TradeLab is a Geneva-based initiative which brings together students, academics, and legal practitioners with the aim of empowering stakeholders to avail the benefits of research in international trade law and international investment law. Through pro bono Legal Clinics and Practica, TradeLab connects students and experienced legal professionals to research organizations, SMEs and civil society to build lasting legal capacity. TradeLab is the brainchild of Professors of International Law, Prof. Joost Pauwelyn and Prof. Sergio Puig and has attained a global presence since 2013 with renowned practitioners and academicians like Ms. Jennifer Hillman, Prof. Debra Steger and Prof. Valerie Hughes joining the initiative. At present, the TradeLab clinics are run at prestigious universities like Georgetown University (Washington D.C.), The Graduate Institute (Geneva), IELPO (Barcelona), University of Ottawa, National University of Singapore, to name a few.

The Legal Clinics and Practica are composed of small groups of highly qualified and carefully selected law students who work on specific legal questions posed by beneficiaries (SMEs, NGOs, industry bodies etc.). The students work over the course of a semester and conduct detailed legal research and work on several drafts shared with Academic Supervisors (faculties at CTIL and their respective law schools), Mentors and beneficiaries for comments and feedback. The output ranges from a legal memorandum to a research project, report, draft law or other output tailored to the beneficiary’s needs. At the end of the semester, the groups submit a written output and orally present their project in class in the presence of the beneficiaries and other invited guests.

CTIL: The TradeLab-India operations are conducted in a hub-and-spoke model with CTIL acting as an anchor establishment between the universities and the beneficiaries in order to ensure seamless coordination and communication among all the parties. Clinics are a win-win for all involved: Beneficiaries receive expert work done for free and build capacity; students learn by doing, obtain academic credits and expand their networks; Academic Supervisors and Mentors share their knowledge on cutting-edge issues and increase their ability to attract and engage top students with proven skills.

Goals of the Clinic

First, to enhance students’ substantive legal knowledge of international economic law. Students learn, not through traditional in-class teaching, but by working “hands-on” together in a team on a specific legal project, of real practical importance to their Beneficiary.

Second, the clinic aims at improving students’ professional skills to become successful lawyers: the ability to analyze complex legal problems, to apply the law to a set of facts, to interact with Beneficiaries, to work in groups with other lawyers across cultures and language barriers, to convincingly make oral presentations, to write legal memoranda or submissions, and to adapt the explanation of legal expertise to diverse audiences.

Third, the clinic aims to stimulate personal skills and aspirations of students: to make them aware of professional opportunities in the international economic law field, and to discover new challenges and opportunities. Through interactions with other students and a diversity of Beneficiaries (including from other countries), participants will build inter-personal skills, learn about other cultures, and experience the challenges and needs of a wide variety of stakeholders affected by international economic law.

Clinic description

The Centre for Trade and Investment Law (CTIL) is running a Pilot Clinic during the Fall Semester of AcademicYear 2020-21. The Clinic is being run at the National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ), which is one of the premier law schools in India providing an academic specialization in International Trade Laws. At CTIL, the clinic is led by Dr. James J. Nedumpara (Head, CTIL) and supported by Mr. Satwik Shekhar (Assistant Professor, CTIL). As a pilot, the clinic at NLUJ is limited to one project and four students. The students have been selected through an application process involving the submission of CVs and Letters of Intent or Statement of Purpose. In addition to academic exposure, all the applicants were required to show research background in the field of international trade law or international investment law.

The CTIL-TradeLab Law Clinic is being conducted at NLUJ under the supervision of Dr. Rosmy Joan, Assistant Professor of Law, who is the faculty in-charge for International Trade Law specialization and will be the Academic Supervisor for the Clinic.

Beneficiary: Indian Steel Association

Indian Steel Association (ISA) is an industry body that represents all the major Public and Private Sector steel enterprises of India. As a platform for Indian iron and steel industry, ISA facilitates addressing of issues, concerns and challenges common to its members, with the Government of India and other stakeholders within and outside India in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including but not limited to, the competition laws in India and abroad, for the time being, in force.

Research Team

Ashutosh Arvind Kumar

Ashutosh Arvind Kumar is a penultimate year student at National Law University pursuing law with specialization in International Trade and Investment Law. He has previously interned with the Centre for Trade and Investment Law and assisted on various projects. He has worked under Mr. Akhil Raina, Marie-Curie Fellow at Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and Juris Corp advocates and solicitors. He is currently the Managing Editor at the Journal on Corporate Law and Governance at NLU Jodhpur

Ayushi Singh

Ayushi Singh is a final year student of National Law University, Jodhpur pursuing B.A. LL.B. (International Trade and Investment Law Hons.). She was a participant in the 7th CWS-WTI Joint Academy, 2019, and is currently a Senior Content Editor on the Editorial Board of the Trade, Law & Development journal. She is interested in International Economic Law and Policy and its connection to other legal disciplines. She has multiple publications addressing cross-cutting issues of International Trade Law.

Sahil Verma

Sahil Verma is a penultimate year student of B.B.A. LL.B. (International Trade and Investment Law Hons.) at National Law University, Jodhpur. He is the Managing Editor on the board of Trade, Law & Development Journal. He has developed keen interest in the field of international economic law through his internships with CTIL and Clarus Law Associates, Delhi. He also has a keen interest in the field of public international law through various moots and publications in the subject matter.

Sukanya Viswanathan

Sukanya Viswanathan is a penultimate year student of B.A. LL.B. (International Trade and Investment Law) Hons. at National Law University, Jodhpur. She is an Editor on the Board of the Trade, Law and Development Journal. She has developed a keen interest in the field of international trade and economic law through participation in moot court competitions based on public international law, and has won accolades at the same.