World Trade Organisation Law and Policy Fundamentals

This course can also be presented face to face in-house and via live in-house webinar.

World Trade Organisation Law Course Objectives:

This World Trade Organisation Law course aims to help delegates gain an understanding of the:

  • Structure of the WTO
  • Role of the DSM
  • Principles underlying the WTO Agreement
  • Principle of National Treatment
  • Principle of MFN (Most Favoured Nation)
  • Regulation of non-tariff barriers
  • Permitted exceptions under WTO
  • Remedial measures that are permissible under WTO law

Development of Skills Base

By the end of this World Trade Organisation Law course, a delegate should be able to critically assess the impact of the WTO Agreement on:

  • Trade relations generally;
  • Private operations, and strategies; and
  • Disputes involving trade

Who should attend?

  • Lawyers
  • Solicitors
  • In-house counsel
  • Trainee solicitors
  • Attorneys

World Trade Organisation Law Course Content

Trade barriers

  • Rationale for trade barriers
  • The form and rationale for:
    • Tariff barriers
    • Non-tariff barriers

Liberalistion of trade

  • Trade blocs – Their form and features
  • Preferential Trade Agreements under WTO law
  • History of global trade liberalisation

WTO – An overview

  • Key facts about the WTO
  • Organisational structure & Members

Key functions of the WTO

  • Negotiation forum
    • Principle of Reciprocity & Mutual Recognition
  • WTO a legal framework
    • Beneficiaries
    • Scope

Dispute Settlement Mechanism

  • Scope
  • Post Uruguay Round reform
  • The Structure of the DSB Procedure

Principles underlying WTO Agreement

  • Overview of key principles underpinning WTO Agreement
  • Trade without discrimination
    • Foreign parity vs. Inland parity
  • Most Favoured Nation
    • Explained
    • Unconditional MFN
    • Scope
  • National Treatment
    • Explained
    • Aims of NT


  • Introduction
  • Categories
  • General exceptions
    • Two-tier analysis

Laws governing use of non-tariff barriers

  • Trade facilitation
  • Framework regulating non-tariff barriers
  • Technical barriers to trade
    • Technical regulations vs. Standard under the 1994 Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement)
    • Potential concerns associated with technical barriers
    • Regulation under WTO law
  • Import licensing procedures
    • Rationale behind import licensing procedures
    • Regulation under WTO law
  • Government procurement
    • Scope
    • Regulation under WTO law
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures
    • Scope
    • Regulation under WTO law

Permitted remedial measures

  • Safeguard against injury
    • Scope
    • Regulation under WTO law
    • Substantive and procedural requirements
    • Limits on use of safeguard measures
  • Dumping and Antidumping
    • Definition of dumping
    • Regulation under WTO law
    • Substantive and procedural requirements
    • Limits on use of antidumping measures
    • Remedies
  • Subsidies
    • Regulation under WTO law

Background of the trainer:

The trainer is a senior law lecturer on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, at the Law School of University of Derby (England), and Visiting Professor of Law at Université Jean Moulin (France), and University of Western Ontario (Canada).

She specialises in private international law, trade law and policy, and banking and finance law.

Prior to her appointment at the University of Derby, she was Associate Professor of Law, and Programme Director on the Masters (LL.M.) at the Law School of Université Jean Moulin (Lyon, France).

In addition to teaching law, she is a practising solicitor in England and Wales (date of qualification 1999), specialising in private international law, banking, and compliance. She advises various multinationals on international contracts, and is a compliance consultant for a leading global bank in the fields of AML, ABC and sanctions.

The trainer is the author of two books, and several scholarly works on such subjects as EU corporate law, corruption, and banking. Her book entitled ‘International Commercial Agreements’ published by Edinburgh University Press provides guidance on the drafting of international agreements. She has co-authored a textbook on international licensing agreements (due for publication in 2018).

The trainer is fluent in French, and English.

World Trade Organisation Law Course Overview:

Since World War II, multilateral trade relations have been the subject-matter of intergovernmental treaties. The inception of the EEC, the EC, and finally the EU, meant that the UK’s trade relations were delegated to the EU for negotiation.

Post Withdrawal, trade relations will be shaped by negotiations under the auspices of the WTO. These talks will determine the rules governing the import and export of goods, and services between the UK and other states, and trade blocs (such as the EU, and NAFTA.

Trade rules will be determined predominantly by WTO law and policy. The WTO Agreement will accordingly define trade relations between the UK and EU, and between the UK and non-EU Members of the WTO.

Under the WTO framework, trade disputes between WTO Members will be determined in the main by the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) using the provisions in the WTO Agreement.

Key principles running throughout the WTO Agreement, define trade relations and form the backbone of the multilateral trading system. Amongst them the principles of Most Favoured Nation, National Treatment, and Predictability.

The WTO Agreement permits Members to introduce national measures that are incompatible with WTO commitments, so long as these measures fall within the permitted exceptions contained with the scope of the Agreement.

For example, in violation of the principle of Predictability, commercial & political conditions often force nations to introduce remedial measures, in order to protect the local economy against inter alia disruptions to industry, dumped imported, imports of subsidised goods, and shortages of hard foreign currency.

This course aims to provide an understanding of the structure and role of the WTO. The procedures governing the DSB will be explored in detail, as will the key principles that underpin the WTO Agreement (inter alia GATT, GATS, and TRIPS), and the general rules governing trade in goods and services amongst the WTO Member Countries. We will also look at the exceptions permitted by WTO law, and the conditions that shape the key exceptions, and permitted remedial measures.

This World Trade Organisation Law course, which is not jurisdiction-specific, is ideal for those working in an international and European context.

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