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Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04

Course Overview

The course aims to provide a thorough and critical understanding of fundamental concepts, principles and institutions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), with emphasis on trade in goods (GATT).  The main topics covered include relevant historical and institutional developments, WTO dispute resolution, core principles such as the non-discrimination, most-favour-nation (MFN) and the prohibition of quantitative restrictions on international trade.  The security, environment, human rights, labour standards, economic emergencies and free trade areas and customs unions based exceptions and their challenges are also analytically explored.  These are studied in light of relevant WTO panel and Appellate Body cases and recommendations.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Zeray Yihdego

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Law (LS)
  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • LS553V World Trade Organisation: Gatt (Studied)
  • Master of Laws in International Law and Strategic Studies (Studied)
  • Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (Studied)
  • Master of Laws in International Law and International Relations (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

1. Introduction, Historical and Theoretical Background, and Institutional Developments 2. WTO Dispute Resolution System 3. WTO Core Principles I: General Introduction, Non Discrimination – MFN 4. WTO Core Principles II: Non-Discrimination – National Treatment 5. Exceptions to the Core Principles 6. Trade and Environment, Trade and Human Rights, Trade and Labour Rights 7. Other Important Exceptions—Economic Emergencies; Free Trade Areas; National Security

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 - 18, 18

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

2000 words essay (40%)

3x 48 hour answers (1000 words each) (60%)


Resit: online exam, coursework mark is carried forward


Alternative Resit Arrangements (2020/2021)

48 hour written exam (% equivalent to failed element)

Alternative Resit Arrangements (2019/2020 & C8 Students)

48 hour written exam (100%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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