Course Information
Introduction and Background

This UNITAR e-Learning course is intended to expose the learner to the history, objectives and structure of the WTO, its relationship with its predecessor, the GATT of 1947, its rules for the settlement of disputes among its state members, its treatment of the environment and developing countries.

Furthermore, the course describes the specific rules which govern the establishment and functioning of dispute panels, the rights of third parties, the appellate review procedure and the implementation of panel or appellate body rulings or recommendations. A dispute recently resolved by a WTO panel is provided as illustration of the dispute settlement process.

Registration Status: OPEN
Deadline for Enrollment: when slots are full
Course Dates: November 8 to December 17, 2010
Estimated learning time: Minimum of 35 hours
Format: Online/Internet-based (asynchronous)
Language of Instruction: English
Fees: US $ 400/-
Helpline: UNITAR Geneva (Course Administration and Technical Questions)
  Course Objectives  

The overall objective of this course is to provide a full understanding of the WTO dispute settlement process, its evolution, basic rules and accomplishments.

Specifically, this foundation course aims at prroviding a thorough knowledge of a subject of critical importance to those directly or indirectly involved in international trade policies, academic research or international commercial matters.

  Target Audience  

This course will benefit fforeign trade government agency officials, leading export industry executives, export-import and chambers of commerce officials, policy makers, academics, international economists and international lawyers.

  Course Structure / Outline  

Proposed Agenda

A. Introduction; B. The Environment; C. Developing Countries, D. The GATT 1947; E. The Institutionality of the WTO; F. Free Trade Agreements FTAs)

G. Dispute Settlement under the GATT 1947; H. Jurisprudence under the GATT 1947


I. Dispute Settlement under the WTO: General Rules and Principles; J. Organization; K. Legal Issues before the DSU Panels; L. The Dispute Settlement Process

M. Appellate Review; N. Compensation and Suspension of Concessions and other Obligations; O. Illustrative Case of a WTO Controversy: Colombia- Indicative Prices and Restrictions on Ports of Entry (WT/DS366)

  Training Format
This e-Learning course consists of four distinct modules which form the core content and study material for this course. In addition, other resources and reading materials, case studies and exercises will enhance the learning experience of the participant. An expert-mentored discussion board facility will be used as a learning and knowledge sharing tool during the course in order to exchange and share information on how to implement risk management in public and private institutions in developing countries and emerging economies. The course will be offered over the internet for a five-week period in English language.


This course is designed as an online course in which participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning. Each lesson will consist of the following components:

1) Basic Reading Materials (Compulsory Reading Materials): these materials are intended to educate the participants about the basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject-matter of the lesson. It will include, where appropriate, sample materials. These materials will constitute the required reading materials for the lesson

2) Advanced Reading Materials (Optional Reading Materials): this will consist of optional reading materials for participants who wish to learn more about the topic than what is covered in the lesson.

3) External Links: This will refer the interested participants to additional books, articles, documents, and websites that deal with the issues raised in the lesson.

4) Glossary: A glossary of terms tailored to the online course will be provided to the participants and act as a learning support during the entire course.

5) Quizzes: At the end of each lesson there will be a set of quizzes for participants to answer. These quizzes are designed to test the participant's understanding of the lesson. Participants are required to pass each quiz and obtain at least 80% or more passing grade in order to be eligible for a certificate. All quizzes will need to be taken online.

6) Community Discussion Board: There will be a community discussion board available on which participants can post questions or comments that can be seen by the instructor and the other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR. Structured discussion strings will be posted on a weekly basis.

All successful participants will be eligible to a certificate after completion of this online course.


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