JJUB55167U Cancelled International Economic Law

Volume 2021/2022

The course will start with an introduction to the basic structure and principles of international economic law. The general introduction will be followed by three parts, reflecting the three main areas of international economic law: (I) International Trade Law; (II) International Business Law; and (III) International Investment Law and Dispute Settlement. In all three areas the impact of new technologies on international trade and investment will be examined, including such issues as digital data flows; business aspects of cybersecurity; and investment policies and strategies.

Highly interactive character of the course, and various forms of engagement of students, are aimed at development of skills and competences meeting the demands of modern legal practice in an international business environment.


Part I (International Trade Law) will provide students with theoretical and practical understanding of the regulatory framework of international trading system.  It will explain the history and background of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as trade institution and its origins as GATT. It will analyze substantive WTO rules on non-discrimination, market access, as well as fair trade issues, as well as the basic principles of trade in goods and trade in services. It will also discuss specific WTO agreements that address non-tariff barriers: the TBT Agreement and SPS Agreement, as well as the trade-related intellectual property rights issues (TRIPS). The relationship between trade rules and other non-trade values, such as environmental protection, public health and human rights will be examined. The course will also address the issue of the trade wars and the crisis of the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism. Furthermore, it will discuss selected, already concluded as well as emerging regional trade agreements and the issue of their co-existence with the WTO system.


Part II of the course (International Business Law) will acquaint students with legal aspects of international enterprises and commercial relations. It will examine regulatory framework for international business transactions, including international legal standards (such as the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods), as well as European law and transnational regulations. Course participants will also get acquainted with legal standards for international payments, with a particular focus on Letters of Credit (L/C) under the Uniform Customs & Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP 600). The course will further examine typical business forms for enterprises active overseas and MNEs structures. It will also cover international aspects of competition law, including international rules against anti-competitive behavior, extraterritorial effects of application of competition laws, and bilateral cooperation. Methods of resolution of international business disputes (in particular international commercial arbitration and mediation) will also be discussed. 


Part III of the module (International Investment Law and Dispute Settlement) will specifically focus on regulations of the relationships between foreign investors and their host countries. International investment law concerns and regulates the protection of foreign investments in the territory of the host country – however, it is also increasingly about the regulatory space of host states, as well as their right to interfere with foreign investment due to public interest or the realization of a public objective.  It is a highly fragmented legal field with over 3000 investment treaties in force, including bilateral agreements (BITs), as well as a growing number of regional, sectoral, or comprehensive agreements. The course will examine the field as a topical, constituent domain in international economic relations. It will also discuss its consequences vis-à-vis public health, environment, development, etc. At the module, students will be introduced to the principles of international investment law, its content, context, scope, status quo; as well as perspectives for its future development. The course will acquaint students with key legal-political discussions, policy trends and current treaty practice. As a case law driven module, it will also introduce students to the arbitral jurisprudence, arbitral reasoning, as well as international adjudication.


Course topics


  • Introduction: Contents, structure and basic principles of international economic law.


I. International Trade Law

  • Multilateral Trading System: History and Institutions
  • Substantive WTO rules on Non-discrimination, Market Access and Fair Trade Issues.
  • Beyond Trade in Goods: Basic principles of Trade in Services, Trade and Investment, specific WTO agreements on Non-tariff Barriers: the TBT Agreement and SPS Agreement, Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights Issues (TRIPS).
  • Regional integration of markets and preferential trade agreements
  • Trade dispute resolution


II. International Business Law

  • Establishment and Non-Establishment Forms of Commercial Presence Abroad. Outsourcing and Offshoring
  • International Commercial Actors: Types of Business Units, Multinational Enterprises, Global Value Chains
  • International Contract Law: Sale of Goods and Accompanying Transactions
  • Methods of Payment in International Transactions. Letters of Credit.
  • Resolution of International Commercial Disputes: Litigation, Arbitration, Mediation


III. International Investment Law and Dispute Settlement

  • International Investment Law and Politics: History and Development
  • International Investment Law and Its Sources
  • Substantive Protection Principles
  • International Investment Arbitration and Dispute Settlement
  • Future of International Investment Law


This course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World, see 'Remarks' below.” (under “content”)

Learning Outcome

Upon the completion of the course, the students will be – in terms of:


Knowledge, familiar with:

  • general issues of international economic law, as well as with specific legal problems, characteristic to the international trade and business environment
  • institutions, regulatory framework and jurisprudence in the areas of international trade, investment and business law
  • the range of available dispute resolution mechanisms for trade, investment and international commercial disputes and of the scope of their application
  • specific demands for legal services in international economic relations in comparison to domestic practice - with a special focus on digital aspects of international commercial and investment relations
  • public and private law dimensions of international trade, investment and commercial regulations


Skills, trained in:

  • strategy building
  • planning and conducting negotiations
  • legal research, preparing and formulating legal opinions
  • formulate and draft policy recommendations, 
  • preparing and presenting arguments in hypo cases and mock proceedings


Competences, able to:

  • identify, interpret and apply sources of law applicable to international trade, investment and business relations
  • critically assess and solve issues related to public interest (environment, health, etc.)
  • identify and apply relevant standards of performance
  • determine and explain scope of liability of the parties to economic relations
  • be familiar with and able to select from adequate methods of dispute resolution, identify institutions and procedures relevant to specific types of IEL cases (WTO, regional mechanisms, ICSID, private arbitral centres)


Matthias Herdegen “Principles of International Economic Law”, Oxford University Press 2016 (second edition)

Selection of additional readings (articles, case law) provided by the instructors

Good command of English
- lectures
- seminar discussion
- case study (case law analysis, hypo solving)
- negotiations simulation
- moot court/mock proceedings
- debates
- strategy building (group exercise)
- team assignments (case analysis and presentation)
Please observe, this course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World. Students who sign up for the iEP become iCourts Student Fellows and will get a unique opportunity to become part of the research environment of iCourts – the only centre of excellence in law in Denmark. The iEP is open to all Danish and foreign BA and MA students at the Faculty. All iCourts courses may be taken individually but only students who complete a total of at least 45 ECTS courses offered by the centre or 30 ECTS of such courses plus write their MA-thesis with an iCourts Supervisor will receive a certificate confirming their participation in the iEP. Read more about the programme here: https:/​/​jura.ku.dk/​icourts/​education/​excellence-programme/​
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 343,5
  • Seminar
  • 69
  • Total
  • 412,5
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min.
Oral exam without preperation, 20 minutes
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

The course is cancelled in the autumn semester 2021


The course is cancelled in the autumn semester 2021