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Summer Academy:

  • Foundations of Trade Policy and Trade Policy Data

  • Econometric Analysis of Trade Policy

  • Input-Output and Applied General Equilibrium Models

  • Technical Barriers to Trade in Pursuit of Sustainable Development

  • Challenges to International Climate Governance

  • International Contracts Regarding Cross-Borders Trade and Investment

  • Non-Trade Concerns in International Trade: Public Health and Labour Standards

  • International Law and Policy Options for Climate Mitigation

  • International Investment Law and Sustainable Development

  • International Energy Law and Governance

  • Climate Change: International Intellectual Property Protection and Transfer of Technology

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

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

+41 31 631 32 70

E-mail address

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

Language of tuition

Length of course
1 to 7 weeks, 11 courses to choose from

Date of commencement
12 June 2023

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 31 631 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 | Foundations of Trade Policy and Trade Policy Data - 12-16 June 2023

Description: This course presents the theory of trade policy instruments (tariffs, preferential trade agreements, non-tariff measures, trade facilitation) and introduces the students to the use of the main international datasets covering those policy instruments.

Course 2 | Econometric Analysis of Trade Policy 19-23 June 2023

Description: This course presents the main econometric framework to perform ex-post analysis of trade policies: the structural gravity model of trade. This model predicts bilateral trade flows based on size and distance between exporter and importer units, e.g. geographical, cultural and policy-related barriers to trade. The students are also introduced to the management of bilateral trade data and the main gravity variables.

Course 3 | Input-Output and Applied General Equilibrium Models - 26-30 June 2023

Description: This course shows the use of input-output tables and social accounting matrices, which constitute the data basis for applied general equilibrium models. After that, students are introduced to the basics of computable general equilibrium models.

Course 4 | Technical Barriers to Trade in Pursuit of Sustainable Development - 3-7 July 2023

Description: This course will explore how to harness the international trade system to advance sustainable development. We will look at what is now permitted under the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and what should be permitted were the international regulatory architecture to be revised to better meet the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). First, the legal foundation of GATT Articles III and XX and the TBT Agreement will be discussed from the perspective of the SDGs; then we will explore whether existing international trade rules are adequate to meet environmental, governmental, labour and human rights challenges. Our thesis is that international trade rules and standards and regulations must evolve to meet the SDGs in general, and climate change in particular. Our case studies will draw upon the Climate Change agreements, the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), and over-exploitation of palm oil in environmentally sensitive tropical regions.

Course 5 | Challenges to International Climate Governance 3-7 July 2023

Description: This course will be divided in 3 parts: a) The first part will give first an overview of the current knowledge of Climate Change and its impacts. Thereby, the latest assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be presented; b) The second part of the course deals with the political challenges to climate change governance and covers both the international level and the domestic level; c) the third part of the course will address International economic structures and climate change drivers.

Course 6 | International Contracts Regarding Cross-Borders Trade and Investment - 10-14 July 2023

Description: 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.

Course 7 | Non-Trade Concerns in International Trade: Public Health and Labour Standards - 10-14 July 2023

Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore longstanding concerns about how trade policy and its implementation bear on the fulfilment of public health outcomes. Trade policy settings can enable and facilitate access to vital medicines and medical technologies such as vaccines and personal protective equipment, but can also impede or disrupt production and supply chains. And the intellectual property system has attracted particular scrutiny, given its role in the innovation of new medical technologies and its impact on their equitable and effective diffusion dimension, especially at times when stark inequities in access were evident. This course provides a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary overview of the legal instruments, international institutions, domestic strategies and practical programs and initiatives involved in the trade policy dimension of the response to global health challenges, as exemplified by the pandemic. This module focuses on public approaches to protect labor standards through trade. Specifically, it focuses on the rise, design, determinants and impact of labor clauses in free trade agreements. By the end of the course participants will be able to: a) Conceptualize and analyze labor provisions in FTAs using the state-of-the-art LABPTA dataset; b) Explain the rise and design of labor provisions in FTAs; c) Assess the social and economic impact of the inclusion of labor provisions in FTAs; d) Evaluate recent policy reforms in labor / sustainable development chapters of FTAs in Europe and beyond; e) Reflect upon the interlinkages and potential trade-offs between the economic and social objectives of trade-labor linkage strategies.

Course 8 | International Law and Policy Options for Climate Mitigation - 17-21 July 2023

Description: There is broad concensus on the urgent need to pursue climate mitigation but not on the ways to do so. This course will guide particpants through the internatinal law framework governing climate mitigation, and then explore the climate mitigation policies that public and private actors can pursue consistently with the framework. This course is for anyone interested in the law and policy of climate change – policymakers, academics, NGOs, and lawyers working on sustainability issues.

Course 9 | International Investment Law and Sustainable Development - 17-21 July 2023

Description: International investment flows, and principles and accords which governs them, can either foster or frustrate global sustainability. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lay out a common policy agenda, 169 time-bound targets under 17 Goals to guide a transition to a more sustainable world. Advancing these SDGs, which address key global priorities such as poverty, hunger, universal access to health and education, clean water and energy, climate change, biodiversity protection, justice and more, requires significant investment, which can be incentive by international investment law. This course examines international investment treaty law, highlighting procedural innovations and objectives, exceptions, substantive obligations and collaborative measures which can help rather than hinder sustainability in different regions and countries. The course also surveys recent dispute settlement decisions and arbitral awards related to sustainable development, and examines how international investment promotion and governance mechanisms could promote nature positive and net zero development, more sustainable management of natural resources, and realisation of indigenous and human rights.

Course 10 | International Energy Law and Governance - 24-28 July 2023

Description: Europe and the World are confronted by a pressing, multi-level energy crisis propelled by the perfect storm of rapidly progressing climate change and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Globally, as well as in Europe, a fine balance must constantly be maintained between ensuring a secure, competitive, affordable, but also a sustainable energy supply. The transition to a low carbon economy is moreover accompanied by many obstacles (regulatory, geo-political and technical). This course aims to give a comprehensive insight into international energy law and governance and the challenges ahead. Participants will gain a solid understanding of the relevant actors and international and regional agreements in the area of energy. It will centre on the intricacies of cross-border energy trade regulation under the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and Preferential Trade Agreements. The course will always link energy law and governance to timely case studies, such as the shift of European energy regulation as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as to decarbonization and climate change mitigation.

Course 11 | Climate Change: International Intellectual Property Protection and Transfer of Technology - 24-28 July 2023

Description: Transfer and dissemination of low-carbon technology are essential to achieve mitigation goals agreed at COP 26 and 27 of the UNFCCC and the Paris Accord. It is equally essential to address climate change adaptation technologies, particularly in agriculture. Many of these technologies are protected by intellectual property rights. The course discusses the state of play in transfer of technology, existing obligations and challenges. To this effect, it offers introductory lectures to international intellectual property law and the economics of IP. It discusses commercial and concessionary licencing of technology. It offers an introduction to patent information and patent landscaping in cooperation with the Swiss Intellectual Property Institute (IPI). It develops a number of ideas under the principle of common concern of humankind as to how transfer of technology can be strengthened and implemented in the context of emission trading, CBAM, investment promotion, export credits and tax reductions. Successful transfer of technology is absolutely essential to decarbonisation, the reduction of dependence coal and gas also in the global South, and for reaching global goals of limiting warming to 1.50 or 20 C. The fact that it is of global benefit irrespective of the location and country of investment is a game changer which calls for new thinking and approaches in international law.

About World Trade Institute, University of Bern

The World Trade Institute (WTI) is the 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.