Transnational Commercial Law II

Teaching hours and credit allocation: 30 hours, 6 credits

The aim of this module is to further explore transnational commercial law, by appraising and comparing international legal instruments and theories. The module builds on the knowledge and skills that students have acquired through the study of the Transnational Commercial Law I module. The module deals with special issues related to the international trade, international investment and their regulation. It studies the basic principles in the context of international commercial law, which are contained in the WTO Agreement. It identifies realities and conflicting interests behind international agreements or initiatives. The module studies important aspects of WTO law, such as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The students will have the opportunity to evaluate the case for trade liberalisation, its conceptual basis and the implementation of WTO law in specific contexts. Consequently, the students will be able to better identify the legal risks and appreciate the legal complexities that impact international business. By gaining a better understanding of the international legal environment, especially WTO law, the students will be able to analyse and recommend business strategies and legal strategies in an international context.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Obtain a robust understanding and appreciation of the principles and practices of transnational commercial and financial law;
  • Further explore the prospects of regional and multilateral initiatives in the field of transnational commercial and financial law;
  • Understand the rights and obligations arising between the parties of complex transnational commercial and financial transactions;
  • Focus on specialized aspects of international trade negotiations¬† and WTO law;
  • Appreciate the economic and legal effects of international trade policies under WTO Agreements;
  • Approach the study of relevant legislation, cases and international agreements in an analytical and systematic way.


  • The principles of international investment law;
  • The law and practice of investment treaties and the protection of foreign investments (nationalisations, ICSID dispute settlement, etc.);
  • The protection of human rights in international economic law and in foreign investments;
  • Geneva Securities Convention
  • EU Settlement and Financial Collateral Directives
  • The WTO principles of the trading system; most-favoured nation principle; national treatment principle; reciprocity principle;
  • A panorama of the WTO Agreements (GATT 1994, GATS, TRIMS, TRIPS);
  • The TRIPS Agreement and the application of the WTO principles to IP rights;
  • The TRIPS Agreement and the specific issue of access to patented medicines;
  • The Doha Development Round: progress and perspectives.
  • The Doha Development Round: the specific issue of agriculture, industrial tariffs, non-tariff barriers and trade remedies;
  • Special and differential treatment provisions;
  • The WTO Dispute Settlement: structure, principles and rules;
  • The WTO Dispute Settlement: prominent cases (Airbus case, US steel tariffs case, EU restrictions on genetically modified food case, EU regulation of asbestos case, etc.)
  • Enforcement and imposition of sanctions (embargo, boycott, financial penalties).