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Summer Academy:

  • The Law and Economics of Tackling Climate Change
  • International Investment Law and Sustainable Development
  • Climate Change: Intellectual Property Law and Technology Transfer
  • Technical Barriers to Trade in Pursuit of Sustainable Development
  • International Trade and Circular Economy
  • International Contracts Regarding Cross-Border Trade and Investment

Qualification awarded
Certificates of Advanced Studies (CAS) in International Law and Economics

World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

+41 31 684 32 70

E-mail address

Type of course
A la carte
Hybrid (online OR in person)

Language of tuition

Length of course
1 to 3 weeks, 6 courses to choose from

Date of commencement
1 July 2024

Class size
20 to 30

Cost / fees
1200 CHF per course
More courses, lower the fee

Student grants / Financial assistance
Very limited

Not available. We recommend where to stay

Admission requirements
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 the Summer Academy.

Course Director
Prof. Peter Van den Bossche

Contact details for application
Karin Rosenberg
Tel: +41 31 684 32 70
Email: inquire(at)

World Trade Institute, University of Bern

Summer Academy

Interested in broadening your knowledge of issues related to international law and economics? Our Summer Academies in Bern can be taken la carte on a weekly basis or with the aim of obtaining a certificate or diploma.

The WTI Summer Academy cover cutting-edge issues in trade and investment law and policy. They are designed for private and public sector and civil society professionals as well as higher-education students. 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.

Summer Academy modules can be taken individually on an la carte basis. 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.

Course 1 | The Law and Economics of Tackling Climate Change - 1-5 July 2024

Tackling the climate crisis requires rapid and unprecedented regulatory change at domestic and international levels. This course will use a multidisciplinary approach, covering law and economics, to explore how to bring about this change effectively and inclusively. This course is for anyone interested in the law and economics of climate change & climate justice policymakers, academics, NGOs, investors and lawyers working on sustainability issues.

Course 2 - International Investment Law and Sustainable Development - 1-5 July 2024

Different types of investment pose different challenges and opportunities for sustainable development. Further, over the last decade, the patterns of international production for goods and services determining international investment are increasingly being shaped by deep transformations resulting from climate change, geopolitics and technology breakthroughs. These tectonic shifts have translated into domestic and international social and political pressures to reshape the international investment regime.

Within this context, from a multidisciplinary perspective, this course will provide participants with a thorough understanding of these developments and how they are shaping international investment law. Further the course will explain the different types of investment, their impact on development, the evolution of the different international agreements covering investment, including the WTO, Preferential Trade Agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties, and how to leverage them in practice for sustainable development, including for purposes of managing conflict among stakeholders on the ground.

Course 3 - Climate Change: Intellectual Property Law and Technology Transfer - 8-12 July 2024

Effective climate change mitigation and adaptation requires the implementation of appropriate technologies in all countries concerned. Most of these technologies are protected by intellectual property rights, and dissemination depends upon the transfer and dissemination of technology. The course offers the foundations in law and economics of intellectual property rights, in particular patents and trade secrets, voluntary licensing and competition law, access to patent information and landscaping.

The course discusses the transfer of technology to developing countries under the UNFCCC, the Paris Accord, trade rules of the WTO and investment protection. It explores the impact of the emerging principle of common concern of humankind. The course is of use to all in government and international organizations, NGOs, academia and private practice engaged in issues of climate change policies, development and transfer of technology and knowledge in particular to developing countries under the principle of shared but differentiated responsibility. The course is offered in hybrid form.

Course 4 - Technical Barriers to Trade in Pursuit of Sustainable Development - 8-12 July 2024

This course will provide participants with a thorough understanding of the legal and economic aspects of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) as it relates to sustainable development. The focus will be on the legal and economic opportunities and limitations imposed by the TBT Agreement on laws and regulations designed to further sustainable development.

The faculty will give prominent attention to environment-related WTO cases and EU regulations governing environmental goods and services (ESG), as well as the economic relationship arising from non-tariff measures (NTMs) designed to further sustainable development.

Course 5 - International Trade and Circular Economy - 15-18 July 2024

This course will introduce students to the intersections between international trade and the circular economy and in particular how trade can facilitate the transition to an inclusive circular economy.

The course will first introduce students to the many different global developments emerging on the circular economy (at the national, regional and intergovernmental levels) as well as the emerging tensions and debates associated with the topic.

Subsequently, the lecturers will explore how to harness the international trade system to advance a globally equitable and inclusive transition to a circular economy. We will look at how the circular economy transition may fundamentally alter value chains and therefore future trade patterns as well as the different types of trade flow which enable the circular economy.

The lecturers will then look at the many trade barriers facing these trade flows (including definitions and classifications, technical barriers to trade, trade facilitation, capacity building and finally trade and economic agreements) and identify potential solutions to these barriers.

Finally, we will conduct a deep dive into the ongoing Global Plastics Treaty negotiations to understand how circular economy and trade are integral to the success of such a treaty.

Course 6 - International Contracts Regarding Cross-Border Trade and Investment - 15-18 July 2024

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.

About World Trade Institute, University of Bern

The World Trade Institute (WTI) is a leading interdisciplinary academic institution dedicated to teaching and research focused on international trade and investment regulation and economic globalisation and sustainability. As a centre of excellence at the University of Bern with an international, interdisciplinary focus, we explore the interconnections between the fields of law, economics and political science.