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Comparative Legal and Economic Integration




Admissions requirements

Mandatory: Sovereignty and Statehood and Structure and Functioning of the EU (no exceptions will be made)
Recommended: Public International Law and International Dispute Settlement


This course is dedicated to the study of economic integration taking place around the world. Having adopted a comparative approach, this course will focus on regional economic integration initiatives and on comparing and analysing their main features from a predominantly legal standpoint. This course will pay close attention to trade and investment integration.

The course will start off with a general definition of economic integration and by providing a short historical overview, along with criteria used in measuring economic integration and a typology of most frequent economic integration initiatives. This introduction will be followed by a basic introduction to GATT/WTO law before switching the lens onto the regional stage, starting with European Union law and notably the development of the four freedoms (goods, services, persons, and capital). The course will then move onto an overview of more recent attempts of economic integration outside the WTO such as the new wave of European Union free trade agreements like the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada (CETA) and Economic Partnership Agreements with developing countries. The course also includes sessions on regional economic integration in the Americas, in the Arab world / Middle East, in Asia and in Africa.

This course aims at comparing each economic integration area / organization by highlighting their commonalities and specificities. In doing so, this course will analyse a common set of topics (e.g., trade in goods & services and related issues such as quotas and tariffs, investment disciplines and scope of protections, dispute settlement mechanisms) and then situate each organization / area along a spectrum of economic integration.

Course objectives

Students will acquire knowledge and analytical tools regarding international economic law and related economic integration initiatives and organisations. Students will understand how international law is used to pursue economic integration and how related institutions function and operate. Students will also acquire familiarity with prevalent legal concepts under international economic law (such as national treatment and most-favoured-nation treatment, tariff and non-tariff barriers, quantitative restrictions, fair and equitable treatment, protection against uncompensated expropriation, etc.) and will also grow comfortable with the wording and overall structure of treaties. In the process, students will get a clearer picture of the driving forces behind globalisation.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course will adopt a lecture format while actively encouraging student participation, as well as incorporate educational excursions and guest lectures from practitioners in relevant fields.

In order to avoid scheduling conflicts, excursions and guest lectures that require more than 2 hours may be rescheduled to evenings or Wednesday afternoons (as announced in the course syllabus at the start of the course). Students participating in this course should bear this in mind and schedule their other activities accordingly.

Students should prepare by reading assigned materials for each class, which will be examined by brief in-class tests at the start of each class. Active knowledge is required of the topics covered in mandatory prerequisite courses (which will be tested in the first class).

The topics seen in class need to be well understood as they will form the basis of the final exam which will consist of the application of theoretical knowledge to a practical case study.

Students will need to demonstrate initiative and exercise independent legal thinking abilities as they will be asked to write a policy brief focusing on a topic of their choosing among the topics related to legal and economic integration. In writing this brief, students will also develop their synthesizing and team-working skills.


30% Policy brief
30% Midterm exam
40% Final exam


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Students are required to buy the following textbook:

EU Law. Text, Cases, and Materials
Sixth Edition
Paul Craig and Gráinne de Búrca

Additional articles and other readings, insofar as necessary, will be made available electronically via the course website on Blackboard, or, where allowed under copyright laws, via weblinks in the course syllabus.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact