Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

International Trade Law LAW5040

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will examine the role of international law in the formation of the contemporary international trading regime, with a particular focus on the World Trade Organization (WTO). After reviewing the general institutional features and characteristics of the WTO, it will introduce the student to the main principles and components of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (including the Most-Favoured Nation principle, the National Treatment regime, and the regime of general exceptions) and the law of contingent protection (safeguards, anti-dumping measures, and countervailing measures).


10 x 2 hour seminars in semester 2.

Requirements of Entry

The course is open to all LLM students subject to the requirements of the LLM programme on which a student is enrolled.

Excluded Courses





The course is assessed by an essay of 1500 words (25%) and a 2 hour final examination (75%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aim of the course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the fundamental concepts, principles and institutions of international trade law.

In particular, the course aims to:

■ enhance students' knowledge and understanding of the substantive principles and institutional regulation of international trade;

■ develop skills in legal reasoning, problem solving and the assessment of trade law policy;

■ develop research skills by requiring students to undertake an assessed research project; and

■ provide students with practice in the use of information technology such as the Internet.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the main actors, processes, and principles of international trade law;

2. critically evaluate principal trends and recent developments in international trade law;

3. evaluate in a theoretically informed manner the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different substantive and institutional components of the international trading regime, with a particular emphasis on the World Trade Organization;

4. apply a critical approach in analysing the various issues at the intersection between international trade and other international legal regimes.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course summative assessment.