nl en

WTO and Investment Law


This course covers aspects of WTO Law, which are of vital importance for a business lawyer in the 21st century. The basic institutional as well as substantive WTO rules are discussed. Attention is paid to the “constitution” of the WTO, its structure, rules on dispute settlement, and the main substantive rules laid down in WTO. Attention will be given as well to the implementation by the EU, one of the major WTO members. This overview is followed by an analysis of the rules regarding international investment. In recent years these rules have increasingly come to be seen as complementary to the traditional framework governing international trade. From a business perspective, the attraction is that –contrary to the international trade framework which is intergovernmental in nature— private parties have direct access to an international dispute settlement mechanism. At the same time, civil society is becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of so-called Investor-State Dispute Settlement on the policy space of governments (e.g., regarding public health and environmental regulation). In 2009, the EU received important new powers over international investment, in additional to international trade. The European institutions and the Member States are now grappling with the question how international trade and international investment rules are to be reconciled in a new generation of international economic agreements. The course will address this question as well.


Europa Institute
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Phone: 071-527 7760
Sheena Bruce,
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 7821

Course Materials

  • Course Reader can be downloaded from blackboard


  • This course is assessed by means of a written exam

Course requirements

  • Master degree


  • Sheena Bruce, – Phone: +31 (0)71 527 7821