1st IJIEL International Student Essay Competition

‘TRIPS-plus Obligations and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Developing Countries’


1. The Indian Journal of International Economic Law
2. The 1st IJIEL International Student Essay Competition
o Topic
o Prizes
o Judges
o Deadline
o Judging Criteria
o Rules and Regulations
3. Contact Details


IJIEL is an annual journal that is managed, edited and produced by students of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore. This refereed journal deals with all aspects of international economic law, primarily from the perspective of developing countries.

We place great emphasis on international trade and WTO-related scholarship, but pride ourselves on having successfully sought and maintained a broader focus. Our mandate extends to all academic scholarship relevant to international economic law, including international finance and taxation, cross-border regulatory reform in light of the credit crisis, questions concerning the linkages between trade, human rights and the environment, international competition law, economic aspects of intellectual property rights and TRIPS, etc. We are particularly interested in law and economics analyses of the all the subject areas within our mandate.

Our latest endeavour is a special issue studying the interface between international economic law and international space law, seeking to define the role and scope of international economic law in public and private space operations.

Our first two issues have been a tremendous success in terms of the breadth and quality of the submissions that we have received and been privileged to publish. We have been fortunate to receive the enthusiastic support of stalwarts in the field of international economic law. Professor Jagdish Bhagwati has written the foreword for our first issue. The foreword for our second issue has been written by Mr. Arvind Subramaniam from the Peterson Institute. Recently, we have also received the patronage of the WTO Chair established in NLSIU by the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of India.

Our board of editors boasts the following names:

1. Dr. Andrew T. Guzman, University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall (USA)
2. Professor Hans-Bernd Schäfer, Director, Institute of Law and Economics, University of Hamburg (Germany)
3. Ms. Jayashree Watal, IP Counsellor at the WTO and former Trade Representative to TRIPS Negotiations (India)
4. Professor Par Hallstrom, Director of the Centre of European Law and International Trade Law of Umea University (Sweden)
5. Ms. Tania Voon, Associate Professor, Melbourne Law School (Australia)
6. Dr. Tomer Broude, Lecturer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel)
7. Professor Yuji Iwasawa, Professor of International Law, University of Tokyo and Member, Human Rights Committee under the ICCPR (Japan)
8. Professor Won-Mog Choi, Director of WTO Law Centre, Ewha Law School (South Korea)

Our board of patrons includes Dr. Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Mr. Rajiv Luthra, Managing Partner, Luthra & Luthra Law Associates. Dr. A Jayagovind, Professor of Law and former Director, NLSIU is our faculty advisor.


IJIEL was started two years ago with the express intention of providing a new and meaningful contribution to academic scholarship in the field of international economic law. Through all our efforts till now we have sought to achieve this aim by focusing on new, interesting and niche areas of international economic law. In keeping with our infrastructural limitations, however, we have been unable to accept submissions by undergraduate students, excellent though many of them have been.

Recognising that a part of our mandate is the fostering of legal writing in this area of the law, we seek to provide an impetus to academic writing by students, on areas of contemporary interest in international economic law. We have sought to achieve this result by incentivising participation by undergraduate and graduate students across the world by offering attractive prizes, excellent judging, a chance for publication in our journal, and above all, by providing a truly interesting topic to write on.

Our focus is on a developing country perspective, but we recognise that inherent in this perspective is the necessity of understanding the other side. We hope that enthusiastic participation by students from both developing and developed countries will facilitate exciting and useful debate on an issue that is of great concern and interest in the current scenario.

We look forward to being flooded with lots of excellent entries.


The thematic topic for the 1st IJIEL International Student Essay Competition is:

‘TRIPS-plus Obligations and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Developing Countries’

Through this theme we hope to elicit original and analytical writing on an emerging phenomenon of great interest and possible concern – the insistence by many developed countries of requiring the inclusion of TRIPS-plus obligations in FTAs entered into with developing countries.

We have deliberately chosen not to specify a narrow topic for this competition, recognising the value, in academic writing, of being able to narrow a broader theme into a concise and relevant perspective or argument.


The two best entries will receive prizes:

1st place - $750
2nd place - $250

The best essays will also be considered for publication in the third issue of the Indian Journal of International Economic Law (2010), subject to editorial policy.


We are very proud to announce that Professor Carlos M Correa and Professor Daniel J Gervais, both eminent scholars in the field of TRIPS, have agreed to be the final judges for the 1st edition of the IJIEL International Student Essay Competition. The received entries will be narrowed down to the best five by an anonymous panel of judges, and the winning entry will be chosen by Professors Correa and Gervais.

Timeline and Deadlines

1. Release of topic – April 1, 2010
2. Last Date for Submission of Entries – June 15, 2010 (no entries received after 12 AM on June 16, 2010 (Indian Standard Time) will be accepted)
3. Announcement of winners – July 31, 2010 (tentative)

Judging Criteria

Entries will be judged on the basis of:

1. Choice of topic
2. Clarity of expression and writing style
3. Analysis and originality, including contribution to the existing literature on the field
4. Authoritative value

Rules and Regulations

1. Entries may not exceed 2,000 words, excluding footnotes.
2. The emphasis of this competition is on analytical writing. A lower word limit has deliberately been chosen to discourage descriptive writing. Participants are urged to dedicate the main body of their essays to original thought and writing.
3. Substantive footnoting is strictly prohibited.
4. Citation must follow the Bluebook format.
5. All matter that is not the original work of the author must be cited. Plagiarism, in all its forms, is strictly prohibited and will invite immediate disqualification. Serious violations will be responded with complaint letters to the head of the participant’s institution.
6. This competition is open to all students (undergraduate and above), except doctoral and PhD candidates. Participants must have crossed the age of 18 years, but should not have crossed the age of 30 years, as of January 1, 2010.
7. The following formatting requirements must be satisfied: Times New Roman font, size 12, 1.5 line spacing, 1” margins.
8. The essay must be prefaced with a cover page, containing the title of the essay, the name of the author, his/her date of birth, institutional affiliation, and details of the program (including year), in which the participant is enrolled. There must not be any mention of the name, age or institutional affiliation of the author at any other place in the essay. Any such mention will invite immediate disqualification.
9. All entries must be in English.
10. Submitted entries must not have been submitted in any other competition, or for publication or review to any other journal. Entries must represent new and original work of the authors.
11. Submitted entries will constitute property belonging the Indian Journal of International Economic Law, though permission to reprint with the permission of the journal, subject to conditions imposed by the Chief-Editor of the journal, may be sought on an ad hoc basis.
12. Any attempt to contact the judges will invite immediate disqualification.
13. Students are welcome to submit essays individually, or in groups of two. Essays written by more than two students will not be accepted.


Information regarding IJIEL may be obtained from our website: http://www.ijiel.com.

Questions may be directed to ijiel@nls.ac.in, or to the Chief-Editor at abhimanyugeorgejain@gmail.com.

Application Form:

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