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The Law of International Trade


Higher postgraduate course, first semester.

30 NQF credits at HEQSF level 9

Convener: Ms K Lehmann

Course entry requirements: An LLB from UCT or the equivalent legal qualification from a recognised university.

Course outline:

The Law of International Trade examines the public law aspects of international trade, the international regulatory framework within which private traders operate, concentrating on the law and practice of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). We will consider the purpose of trade, why it is that the WTO is considered the most successful of international organisations, and why it is that the WTO continues to attract controversy and criticism. In answering these questions, we will consider select WTO agreements to provide insights into both what the law says and how the law impacts on states and private actors within those states.The purpose of the course is to provide students with some ‘technical’ understanding of the WTO as an institution, and to provide students with the tools to critically evaluate whether the WTO is meeting its worthy objectives as set in the Agreement establishing the WTO, including raising living standards, ensuring full employment, optimising the use of the world’s resources in accordance with the principle of sustainable development, and ensuring that developing countries, especially LDCs, secure a share in the growth of international trade commensurate with their economic needs. This is not an economics course, and we cannot assess the economic case for free trade. Instead, as lawyers, we will examine the law and jurisprudence of the WTO, to assess to what extent the laws themselvesallow for free and fair trade.

DP requirements: None

Assessment: Coursework - 30%June examination - 70%