module requires students to analyse international Treaties, policy documents and judicial decisions, to engage in discussion and produce written assignments. These skills are essential for international practitioners’ work and in-depth studies of international trade law. The module offers students a background in public international law to relate their knowledge to the particular area of international trade law. At the same time, it aims to encourage students new to the field to analyse the legal framework in which State Parties to the WTO act and interact on the global stage. The module is specifically designed to complement other international law modules and provides students with a further range of topics that might help them to identify an area of interest and a research question for their dissertation or project.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:
identify, apply, analyse and critically evaluate the basics of the constitutional and institutional framework of the World Trade Organization
analyse contemporary questions of international trade law by using knowledge and tools of legal research developed in the preparation of seminars, written assignment and class discussion

Additional outcomes:
In addition to those listed in the School’s “core skills statement”, the module will encourage the development of:
high-level oral communication skills through reflective, analytical class-discussion
high-level writing skills through close and critical analysis of both primary and secondary source material
an ability to apply theoretical and contextual knowledge to practical problems that face people working in the field

Outline content:
The module explores a variety of international trade law topics. It addresses core legal issues concerning the nature, tasks and functioning of the World Trade Organization, such as: the history of the WTO/international trade law; the WTO’s constitutional & institutional structure; the WTO’s dispute settlement system; an overview of different substantive areas of law covered by the WTO agreements (such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [GATT], the General Agreement on Trade in Services [GATS], Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade [TBT], or the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights [TRIPS]); and the WTO agreements’ interrelationship with other international agreements and law in the international legal order.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. The main elements are:
a list of required and recommended readings, with notes and questions that will be used to guide class discussion and reflection.
ten weekly seminar classes of 2 hours each. These are discussion-based classes and groups usually have between 8 and 20 students.
assessed and optional non-assessed work that will be used to develop students’ skills and knowledge.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
1 assessed essay of 15 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the standard University policy
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT Programme handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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