Core Courses

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Introduction to International Trade & Investment Law

Course Description

The course covers key obligations, principles, structure and design of international  trade regimes namely those of the WTO and related free trade agreements (including those to which CARICOM Member States are party).

The main principles will be covered, as they appear in the WTO Agreements – MFN, national treatment, transparency, general exceptions, special and differential treatment, as will the main subject areas in trade agreements – goods, services, intellectual property, trade remedies.  The dispute settlement regimes of the WTO will also be reviewed.

The course will also introduce students to regional trade agreements, that is, agreements among a group of countries that liberalize trade on a preferential basis.

The focus will be on agreements to which Members of CARICOM are parties or may become parties, in particular, the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and CARICOM bilateral trade agreements. The relationship between regional trade agreements and the multilateral trading system will also be examined.

The course also covers the key obligations and principles under international investment agreements and provides a comparative review of the principles under these agreements as well as differing approaches under them.  It will cover the dispute settlement regimes under the various IIAs with a view to a comparison across agreements.

Finally, the course will provide an avenue for reviewing the contemporary issues in international economic law (which will change depending on the “issues of the day”) and the CARICOM reaction to it.  Today, these issues include: the growth of FTAs, and the impact on multilateralism; the issues of WTO reform; the discussion of reform of investor-state dispute settlement