Summer Academy 2023


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.

The 2023 Summer Academy is over. Stay tuned for the 2024 Summer Academy later in the new year.
In the meantime, if you are interested in short, weekly courses, please check our 2024 Winter Academy: applications are open!

Contact / Request Information  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 our campus 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.


12 June - 28 July 2023

Course 1 | Foundations of Trade Policy and Trade Policy Data 
12-16 June 2023
Lecturers: Achim Vogt and Selina Hauser
Description: This course presents the theory of trade policy instruments (tariffs, preferential trade agreements, non-tariff measures, trade facilitation) and introduces the students to the use of the main international datasets covering those policy instruments.
Syllabus here
NOTE: This course is offered on-site only, for students with strong economic background

Course 2 | Econometric Analysis of Trade Policy
19-23 June 2023
Lecturers: Joseph Francois, Octavio Fernández-Amador, Achim Vogt and Irene Garcés Iriarte
Description: This course presents the main econometric framework to perform ex-post analysis of trade policies: the structural gravity model of trade. This model predicts bilateral trade flows based on size and distance between exporter and importer units, e.g. geographical, cultural and policy-related barriers to trade. The students are also introduced to the management of bilateral trade data and the main gravity variables.
Syllabus here
NOTE: This course is offered on-site only, for students with strong economic background

Course 3 | Input-Output and Applied General Equilibrium Models
26-30 June 2023
Lecturers: Patrick Tomberger 
Description: This course shows the use of input-output tables and social accounting matrices, which constitute the data basis for applied general equilibrium models. After that, students are introduced to the basics of computable general equilibrium models.
Syllaus here
NOTE: This course is offered on-site only, for students with strong economic background

Course 4 | Technical Barriers to Trade in Pursuit of Sustainable Development
3-7 July 2023
Lecturers: Christian Häberli and Arthur Appleton
Description: This course will explore how to harness the international trade system to advance sustainable development. We will look at what is now permitted under the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and what should be permitted were the international regulatory architecture to be revised to better meet the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). First, the legal foundation of GATT Articles III and XX and the  TBT Agreement will be discussed from the perspective of the SDGs; then we will explore whether existing international trade rules are adequate to meet environmental, governmental, labour and human rights challenges. Our thesis is that international trade rules and standards and regulations must evolve to meet the SDGs in general, and climate change in particular. Our case studies will draw upon the Climate Change agreements, the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), and over-exploitation of palm oil in environmentally sensitive tropical regions.
Syllabus here

Course 5 | Challenges to International Climate Governance
3-7 July 2023
Lecturers: Christoph Raible, Gabriele Spilker, and Eddy Bekkers
Description: This course will be divided in 3 parts: a) The first part will give first an overview of the current knowledge of Climate Change and its impacts. Thereby, the latest assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be presented; b) The second part of the course deals with the political challenges to climate change governance and covers both the international level and the domestic level; c) the third part of the course will address international economic structures and climate change drivers.
Syllabus here

Course 6 | International Contracts Regarding Cross-Borders Trade and Investment
10-14 July 2023
Lecturers: Reka Papp and Benjamin Gottlieb
Description: 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.
Syllabus here

Course 8 | International Law and Policy Options for Climate Mitigation
17-21 July 2023
Lecturers: Nicolas LockhartDominic Coppens and Elena Cima
Description: There is broad concensus on the urgent need to pursue climate mitigation but not on the ways to do so.  This course will guide particpants through the internatinal law framework governing climate mitigation, and then explore the climate mitigation policies that public and private actors can pursue consistently with the framework. This course is for anyone interested in the law and policy of climate change – policymakers, academics, NGOs, and lawyers working on sustainability issues.
Syllabus here

