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World trade law

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

The syllabus focuses on the law of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which forms the core of international economic law.

The World Trade Organisation has more than 160 members and is a relatively young international organisation, beginning its operation in 1995. The course covers the history of the WTO, its objectives and how it operates, as well as examining the regulations and principles of trade in goods and overall will provide students with a firm understanding of this important organisation.

Module A: World Trade Organization institutions and dispute settlement


  • From GATT 1947 to the World Trade Organization (WTO). History, objectives and framework
  • Institutional aspects of the WTO
  • Dispute settlement: basic principles and panel proceedings
  • Dispute settlement: appellate review and implementation

Module B: Basic principles of trade in goods


  • Introduction to GATT 1994. Tariffs and quantitative restrictions
  • The most favoured nation and national treatment principles
  • Safeguards
  • Exceptions to GATT obligations (with special focus on environmental protection)

Module C: Specific regulations of trade in goods


  • The Antidumping Agreement
  • The Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Duties
  • The TBT Agreement
  • The SPS Agreement

Module D: Special World Trade Organization regulations


  • Trade in services (GATS)
  • Intellectual property (TRIPS)
  • Regional trade arrangements
  • Investment and competition policy


Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


It is strongly recommended you attempt Module A first, followed by module B.

How to apply

You can either apply for these modules individually or as part of the Postgraduate Laws programme.

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • Commercial and Corporate Law
  • International Business Law
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • Law and Development
  • Public International Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.