6 Jun 2014

First Joint Academy held in New Delhi

The first Joint Academy on International Trade Law and Policy run by the WTI and the Centre for WTO Studies (CWS) of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) is underway in New Delhi. The four-week course at the IIFT runs from 26 May until 20 June 2014 and addresses cutting-edge issues in trade regulation and international economic governance.

Week 1 focused on The Legal Foundations of Contemporary Trade and Investment Regulation. The following modules deal with: Trade in Services and Intellectual Property Rights; The Law of Goods Trade: Tariffs, Agriculture, SPS and TBT; and the Law and Policy of Trade Remedies.

The weekly modules, which can be attended individually, consist of five days of in-class learning followed by an assessment at the end of either each module or the full four-week period. Participants include advanced Indian law school students and a range of stakeholders drawn from governmental circles, industry associations, leading law firms, the media and other non-governmental organisations.

“The first joint summer academy had a good start. A group of some 25 talented law students from India’s leading law schools of the country was selected and it was a pleasure to interact with them,” commented Professor Thomas Cottier who was teaching in the academy’s first module.

WTI base in India

The WTI and CWS signed a Memorandum of Understanding in early April agreeing to run the Academy on an annual basis. WTI and CWS are jointly responsible for the academic programme and staffing, with international faculty being drawn from the WTI network.

“The joint academy is scheduled to run for five years, and WTI could not hope for a better partnership in this impressive and important country,” said Prof. Cottier.

The Joint Academy offers a graduate level curriculum aimed at participants from India and eventually other developing countries. The intention is to enable them to participate more effectively in the design, conduct and implementation of trade policy and to derive greater benefits from involvement in international trade negotiations.

While in New Delhi, Prof. Cottier also gave a lecture at Amity University while Pierre Sauvé, Director of External Programmes and Academic Partnerships, spoke at Jindal Global Law School. Both also addressed Assocham, the Indian association of chambers of commerce and industry, on the challenges faced in implementing the WTO’s recently brokered agreement on trade facilitation.

The WTI is exploring a range of training and other collaborative initiatives in trade governance with leading actors in India’s public and private sectors.