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Policy coherence to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals from a tax, trade and investment law perspective’



This course does not require a specific knowledge of investment law, trade law or tax law.


Governments and international organizations as international actors are building new initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Some areas where these initiatives have clearly emerged is in the field of taxation, investment and trade since these areas can contribute to developing countries’ own policies for development. Making investment, tax and trade more sustainable will result in further expansion and deepening of partnerships on sustainability with the private sector and civil society organisations. A policy coherence in trade, investment and tax can also contribute to alleviating poverty by increasing the competitiveness of the country vis-a-vis other countries in the region and to tackle global inequality by contributing to transfer of knowledge in different sectors of the economy.

It is through their own tax revenues, income from trade and attracting foreign investments that developing countries themselves can generate the funding they need to achieve the SDGs. Some of the areas where this coordinated approach is needed is the introduction of incentives to attract foreign direct investment, the introduction of incentives to tackle climate change and the introduction of incentives to enhance digital trade.

The current globalized world requires knowledge of the interaction between different areas of law and policy making including exchange of best practices in developed and developing countries. Therefore, this course will give students tools to carry out comparative research that can be useful in their future career as lawyers, policy advisors in governments, international organizations (OECD, World Bank) and supranational organizations (European Union).

This course facilitates group interaction (2 or 3 students per group) and also welcomes interaction between different areas of law, public policy and international relations. For this purpose, in this course, the students will form groups of 2 or 3 students to compare 2 countries policy coherence in tax, trade and investment. The countries are one developed and one developing country.

Summary course: This course will build on three areas of law: taxation, investment and trade.

The meetings / seminars of the class will take place on Thursdays from 17.00 - 20.00/20.15.

  1. Policy coherence tax, trade and investment - Thursday 9 sept (guest lecture Joep Schenk Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  2. Trade - Thursday 16 September (Guest lecture Anna Marhold Assistant Professor Leiden University )
  3. Tax - Thursday 23 September
  4. Investment - Thursday 30 September (Guest lecture Jason Ruddal Assistant Professor Leiden University)
  5. Presentation mid-term report -Thursday 7 October
  6. Discussion Letter Policy coherence with SDGs - Thursday 14 October


The course covers introductory elements of investment law, tax law and trade law: Theory and practice. Furthermore, this course will contribute to the development of the following skills:

  • Analytical, organizational and project management skills. Being able to find out the relevant information for the country and to organize the information in an efficient way taking into account the country’ specific features

  • Writing skills considering the underlying Ministry and Legislative in each country of study.

  • Oral skills: Discussion with other students regarding the findings and presentation mid-term report.

  • ICT skills (word) and internet research skills

  • Social skills: Working in groups

Eindkwalificaties (eindtermen van het vak)
Na afronding van het vak hebben studenten de volgende kwalificaties verworven:

By the end of this course the students will have integrated their skills (see above) and knowledge from the challenges that developing countries face to deal with tax, investment and trade and form the discussions regarding the need of countries to address policy coherence with SDGs. In addition, students will gain a basic understanding of different countries policies to attract foreign direct investment and to deal with new challenges e.g. climate change, digital trade.


This course will be given in a seminar form.

In this course, the students will form groups of 2 or 3 students to compare 2 countries policy coherence in tax, trade and investment. The countries are one developed and one developing country. The comparison will be provided in a mid-term report. This mid-term report will be presented by the students in lecture 5.

Thereafter the students will provide recommendations of policy coherence with SDGs in the form of two letters from the Ministry of Development Cooperation to the Legislative in each country of study . See for example, Letter of 13 July 2018 from the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation to the House of Representatives on the revised action plan and annual progress review on policy coherence for development

Attendance at and participation in this course is, of course, mandatory. As with all courses of HC Law. This is partly due to the character and structure of HC Law and its courses, which therefore also have the status of practical exercises.


Thursday 9 sept
Thursday 16 September
Thursday 23 September
Thursday 30 September
Thursday 7 October
Thursday 14 October


*Mid-term report (50%) * Presentation mid-term report (20%)
*Two Policy letters to the Legislative of each country of study (30%)

For the memorandum, presentation and policy letters, students will work in a group (2 to 3 students max.) to ensure the exchange of ideas in the project and also the cooperation between students of different disciplines.

To be submitted in Brightspace. Deadline (t.b.a.).


Bij dit vak wordt gebruik gemaakt van Brightspace.


Via de administratie van Honours College Law:

Minimum en maximum aantal deelnemers

12-24 students


Vakcoördinator: Dr. I.J.Mosquera Valderrama
Werkadres: Steenschuur 25 2311 ES Leiden
Bereikbaarheid: By appointment
Telefoon: 31 71 527 6618