Summer Academy 2024


Ready for a Swiss summer?

Interested in broadening your knowledge of issues related to international law and economics? The WTI Summer Academy cover cutting-edge issues in trade and investment law and policy. It is designed for private and public sector and civil society professionals as well as higher-education students.

Apply online


The programme

The Summer Academy at WTI has it all - academic rigour, inspiring lecturers... and fellow participants who add both to the fun and your network.

Ingrid E. Persson, Manager Government Affairs International Trade and Customs, Nike

In lectures, discussions and case studies, renowned experts will teach you how to blend the policy aspects of trade and investment with thorough legal interpretation and economic analysis. By becoming a part of the WTI community, you will establish valuable contacts with fellow-minded professionals and lecturers.

How does it work?

Summer Academy modules can be taken individually on an à la carte basis. All course are available on-site, in Bern, or online (in hybrid, live Zoom format). Students who take multiple courses in the Summer Academy can become eligible for a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) or a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in International Law and Economics. Visit our CAS / DAS Programmes page to learn more.

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1-19 July 2024

Course 1 - International Climate Governance
1-5 July 2024
Lecturers: Nicholas Lockhart, Dominic CoppensElena Cima and Dimitri Zenghelis
Tackling the climate crisis requires rapid and unprecedented regulatory change at domestic and international levels.  This course will use a multidisciplinary approach, covering law and economics, to explore how to bring about this change effectively and inclusively. This course is for anyone interested in the law and economics of climate change & climate justice – policymakers, academics, NGOs, investors and lawyers working on sustainability issues.
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Course 2 - International Investment Law and Sustainable Development
1-5 July 2024 
Lecturers: Roberto Echandi, Krista Navadakukaren and Mariana H.C. Gonstead
Different types of investment pose different challenges and opportunities for sustainable development. Further, over the last decade, the patterns of international production for goods and services determining international investment are increasingly being shaped by deep transformations resulting from climate change,  geopolitics and technology breakthroughs. These tectonic shifts have translated into domestic and international social and political  pressures to reshape the international investment regime.  Within this context, from a multidisciplinary perspective, this course will provide participants with a thorough understanding of these developments and how they are shaping international investment law. Further the course will explain the different types of investment, their impact on development, the evolution of the different international agreements covering investment, including the WTO, Preferential Trade Agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties, and how to leverage them in practice for sustainable development, including for purposes of managing conflict among stakeholders on the ground.
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Course 3 - Climate Change: Intellectual Property Law and Technology Transfer
8-12 July 2024
Lecturers: Thomas Cottier, Jayashree Watal, Andreas HeinemannKamran Houshang Pour and Zaker Ahmad
Effective climate change mitigation and adaptation requires the implementation of appropriate technologies in all countries concerned. Most of these technologies are protected by intellectual property rights, and dissemination depends upon the transfer and dissemination of technology. The course offers the foundations in law and economics of intellectual property rights, in particular patents and trade secrets, voluntary licensing and competition law, access to patent information and landscaping. The course discusses the transfer of technology to developing countries under the UNFCCC, the Paris Accord,  trade rules of the WTO and investment protection. It explores the impact of the emerging principle of common concern of humankind. The course is of use to all in government and international organizations, NGOs, academia and private practice engaged in issues of climate change policies, development and transfer of technology and knowledge in particular to developing countries under the principle of shared but differentiated responsibility. The course is offered in hybrid form.
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Course 4 - Technical Barriers to Trade in Pursuit of Sustainable Development
8-12 July 2024 
Lecturers: Arthur AppletonTetyana Payosova and Frank van Tongeren
This course will provide participants with a thorough understanding of the legal and economic aspects of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) as it relates to sustainable development. The focus will be on the legal and economic opportunities and limitations imposed by the TBT Agreement on laws and regulations designed to further sustainable development. The faculty will give prominent attention to environment-related WTO cases and EU regulations governing environmental goods and services (ESG), as well as the economic relationship arising from non-tariff measures (NTMs) designed to further sustainable development.
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Course 5 - Circular Economy, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Action
15-18 July 2024 
Lecturers: Jack Barrie, Christophe Bellmann and Carolyn Deere Birkbeck
This course will introduce students to the intersections between international trade and the circular economy and in particular how trade can facilitate the transition to an inclusive circular economy. The course will first introduce students to the many different global developments emerging on the circular economy (at the national, regional and intergovernmental levels) as well as the emerging tensions and debates associated with the topic. Subsequently, the lecturers will explore how to harness the international trade system to advance a globally equitable and inclusive transition to a circular economy. We will look at how the circular economy transition may fundamentally alter value chains and therefore future trade patterns as well as the different types of trade flow which enable the circular economy. The lecturers will then look at the many trade barriers facing these trade flows (including definitions and classifications, technical barriers to trade, trade facilitation, capacity building and finally trade and economic agreements) and identify potential solutions to these barriers. Finally, we will conduct a deep dive into the ongoing Global Plastics Treaty negotiations to understand how circular economy and trade are integral to the success of such a treaty.
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Course 6 - International Contracts Regarding Cross-Border Trade and Investment
15-18 July 2024 
Lecturers: Réka Papp and Benjamin Gottlieb
The fabric of international trade is made of international contracts that organise the purchase and sale of goods and services involving consumers, businesses and, at times, public actors in the global market. This course enables participants to understand the essential elements of international contracts and how to solve the disputes that might arise in connection with them. The course provides an overview of the legal framework of international contracts, including domestic and international sources with a special focus on the CISG and sector-specific rules. Participants will analyse the most common contractual clauses and the challenges related to their application, encompassing force majeure and hardship clauses as well as ESG and business and human rights clauses, which are gaining increasing relevance due to the current global situation. Participants will be made familiar with the wide range of dispute resolution mechanisms available and their advantages and disadvantages.
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  • Courses last 5 full days - 25 hours. Last week: 4 days only - 20 hours
  • Courses are interdisciplinary
  • CAS students can replace one course with any other available in the Summer Academy
  • All courses are offered in a hybrid format


