A twenty-year successful story (1991-2010)
The project for the International Trade Law Post-graduate Course was launched on 23 October 1990, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva by the University Institute of European Studies and the International Training Centre of the ILO in the view of filling the gap in the education of international trade lawyers and operators that national university curricula often could not address, due to the complexity of the subject matter and the lack of an active cross-cultural exchange of experiences.
Therefore, the course was aimed at providing a common training base for professionals of international trade from all over the world and to enhance a homogeneous legal approach to the main relevant legal issues.
The post graduate course was organised under the auspices of the University of Turin (Italy), the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), the Universidad Autonóma de Madrid (Spain), the UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on the International Trade Law). the UNIDROIT (International Institute for the Unification of Private Law) and the Turin Association for the ITC-ILO.
In its 20-year life the course hosted over 180 internationally renowned lecturers, experts and practitioners.
The programme was designed as an intensive workshop in order to enable students to acquire the necessary knowledge in a short time-span, without compromising the quality of teaching, The course framework included lectures, case studies, role-plays, moot court, tests and discussions with resources persons outside teaching hours.
During each edition of the course one or more tutors were requested to assist students during the programme, giving scientific support for case studies, role plays, tests and reading material.
From the end of March to the end of June, in approximately 250 hours classes, the participants admitted to the course had the chance to cope with some key issues in international trade such as: harmonisation of laws at international and regional level, formation of contracts, pre-contractual agreements and confidentiality agreements, letters of intent, international sale of goods and related aspects (INCOTERMS, carriage, insurance and documentation), frustration and force majeure, joint ventures; mergers and acquisition; financing agencies; modes of payment, trade marks and patent, project financing; agency and distribution; state contracts; construction and engineering contracts; international guarantees, dispute settlements mechanism, international arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, (including the organisation of a Moot Court).
The first edition of the course was held in April-June 1991 with a group of 37 participants coming from 15 different countries.
During its 20-year life, the Alumni group reached the number of 766 members, coming from 87 different countries.
An Alumni network has been set up with the aim of strengthening links among members facilitating their contacts and involvement with the course activities and programmes.
Twenty years of growing success is confirmed by
- the yearly in-flow of hundreds of excellent candidatures from the world and by the pride expressed by world-renowned experts when they were invited to lecture in one of the three-month courses in March-June each year
- the high number of seniors participants – also thanks to their excellent background and outstanding potential- who have reached prominent positions in international law firms, companies and organisations
- the positive feeling and affection that the Alumni (even from the very first editions) still have for their training experience in Turin, as it is proved by the crowded participation to the traditional Alumni Day yearly organised by the course
the world-wide professional network established among the Course Staff and the Alumni, from which some of those who were “students” in the past are later invited to come back as “lecturers” or “experts” in different education and research activities.