Course 9 | International Investment Law and Sustainable Development
17-21 July 2023
Lecturers: Marie-Clare Cordonier and Markus Gehring
Description: International investment flows, and principles and accords which governs them, can either foster or frustrate global sustainability. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lay out a common policy agenda, 169 time-bound targets under 17 Goals to guide a transition to a more sustainable world. Advancing these SDGs, which address key global priorities such as poverty, hunger, universal access to health and education, clean water and energy, climate change, biodiversity protection, justice and more, requires significant investment, which can be incentive by international investment law. This course examines international investment treaty law, highlighting procedural innovations and objectives, exceptions, substantive obligations and collaborative measures which can help rather than hinder sustainability in different regions and countries. The course also surveys recent dispute settlement decisions and arbitral awards related to sustainable development, and examines how international investment promotion and governance mechanisms could promote nature positive and net zero development, more sustainable management of natural resources, and realisation of indigenous and human rights.
Syllabus here

Course 10 | International Energy Law and Governance
24-28 July 2023
Lecturers: Anna-Alexandra Marhold
Description: Europe and the World are confronted by a pressing, multi-level energy crisis propelled by the perfect storm of rapidly progressing climate change and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Globally, as well as in Europe, a fine balance must constantly be maintained between ensuring a secure, competitive, affordable, but also a sustainable energy supply. The transition to a low carbon economy is moreover accompanied by many obstacles (regulatory, geo-political and technical). This course aims to give a comprehensive insight into international energy law and governance and the challenges ahead. Participants will gain a solid understanding of the relevant actors and international and regional agreements in the area of energy. It will centre on the intricacies of cross-border energy trade regulation under the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and Preferential Trade Agreements. The course will always link energy law and governance to timely case studies, such as the shift of European energy regulation as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as to decarbonization and climate change mitigation.
Syllabus here

Course 11 | Climate Change: Intellectual Property Law and Technology Transfer
24-28 July 2023
Lecturers: Thomas Cottier, Jayashree Watal, Andreas Heinemann, Kamran Housang Pour, Zaker Ahmad
Description: Transfer and dissemination of low-carbon technology are essential to achieve mitigation goals agreed at COP 26 and 27 of the UNFCCC and the Paris Accord. It is equally essential to address climate change adaptation technologies, particularly in agriculture. Many of these technologies are protected by intellectual property rights. The course discusses the state of play in transfer of technology, existing obligations and challenges. To this effect, it offers introductory lectures to international intellectual property law and the economics of IP. It discusses commercial and concessionary licencing of technology. It offers an introduction to patent information and patent landscaping in cooperation with the Swiss Intellectual Property Institute (IPI). It develops a number of ideas under the principle of common concern of humankind as to how transfer of technology can be strengthened and implemented in the context of emission trading, CBAM, investment promotion, export credits and tax reductions. Successful transfer of technology is absolutely essential to decarbonisation, the reduction of dependence coal and gas also in the global South, and for reaching global goals of limiting warming to 1.50 or 20 C. The fact that it is of global benefit irrespective of the location and country of investment is a game changer which calls for new thinking and approaches in international law.
Syllabus here


  • All courses are 4 full days + take-home assignment
  • All courses are offered in hybrid format


This summer we will offer a Certificates of Advanced Studies (CAS) in International Law and Economics with three different specialisations:

  • on Applied Trade Policy Modeling (TRADEMOD) - 12-30 June 2023
  • on International Climate Governance (CLIMGOV) - 10-28 July 2023
  • on Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development (TRADESUS) - 3-21 July 2023

Visit our CAS / DAS Programmes page to learn how you can apply Summer Academy courses towards a certificate.

You also have the option to replace one of the CAS courses with another course offered during the Summer Academy.

The CAS Programme can be spread over time (i.e., you do not necessarily need to take all three courses in the 2023 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 mimum 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.

A 50% tuition waiver is applicable to participants affiliated with the UNCTAD Virtual Institute (staff and students of university and think tank members, with proof of institutional affiliation and/or registration). This discount is only available for participants from lower-middle income and low income countries and cannot be combined with other discounts. For detailed information, please visit the UNCTAD VI website.

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.

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