  • Visit our CAS / DAS Programmes page to learn how you can apply these courses towards a certificate or diploma.
  • The CAS Programme can be spread over time (i.e., you do not necessarily need to take all three courses in the 2024 Summer Academy but they need to be completed within 2 years).


We accept individuals who have completed an undergraduate degree in law, economics or political science, or in an unrelated field supplemented by relevant working experience. Participants are expected to have a strong command of English and should be ready to read a large amount of material in English both prior to and during both the Winter Academy and Summer Academy.

How to apply
Applying to the Winter or Summer Academy is straightforward:

  1. Consult the course offerings above and choose the courses you wish to follow.
  2. Fill out the online application form

Applications are accepted until the maximum number of participants per week is reached.

Cancellation policy
The following deadlines and penalties apply for persons who apply and have been accepted to the programme, but who subsequently withdraw:

  • Cancellations 8 weeks before the course: the WTI refunds the tuition fee but deducts a 100 Swiss franc administration fee
  • Cancellations 4 weeks before the course: the WTI refunds 70% of tuition fee
  • Cancellations 2 weeks before the course: the WTI refunds 50% of tuition fee
  • No show = no refund

Tuition fees

The tuition fee is due upon acceptance to the programme and must be made in Swiss francs. Information on courses will not be provided until the tuition fee has been paid.

The Winter and Summer Academy tuition fees do not cover costs such as meals, housing or local transportation.

Fee structure: Winter Academy and Summer Academy

  • Tuition for one course is 1,200 Swiss francs
  • Tuition for two courses is 2,200 Swiss francs
  • Tuition for three courses is 3,200 Swiss francs
  • Tuition for four courses is 4,200 Swiss francs
  • Tuition for five courses is 5,200 Swiss francs
  • Tuition for six courses is 6,200 Swiss francs

Participants receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of each course. A minimum attendance rate of 80% is required to obtain a Certificate.

Financial aid

Are you an alumna/alumnus of our MILE or TRAIL+ programmes? If so, you qualify for a 50% discount on the week-long courses offered in our Winter and Summer Academies. In your application, please indicate that you are a MILE or TRAIL+ alumna/alumnus.

A reduced fee of 200 CHF is granted to students of the University of Bern. Please provide a confirmation of matriculation at the University of Bern to register.

The winning team in the Final Oral Round of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition are awarded a tuition fee waiver for two weeks of the Winter or Summer Academy. The winning team in any of the Regional Rounds of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition are awarded a tuition fee waiver for one week of the Winter or Summer Academy.

If you are a Bulgarian national, you are eligible for the exclusive financial support of the Fonds Katzarovi, specially designed for Graduate and PostGraduate studies in Switzerland. Deadline 15 March. More info here.

In all other cases, the WTI does not offer tuition waivers for the Winter and Summer Academies. Financial aid, if needed, should be requested from other organisations or institutions.

Interest Form