Who we Are
TradeLab is an independent, Geneva-based NGO bringing together students, academics and legal practitioners. It aims to empower countries and smaller stakeholders to reap the full development benefits of global trade and investment rules. Through pro bono legal clinics and practica, TradeLab connects students and experienced legal professionals to public officials especially in developing countries, small and medium-sized enterprises and civil society to build lasting legal capacity. Through ‘learning by doing’ we want to train and promote the next generation of trade and investment lawyers. By providing information and support on negotiations, compliance and litigation, we strive to make WTO, preferential trade and bilateral investment treaties work for everyone.
The TradeLab team
The TradeLab idea originates with Joost Pauwelyn and Sergio Puig when both were teaching at Stanford Law School in 2013. Pieter Gunst has been on their side from the beginning to provide legal informatics and technology support.
From 2014 to 2016, Mattia Salamanca was the initial TradeLab coordinator, based at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.
TradeLab runs on the pro bono input of students and legal professionals. Students obtain credits from their respective universities as a result of their clinic work.
Academic supervisors, in turn, receive teaching credits for leading a clinic. Teaching assistants are provided by the University where the clinic takes place.
TradeLab has received support under the “International Law for a Global Economy” project, funded by the Swiss National Research Foundation (SNF) as well as the “Legal Innovation to Empower Development” project, funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). Core participants in the QNRF project are: Joost Pauwelyn, Fadi Makki, Marc Busch, Jon Truby, Talal Al-Emadi and Sergio Puig. Theresa Carpenter and Valbona Zenku provide project management and administrative support.
TradeLab Coordinator & Clinical Instructor
Mattia Salamanca Orrego
How we Can Help
- Research and analysis for treaty negotiations
- Compliance assessment of domestic or foreign laws
- Assessment of legal claims or defence strategies
- Writing of party and third party submissions
- Preparation of amicus curiae briefs
- Legal and economic research on cutting edge trade or investment questions
What are Legal Clinics
Legal clinics are composed of small groups of highly qualified and carefully selected students. Faculty and other professionals with longstanding experience in the field act as Academic Supervisors and Mentors for the Clinics and closely supervise the work. Clinics are win-win for all involved: beneficiaries get expert work done for free and build capacity; students learn by doing, obtain academic credits and expand their network; faculty and expert mentors share their knowledge on cutting-edge issues and are able to attract or hire top students with proven skills.
Clinic projects are selected on the basis of need, available resources and practical relevance. Two to four students are assigned to each project. Students are teamed up with expert mentors from law firms or other organizations and carefully prepped and supervised by Academic Supervisors and Teaching Assistants. Students benefit from skills and expert sessions, do detailed legal research and work on several drafts shared with supervisors, mentors and the beneficiary for comments and feedback. The Clinic culminates in a polished legal memorandum, brief, draft law or treaty text or other output tailored to the project’s needs. Clinics deliver in three to four months. Work and output can be public or fully confidential, for example, when preparing legislative or treaty proposals or briefs in actual disputes.
TradeLab Clinic Network
The Graduate Institute, Geneva
The Centre for Trade and Economic Inetgration (CTEI) is the Graduate Institute’s Centre of Excellence for research on international trade. The Centre brings together the Institute’s research activities in the area of trade, investment, economic integration and globalization. The Centre provides a forum for discussion and dialogue, supporting the Clinic in kind and through competitively-obtained third-party funding. The Graduate Institute is a leading institution of research and higher education dedicated to the study of world affairs located in Geneva. The Graduate Institute Clinic is part of the TradeLab network of clinics and resource centres. The aim of TradeLab is to make international economic law accessible to everyone
Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
Tradition. Innovation. A superb faculty, hundreds of course offerings — and all of this just steps away from the Capitol and Supreme Court. Georgetown Law is an exceptional institution in an enviable location.
Students come here from all over the world to study international or tax law, environmental or health care law (just a few of our specialties). They come here for our top-ranked clinics. Most of all, they come because this is the place where theory and practice meet. At Georgetown, students learn the law in the place where laws are made.
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, Washington, D.C.
The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS), founded in 1919, is a premier school of international affairs. At Georgetown’s Washington, D.C., and Qatar campuses, SFS provides a rigorous education grounded in both theory and practice while instilling the Jesuit values of service.
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, Doha.
Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Q) is dedicated to fulfilling Georgetown University’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical and spiritual understanding through serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures and beliefs. Embodying this spirit of the University, Georgetown’s Qatar campus undertakes education, research and service in order to advance knowledge and provide students and the community with a holistic educational experience that produces global citizens committed to the service of humankind. We demonstrate the values of Georgetown University; seek to build upon the world-class reputation of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; and work with our partner, Qatar Foundation, in its endeavors to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030.
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Ottawa
As a global and national leader in a variety of fields, Common Law offers specializations in Dispute Resolution, Environmental Law, International Trade, Business and Human Rights Law, Social Justice and Technology Law, Public Law and Aboriginal Law. The Centre for Law, Technology and Society has helped to solidify the law school’s position as the leading Law and Technology Faculty in the country. uOttawa also provides one of the richest sets of course offerings in the world in International Law. We are also home to the internationally renowned Human Rights Research and Education Centre. Furthermore, we are the national leader in Environmental Law and home to the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.
International Economic Law and Policy (IELPO), Barcelona
The University of Barcelona's new Master of Laws in International Economic Law and Policy (IELPO LL.M.) features 9 months of learning from many of the most renowned experts drawn from leading law and economics faculties, international organizations, and research centres around the world. The IELPO LL.M. Programme revolves around 7 teaching modules, having as the main pillars International Trade, Competition and Investment Law and Policy.
Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (TRAPCA), Tanzania
The Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (trapca) was inaugurated in December 2006, with the mandate of providing training and technical expertise on trade issues to professionals in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and low income Sub-Saharan African countries. Situated in Arusha, Tanzania, the Centre operates under the auspices of ESAMI and Lund University in Sweden.
Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, India
Located in the vibrant National Capital Region, Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), part of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), imparts a rigorous and multi-disciplinary legal education with a view to producing world-class legal professionals, scholars, and public servants. JGLS empowers its students with knowledge, skills, and vision to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing world.
Qatar Univeristy, Doha
Qatar University is the national institution of higher education in Qatar. It provides high quality undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare competent graduates, destined to shape the future of Qatar. The university community has diverse and committed faculty who teach and conduct research, which addresses relevant local and regional challenges, advances knowledge, and contributes actively to the needs and aspirations of society.
Agricultural SME in Canada
Black Market Watch
Canadian Provincial Government Office
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Citizen Climate Lobby
Embassy of the Philippines in Washington DC
Friends of DSU Reform
General Attorney’s Office of Argentina
Getúlio Vargas Foundation
Government Office in Canada
Government Office in Nigeria
Government Office in the Caribbean
Higher Education Institution in Japan
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
International Trade Centre (ITC)
Japanese Mission to the WTO
Mexican Ministry of Economy
NGO in South Africa
Non-Profit Organization in Taiwan
Office of the Chief Trade Advisor (OCTA), Vanuatu
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Permanent Mission of Canada to the WTO
Permanent Mission of Mexico to the WTO
Permanent Mission of Russia to the WTO
Private Wine Producer
SME in Israel
SME in the United Kingdom
SME in Washington DC
U.S. Interest Group/Think Tank
U.S. Senator's Office
U.S. State Government Office
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
World Economic Forum (WEF)