In the last two decades, there has been a constant increase both in number and complexity of international trade disputes brought under the auspices of the WTO and in other dispute settlement fora.

It is thus essential, if not indispensable for developing countries to keep up with the latest developments in the trade law field and to have the requisite legal capacity to effectively promote and defend their trade interests in the international trade arena, and to achieve sustainable policy goals and objectives.

The International Trade Law Programme of ICTSD is aimed at enabling developing countries to have the capacity to effectively access and have recourse through the different dispute settlement fora.

Over the years, the Programme has established itself as a unique role player in the trade law community. Its work on strengthening legal capacity has generated valuable research among others, on the challenges posed to developing countries by a rules-based system. The Programme also provides an avenue for relevant international, regional and domestic networks for stakeholder cooperation and interaction.

The Programme focuses on three main areas: strengthening legal capacity, monitoring WTO cases and improving the system’s functioning.