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LS553T: APPLIED ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW (2021-2022)

Last modified: 19 Oct 2021 13:55


Course Overview

Why this Course?
There is limited appreciation given to the study of the state as a policymaker, legislator, and disputing party in the context of international economic law. Yet, the states have become the “investor of first-resort", while participating in an unprecedented surge of international investment disputes and international economic agreements (i.e., CETA, USMCA, EU-Singapore, and EU-Japan).

For example, the course covers how international investment law interacts with the State’s regulatory powers to protect public health, a timely topic in light of COVID-19.

International Economic Organizations are also crucial actors of international economic law as their powers have expanded over recent years. Challenges to these powers have also appeared, including pressure on their immunities and political division among members.

As a result, interactions between these actors are becoming increasingly numerous and complex. This calls for a course with a comparative and practice-oriented renewed approach to international economic law.

Would this course contribute to my professional growth?

Students aiming to work as policymakers, government officials, legal practitioners, and researchers will use a comparative methodology to understand the similar issues arising in investment and trade law. By using contemporary case-studies, students will be able to clearly articulate their learning on most of the complex issues arising from the application of international economic law. The course will have emphasis on the study and analysis of investment standards such as non-discrimination, most-favorable treatment, fair and equitable treatment, expropriation, and standards of compensation.

What is the course objective?

The objective of this module is to give students a competitive advantage at understanding the "real-life" consequences of the state as the "main economic actor” by elucidating some of the most frequent pervasive issues arising from international investment law and dispute resolution.

It will also allow students to focus on under-noticed developments of international development law. The analysis of the case-law of bodies such as anti-fraud sanctions processes or accountability mechanisms will permit students to understand underlying dynamics that go beyond the organization concerned and impact other fields of international economic law.

The course content is also relevant for students interested in applying investment and trade law from an interdisciplinary perspective by studying, for example, the role of preferential tariffs and subsidies in delivering low-carbon economies.

Seminars will employ different methodologies to learn the impact of economic law in politics and business, including cases on plain packaging and non-communicable diseases, public procurement, corruption, and international labour law standards rigorously.

What is the crucial contribution of this course to my LLM?

This is a crucial module at building knowledge across the architecture of investment, trade, and development agreements by focusing on the institutional intersections across economic and legal organisations such as the World Bank, IMF, WTO, and ICSID. Students will benefit from the innovative teaching method on “Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Lab” where they can contribute to test ideas on the unresolved challenges arising from dispute settlements mechanisms, including experiences from WTO to the ISDS Reform currently lead by the United Nations at the UNCITRAL WG III.

Moreover, given the comparative methodologies used, this course offers an excellent added value to all students seeking continuity into further postgraduate studies, including Ph.D. studies in the field of international economic law, international investment law, and international dispute resolution.

 

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Gloria Alvarez
  • Lecturer Edouard Fromageau

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

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Who is this course for? Would the course give me a competitive advantage?

This is a course for students seeking to increase their professional opportunities at working as government officials, policymakers, academics, and legal practitioners. The course's main objective to enable students to stay competitive by offering a detailed study and understanding of the practical and legal consequences of the state acting as the “investor of first-resort".

This course is designed to encourage and develop the use of trans-ferable skills relating to the application of the law to complex sce-narios, critical judgment on the law, and the formulation of le-gal/policy responses to complex questions.

In addition, this course offers an excellent added value to all stu-dents seeking continuity into further postgraduate studies, includ-ing Ph.D. studies in the field of international economic law, inter-national investment law, and international dispute resolution.

What is the professional development and transferable skills I will learn from this course?

For students, the most immediate benefits of taking this course are:

(1) to critically understand and update student’s knowledge con-sidering the surge of the new wage of international economic agreement. For example:
- US-Canada-Mexico Agreement,
- EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement
- Brexit developments, etc

(2) to apply theoretical knowledge on applied issues arising from international economic law, including:

o Preferential tariffs and subsidies in the context of the energy transition, using as example relevant in-vestment and trade treaty practice.

o The role of trade and investment law in the context of regulatory measures to protect the public from (non-) communicable diseases and plain packaging.

o The role of decision-making in public procurement and dispute settlement stages.

(3) Using a wide range of interdisciplinary methodologies to build understanding in the interconnection between international eco-nomic law politics and business by looking at the:

a. Effectiveness of labour rights in free trade agreements.

b. Politics of ISDS in the context of the United Nations (UN-CITRAL Working Group III).

Also, students will be able to gain clear and straightforward knowledge of the institutional intersections and experiences across international economic law.

For example, issues of independence and impartiality that lead to the WTO crisis in the 90’s it is now affecting ICSID and other methods of investor-state dispute arbitration. More concretely, the comparative experiences in WTO and ISDS will enable students to understand the new "Multilateral Investment Court" mechanism, which will replace investor-state arbitration in the new forms of free trade agreements.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 39

More Information about Week Numbers


Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

• 1st problem-solving essay (mid-term) would cover Sessions 1 to 4

Word Count 3000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

• 2nd problem-solving essay (end-term) would cover Sessions 4 to 9 (50%)

Word Count 3000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstand1. Engage in an intellectual discussion about the dif-ference between the law of international invest-ments and trade.
ProceduralApply2. Assess the fundamental notions frequently used in international economic law, including international institutions
ReflectionAnalyse3. Display a critical and comparative appreciation of the intersections between international investment law and trade dispute settlement mechanisms, deci-sion-making, and legal practice.
ReflectionRemember4. Evaluate and create a critical identification of the legal frameworks under which international trade and investment take place

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