LAW-31806 Global Trade Law


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. A Herwig
Lecturer(s)dr. A Herwig
Examiner(s)dr. A Herwig

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Basic knowledge on food law and environmental law is an asset, but no requirement.


This course offers students an overview of global trade law. The focus is on how to liberalise markets mainly for trade in goods and ensure food safety, food security, environmental protection and other regulatory policies linked to global value chains such as animal welfare and human rights. The course is of particular relevance for students of food safety and environmental policy. After a general introduction on global trade law and its economic, legal and regulatory rationale, the course focuses on institutional aspects of WTO law. Subsequently, it deals with the substantive aspects such as sanitary and phytosanitary barriers (SPS Agreement) as well as technical barriers to trade (TBT law) and international food safety standards, particularly those of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The last part of the course offers a specific insight into topical subjects such as private food quality and sustainability standards, the CETA and TTIP Treaty or basic rules related to the protection of foreign direct investment. 

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain concepts and rationale of global trade law;
- apply global trade law to specific legal problems;
- understand the institutional aspects of the WTO;
- identify and weigh regulatory goals;
- formulate a legal problem statement and conduct a legal analysis;
- understand the main substantive aspects of WTO law relating to risk regulation and regulatory policies.


- lectures;
- group assignments;
- group discussion;
- literature study;
- paper writing;


Final grading is based on an individual paper (40%), three group assignments during the teaching weeks of this course (10% each) and a short, indiviual multiple choice exam (10%). The assignments involve making a short film, a position paper and the analysis of a legal issue through a diagram, graph, chart, formula or other schematic means.


The course uses excerpts of a book by Michael Trebilcock supplemented by articles which the students either get on Brightspace or can access themselves via WUR library.

Restricted Optional for: MFSFood SafetyMScB: Spec. B - Food Law and Regulatory Affairs5MO
MAMAquaculture and Marine Resource ManagementMScC: Spec. C - Marine Governance5MO