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International Economic Law


Course Type and Contact Hours

Lecture / 2 hours per week

Some sessions might be read en bloc in order to accommodate time constraints of guest lecturers and to take account of the exam period of students.

Course Language



6 (if exam has been passed)


This course will be taught at irregular intervals. It will be available in the summer term 2015.

Time Schedule and Course Venue

An up-to-date electronic course catalogue for the summer semester will be available on the website http://www.fu-berlin.de/vv from late February to mid August. Please select "Fachbereiche" - "Rechtswissenschaft" - "Staatsexamensstudiengang" and "Rechtswissenschaft" in order to access the Law courses.

Content of the Course

International Economic Law (IEL) can be defined as the body of rules and standards governing international economic relations between States or towards trade blocs such as the EU. These rules and standards affect individuals in their relations inter se across boundaries. Such activities comprise in particular international trade including services, investment, and monetary and financial transactions as well as the movement of persons. The lecture provides an introduction to and overview of the public international law regimes governing these fields of activity. Upon completion of the course students shall be able to understand basic structures of the complex body of international economic law, to work with the main rules in the field, and to critically evaluate them.

Not part of the course are those rules which address the legal relations between individuals, such as the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, lex mercatoria, or laws of conflicts. Internal regimes of regional integration organizations are also not covered.

Content (overview):

I. A general introduction to international economic law

1. The nature of international economic law

2. Sources of international economic law

3. Subjects in international economic law

4. A typology of dispute settlement mechanisms in international economic law

II. An overview of international trade law

1. Genesis of WTO/GATT System

2. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

3. General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

4. Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

5. Dispute settlement in WTO law

III. International investment law in a nutshell

1. Genesis of international investment law; law of aliens

2. Treatment standards in modern international investment law

3. Dispute settlement in modern international investment law

4. The role of the EU in shaping international investment law

5. Energy-related investment disputes

IV. A brief account of international monetary law


Mode of teaching

The lecture will be held in English. Students are invited to actively take part in discussions as well as in case studies presented during class. Some reading will be recommended in order to prepare for classes.


The lecture is addressed to undergraduate students in law and in political science as well as to Erasmus and graduate students in the fields of study mentioned before. Knowledge of general public international law would be of advantage but is not required.

Course Registration

Students are not required to register for this course in advance.


There is an optional oral examination at the end of the semester for those students frequently attending. Further information will be given in class.

Registration for the Exam

Students have to register for the exam with the course instructor. They are not required to register formally at the Examination Office.