Module code: LAW3133

Module Overview

This module explores the role of international economic law in the contemporary global economy. It provides an overview of the legal foundations of the global economy and the regulatory frameworks governing international trade, investment and financial relations. The module situates international economic law within a broader context of economic, political and social globalisation and examines how international economic law interacts with other national, international and transnational, legal and non-legal processes.

The emphasis of the module is placed upon how international economic law regulates cross-border trade, investment and financial transactions carried out by international economic actors (including states, multinational corporations and other non-state actors), inasmuch as operations of the main global economic institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

YIN Susan (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 123

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 5

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Part I: International Trade Law

  1. The Evolution of the GATT/WTO Regime

  2. The WTO Dispute Settlement System

  3. Basic Principles of International Trade Law: MFN and National Treatment

  4. Trade Liberalisation and other competing social values: environment, labor rights etc.

  5. Preferential Trade Agreements (I)

  6. Preferential Trade Agreements (II)

  7. Fair Trade: antidumping and countervailing measures

  8. Reform of the World Trade Organization

Part II: International Investment Law

9. The Legal Framework of International Investment Law

10. Settling Investment Disputes: The Investor- State Arbitration System (I)

11. Settling Investment Disputes: The Investor- State Arbitration System (II)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3000 word Coursework 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of topics covered in the lectures and tutorials and their ability to analyse critically both the relevant case law and complex theoretical ideas and policy considerations. Assessment goes beyond the mere repetition of the widely accepted ideas of others and encourages critical engagement with the questions which provoked those ideas.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


3000 words

One question out of a choice of two.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment takes the same form as the summative assessment (1500 words).


Students will receive feedback on their performance, including oral feedback in lectures, tutorials, general class discussions; formal written feedback on the summative assessment; as well as individual, informal feedback from time to time as required.

Module aims

  • To be able to consider the remedies allowed through the constitution
  • This module aims to introduce to students basic legal principles and rules governing international trade, investment and finance and allow them to engage critically with these topics. The module also seeks to allow students to develop a sophisticated understanding of why and how international economic law works in an ever-changing global economic landscape. More specifically:
  • Understand the often competing policy considerations which inform the international legal framework governing international economic transactions;
  • Understand and apply the principles and rules in the areas covered in this module;
  • Explain and evaluate the current law in light of its stated and other potential objectives

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge and a deep understanding of both the principles and the essential rules governing international trade and investment (C, K T & P). They should also be able to apply the knowledge and skills acquired from the course to a range of real and hypothetical legal problems CKPT
002 Develop a critical awareness of the interaction between international political economy and international economic law, be able to explain critically how international political economy has helped shape the development of international economic legal norms by international/national courts, tribunals and other instituions CKT
003 Identify legal issues arising from the facts given in the tutorial questions, and to conduct an analysis of them by selecting the relevant legal principles and applying them to resolve the problems set CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: engage students directly with complex international economic legal principles and rules and the underpinning theoretical and policy considerations. This involves both a close examination of the substantive legal rules and relates them to a broader context of how international economic law regulates global economic activities.

Lectures will focus on a clear understanding of the key concepts and the leading case law exemplifying these concepts. The current law will be presented in its broader historical, political and economic context so that students will acquire a sophisticated understanding of not only what the current law is, but also the driving forces helping shape the current law.

Tutorials will focus on developing the students’ detailed understanding of the law as it currently stands and applying the law to real and hypothetical legal problems.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures (2 hours per week x 11 weeks);

Tutorials (1 hour per week x 5 weeks)

The objective of both categories of contact is to allow students to develop and enhance their knowledge of the subject and its practical application, thereby achieving the learning outcomes listed above.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3133

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Public Affairs MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.