6 Sep 2017

Interview with Summer Academy alumnus Gianluca Cicchiello

"The visit to the World Trade Organization in Geneva... allowed me to fully immerse myself in the framework of international trade rules."

Lawyer Gianluca Cicchiello, a graduate of the 2016 Summer Academy on international trade regulation, shares his impressions of the course and talks about how it helped him in his work.

Where do you work and in what capacity?

I am an Italian lawyer who has been working for ten years both in the private and in the public sector focusing on international environmental law.

I am currently working as Head of Legal Affairs of the Department of European and International Policies of the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies and dealing with the implementation of EU law, particularly within the cross-compliance of the Common Agricultural Policy, food law, EU timber regulation, international environmental law, climate change, audits and prevention of corruption.

Why did you decide to attend the 2016 Summer Academy?

During my time as a member of the Competent Authority on FLEGT/EUTR (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade/EU Timber Regulation) I decided I needed additional training/experience in order to acquire an in-depth understanding of the approach that international trade lawyers take to solving legal problems. For this reason, I applied to the leading academic institution dedicated to studies in trade negotiations that is well connected to the World Trade Organization.

Which Summer Academy modules did you attend?

In 2016, I attended the Summer Academy modules: 'Settling trade disputes: recent developments in WTO jurisprudence' and 'Making trade sustainable – legal and policy challenges'.

How important was it as a learning experience?

Firstly, it was very interesting to learn and share a professional point of view with professors and students from all over the world. Secondly, the visit to the World Trade Organization in Geneva where we observed the trade negotiations during the Panels allowed me to fully immerse myself in the framework of international trade rules and related trade dispute settlement.

When I went back to Rome, I could avail myself of the necessary tools to deal with international trade law as well as to draft international treaties, and I knew how to put the emphasis on sustainable trade in a specific clause.

What did you think of the social activities?

Needless to say the time in Switzerland was not only studying but also a lot of fun.

Therefore, aside from the lectures, the Summer Academy team organised different activities, for example, a barbecue by the river and a guided tour around the two nice big Swiss cities, Bern and Geneva. That was amazing!