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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: International Economic Law (LAWS10223)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course introduces the fundamental principles, rules and institutions governing the international economic order. It is structured in three parts, addressing development, trade and investment respectively. It examines the content, nature and role of free trade agreements, and investment agreements. It also introduces students to the history and evolution of some of the major economic theories of trade and development, and looks at the way they have been put into practice in the legal architecture of the international economic order.
Course description The course will be divided into three main parts covering the following topics:

History, institutions of the World Trade Organisation;
Dispute settlement;
Core Principles of the GATT;
US-China trade frictions;
Free trade agreements.

Historical introduction to international investment law;
Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITS);
Multilateral Investment Treaties (MITS);
Settlement of investment disputes;
Standards of treatment in international investment law.

Theories of development, and ideas about law implicit in them
Intellectual history of development
Evolving role of law in that history

The course will be delivered through a series of seminars where students are given a list of readings or research tasks in advance. They will then discuss these in class.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  32
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 352 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will be assessed by a 3,000-word essay submitted at the end of semester 1 (30%); a 5,000 word essay submitted at the end of semester 2 (60%); and by class participation (10%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Engage critically with the legal architecture of the international economic order. You will also have some understanding of the way economic and social theory is translated into policy and then into implementing legal institutions.
  2. Find and contextualise key materials relating to international economic law; Critically evaluate the relevant documents, including development policies, and both treaties and judgements of international courts and tribunals; Engage with complex areas of law and analyse complex arguments on the topic of the course.
  3. Demonstrate critical analytical skills; Comprehension, including prioritization of points in argumentation; Writing skills, in particular summarizing information; Articulation of opinion as well as justification of that opinion.
  4. Engage in contemporary debates involving the subject-matter of the course. An ability to formulate opinions on complex materials.
  5. Reflect on the moral and political implications of the legal foundations of the international economic order. Developed skills in making arguments about desirable legal arrangements in trade, development and investment contexts.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Andrew Lang
Tel: (0131) 650 2921
Course secretaryMs Krystal Hanley
Tel: (0131 6)50 2056
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