4 Jul 2019

The 2018-19 Advanced Master Programmes have come to an end

At the end of June, the 2018-19 MILE and TRAIL+ classes finished their programmes with two busy days in Geneva followed by the Closing Ceremony in Bern.

On 24-25 June, the students put months’ worth of preparation to the test in moot court and economics simulation exercises at the WTO in Geneva. The economics simulation exercise was designed and carried out by two distinguished WTO economists, and the moot court simulation was panelled by esteemed members of the international trade community, including two Appellate Body members, as well as WTO and private practice lawyers.

On the evening of 25 June, the students were welcomed at the WTI Advisors in Geneva for a drinks receptinon to celebrate the successful conclusion of their competitions. The students were joined by coaches, panelists, lecturers and local diplomats.
The following evening, as he did in September 2019 to welcome the students, Peter Van den Bossche received the students at his home for a farewell apéro. Then, in the late afternoon of 27 June, the students were given a formal farewell from the WTI at the Closing Ceremony of the 2018-19 Advanced Master Programmes, which was attended by students, staff, lecturers, families and diplomats.

The ceremony was opened by Prof. Joseph Francois, WTI Managing Director, and was followed by a keynote address delivered by State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch (SECO). Her speech was titled, “The Future of the Rules-based Multilateral Trading System: More Reasons for Gloom than Hope?”

This year’s internship prizes went to four deserving students. The Thomas Cottier Internship Programme, the Geneva Internship Support Fund, the John H. Jackson Internship Programme and the Luzius Wasescha Internship Programme each allow one WTI master’s student per year to pursue an unpaid internship at an international organisation, diplomatic mission, non-governmental organisation or law firm active in the field of international economic law and policy.

The Thomas Cottier Award for Best Thesis was presented by Prof. Cottier to MILE 18 alumnus Andrea De Angelis Effrem. The title of his thesis is "Rules of origin and implications for Global Value Chains: the Swiss watchmaking industry." The  award is presented annually to one MILE student for the best thesis submitted.

Per tradition, after the collection of their MILE and TRAIL+ stones, this year’s class representatives, Carla Ochoa Oliden and Amrit Singh Bhatia, gave moving farewell speeches to their fellow classmates.

As in years before, Prof. Peter Van den Bossche delivered the closing remarks, where he congratulated the students on their year of hard work, and commended them for their outstanding performances earlier in the week at the WTO.

“It is in this uncertain and unpredictable world that you, dear students, will start your professional career as trade lawyers and economists. Many of you may have wondered in the course of the past year whether you made a mistake to choose trade law, economics and policy as your field of specialization. Let me tell you, in the strongest terms, that this was not a mistake. While the kind of work to be done may change, there will be also in the years to come much need for trade specialists as you - trained in the law, the economics and the politics of international trade.” For Prof. Van den Bossche’s full speech, please see the link below.

While the students have finished their coursework for the MILE and TRAIL+ programmes, they will spend the next four months writing and submitting their master theses.