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International Economic Law and Sustainable Development


This course reviews the principles and rules underlying the post-war international economic order, in particular with respect to trade, money and finance and foreign investment, as well as its institutional pillars such as the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization. Furthermore, the course reviews the role of international economic institutions, investment agreements, fisheries agreements and the use of economic instruments in pursuing sustainable development. Sustainable development has become a key concept for the 21st century and has been endorsed and recognised in a number of instruments of international law. Problems like global climate change, high pollution levels and depletion of living and non-living natural resources are becoming important restraints on the global economy. After successfully completing this course, the student has a thorough knowledge of and insight into the main elements of the current regulation of international economic relations and of the concept of sustainable development, including its current status in international law.

Study material:

  • Nico Schrijver, The Evolution of Sustainable Development in International Law: Inception, Meaning and Status (Hague Academy of International Law), Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2008.

  • Nico Schrijver, Development without Destruction: The UN and Global Resource Management. Indiana University Press, 2010

Examination: Research Paper

Course dates:
Lectures (Prof Schrijver): Wednesday 20 March to 24 April (no class on 27 March) from 10:00-13:00 hrs, C006, KOG Leiden
Working Groups (Dr. Baetens): Thursday 21 March to 25 April (no class on 28 March) from 13:00-15:00 hrs, C006, KOG Leiden.