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International Economic Law


International economic law


Anno accademico 2019/2020

Codice dell'attività didattica
Prof. Annamaria Viterbo (Titolare dell'insegnamento)
Corso integrato
Corso di studi
Master's Degree Course in Area and global studies for international cooperation
1° anno
SSD dell'attività didattica
IUS/13 - diritto internazionale
Modalità di erogazione
Lingua di insegnamento
Modalità di frequenza
Tipologia d'esame
For a better understanding of the key concepts of "States", "international organisations" and "treaties" it is suggested to read the chapters on Subjects and Sources of any textbook of international law.
For example, Anders Heriksen, International Law, Oxford, 2018, Chapters 2 and 3.

Sommario del corso


Obiettivi formativi

The course aims at enabling students to understand the structure and purposes of the main international organizations and of the other actors in the field of international economic law. Further, it aims at providing the analytical tools for a basic understanding of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, their institutional and legal framework and their interconnections. The course will also focus on sovereign debt issues.

Students will be provided both with a solid background as well as a set of conceptual and critical tools for reflecting more deeply on the dynamics  of international financial institutions and the logics of sovereign debt.

This course contributes to the realization of the AGIC curriculum by introducing the functioning of key international financial institutions (the World Bank, the IMF) and by explaining how sovereign debt impacts on development. The standpoint adopted is that of public internationl law.


Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

Students should demonstrate a good knowledge, on the one hand, of the role of States, International organizations and private actors in international economic law and, on the other hand, of their impact on economic development and on the protection of fundamental rights


Modalità di insegnamento

The course will be taught through the traditional learning model based on frontal lectures as well as through interactive lectures. Reference documents will be distributed in class to stimulate debate. Experts in specific fields will be invited as speakers.


Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento


(valid at least until we will not be allowed to return to University)


For students NOT having regularly attended class during both a.y. 2018-2019 and a.y. 2019-202, the new exam modalities are the following:

ORAL exam on the Webex platform, according to a calendar that I will communicate you a few days before the exam date.

There are no changes on the exam programme. You will have to study:


  • Viterbo A., International Monetary Fund, Wolters Kluwer, 2019, in its entirety 


  • Sabine Schlemmer-Schulte, World Bank, Wolters Kluwer, 2014, pp. 1-132, 165-225.

(these two books are available in e-book through the remote access - Bibliopass - to the Biblioteca Bobbio, see below)

in any case, plus

Trebesch, Papaioannou et al., Sovereign Debt Restructurings 1950-2010, IMF Working Paper 2012, pp. 1-50, 87-97, available at:



For students regularly attending class during both a.y. 2018-2019 and a.y. 2019-202:


  • Class participation (students will be assessed on active participation in class and breakout groups) = 20%
  • Research paper (3,500 to 4,000 words) = 80%

Attending student will be evaluated on the basis of the work done in class (the Tata Mundra exercise) (20%) and of a research paper (80%).

The research paper has to be submitted at least one week before the date of the exam in which the grade will be officially registered.


The research paper should focus on one of the topics discussed in class: it could be a general topic (for example, the IMF and human rights or odious debt) or a more specific case (a project funded by the IBRD or the IDA, a case brought before the Inspection Panel, the Haitian independence debt, etc).


I expect the submitted paper to be final (i.e. the definitive version): no help in finding bibliographic material or other information will be provided; you are entirely responsible for that.


The minimum - maximum length is 3500 - 4000 words (bibliography and footnotes not included).


The final deadline to submit a research paper and to be evaluated as an attending student is the 11th of September 2020.
No research paper will be accepted after the 11th of September 2020.

Remember that PLAGIARISM is a serious academic offence.

Before starting writing your research paper, please read the infografic on the plagiarism spectrum clicking the hyperlink




Attività di supporto

Exercises are planned.

Guest lecturers will be invited on specific topics.



The course will begin by introducing the subjects of international economic law - States, international organisations and private actors (such as NGOs and multinational enterprises) - focusing on the divide between industrialised States and least developed countries.

The course will then analyse the governance structure and the mandate of international financial institutions (the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank), discussing some of the most controversial aspects such as their conditionality policy and issues related to their immunities and international responsibility.

The last part of the course will be devoted to sovereign debt issues and the existing regimes for sovereign debt restructuring; the Greek crisis will be discussed as a case study.

- The International Monetary Fund: governance structure, functions (financial assistance in particular) and critical aspects

- The World Bank: governance structure, functions (project financing in particular) and critical aspects

- Sovereign Debt: its impact on development, mechanisms for sovereign debt restructuring, critical aspects


Testi consigliati e bibliografia

Reference textbooks:

  • Viterbo A., International Monetary Fund, Wolters Kluwer, 2019, available through:; Area socio-giuridico-economica; Kluwer Law Online; Manuals; IEL Intergovernmental Organizations; International Monetary Fund; then for each Chapter you should download a different pdf file


  • Sabine Schlemmer-Schulte, World Bank, Wolters Kluwer, 2014, available through:; Area socio-giuridico-economica; Kluwer Law Online; Manuals; IEL Intergovernmental Organizations; World Bank; then for each Chapter you should download a different pdf file


  • Trebesch, Papaioannou et al., Sovereign Debt Restructurings 1950-2010, IMF Working Paper 2012, available at:





Attendace is not compulsory, but strongly recommended, as students regularly attending will have the possibility to be assessed on the basis of participation in class and on their research paper.

Further materials and resources (selection of book chapters, papers, documents) will be distributed in class.

Ultimo aggiornamento: 05/05/2020 13:51
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