School of Law

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Mary Footer

Professor of International Economic Law, FRSA, Faculty of Social Sciences



Professor Footer joined the School of Law as Professor of International Economic Law on 1 January 2006. She is currently co-director of the Nottingham International Law and Security Centre (NILSC), which she founded in January 2013.

She taught previously at UCL (1988-1995), Erasmus University Rotterdam (1999-2001) and University of Amsterdam (2001-2005). From 1995-1999 she was a full-time Senior Program Legal Counsel at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), based in Rome, where she was responsible for training in international economic development and law reform in developing countries. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge (2014), a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence (2010), and was the first Fellow in Public International Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London (1992-1994).

Professor Footer has guest lectured at the Scuola di Giurisprudenza, Università di Bologna, University of Curaçao Dr Moises da Costa Gomez, Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean; ​​ Law Department, EUI, Florence; University of Michigan Law School, USA; the World Trade Institute, Bern, Switzerland; Utrecht University and the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht, Netherlands; the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; and the Universities of Peking (Beida) and Tsinghua, Beijing, China; and the Universities of Kent and Warwick, UK. From 2001-2009, she was Dozent on the LLM in 'European and International Law' at the Europa-Institut, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany.

  • Co-ordinator for University of Nottingham, Co-supervisor of two Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and Ethical Lead for the Consortium on Horizon 2020 MSCA Innovative Training Network (ITN) on the European Trade & Investment Partnership (EUTIP) (2016-2020) (€ €546,576)
  • Co-investigator on NWO (Dutch Scientific Research Council) SRoL (Security and the Rule of Law) project with SOMO and Inkrispena on Security of transnational flows of natural resources: the role of private and state security actors in protecting the interests of the international extractive industry and their impact on the human rights and security of local people (July 2016-January 2017) (€100,000)

Expertise Summary

Professor Footer's research and teaching expertise lies in the fields of public international law and international economic law, including WTO law, law and development, international investment law, food security, and business & human rights. Some of her papers can be accessed on Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN) at: Her current research focuses on the relationship between transnational and international economic law and governance.

She has been an expert consultant to a number of international and European organisations and has conducted evaluations for a range of scientific research organisations based in Europe, South Africa, Canada and Hong Kong.

She is series editor (together with Professor Alan Sykes of NYU Law School) for the Edward Elgar Series on International Economic Law, a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of World Investment and Trade and the Manchester Journal of International Economic Law; she is a continuing member of the Advisory Board of Legal Issues in International Integration and the e-journal Law, Social Justice and Global Development.

She is currently Chair of the ILA Committee on Sustainable Development and the Green Economy in International Trade Law (2014-2020) and was Director of Studies (and Officer) for the British Branch of the International Law Association (ILA) (2013-2018). In 2010 she was elected to the Executive Board of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) and served until 2018; she is a founding member and co-convenor of the ESIL Interest Group in International Economic Law (2007-2010), of which she remains a member.

In 2012 Professor Footer was nominated a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Teaching Summary

International Economic Law, specifically WTO Law, International Investment Law, International Financial and Monetary Law, Law & Development; Business and Human Rights.

Research Summary

Aspects of transnational economic governance: the role of transnational law and legal process in international rule-making; complex transnational governance. Challenges to law-making in the domain of… read more

Selected Publications

Current PhD Students

  • Alcock, Harriette: The Role of Intellectual Property Protection in the Development of Underutilised Crops (co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans)
  • Bhardwaj, Aakriti: Towards a Dynamic and Competitive Transatlantic Market: the Impact of Transatlantic Trade and Investment on Labour, Environmental and Governance Standards (co-supervised with Professor Jeff Kenner, lead Nottingham supervisor; Professor Roberto Caranto, Università degli Studi di Torino)
  • Dekeyrel, Simon: The Role of Transatlantic Trade and Investment in Securing a Transatlantic Energy Market (co-supervised with Professor Sven Biscop, Universiteit Ghent; second Nottingham sueprvisor, Dr Qianlan Wu)
  • Kelsall, Michelle: Human Rights, Incorporated? Transnational Corporations, International Law and the Global Economy (co-supervised with Dr Sandra Frisby)
  • Masiko, Timothy: Variable Geometry and the Future of the East African Community: Implications for the Bloc's Integration, its Dealings with Other Regions, and On-going Negotiations (co-supervised with Dr Annamaria La Chimia)

Recent PhD Students

  • Ojogbo, Samuel, Corporate Violations of Human Rights and the Environment in Developing Markets: Exploring the Role of Corporate Law (co-supervised with Dr Sandra Frisby and Mr Michael Bowman)
  • Emma Luce Scali, Welfare States in the Marketplace: Exploring the Link between Sovereign Debt and Socio-Economic Rights (co-supervised with Mr Christopher Bevan)
  • Alhelali, Shaikhah: The International Transfer of Technology under the TRIPS Agreement (co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans)
  • Garnjana-goonchorn, Intu-on: The WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and Environmental Protection (co-supervised with Mr Michael Bowman)
  • Che, Luyao: Chinese State Capitalism and the International Economic Order (co-supervised with Dr Uglješa Grušić)
  • Stathopoulou, Kallipi: African Intrastate Peace Agreements and Self-determination (co-supervised with Professor Nigel White)
  • Lin, Wei-Chung: Defending the Environment: Civil Society Participation in Resolving Investment-related Environmental Claims (with Dr Edward Goodwin)
  • Frank, Sotonye: Stabilisation Clauses and Sustainable Development in Developing Countries (with Dr Edward Goodwin)
  • Jiang, Lili: An Evaluation of Soft Law as a Method to Regulate Public Procurement from a Trade Perspective (co-supervised with Professor Sue Arrowsmith)
  • Khanum, Farjina: Trade and Environment: Striking a Balance in International Law (co-supervised with Mr Michael Bowman)
  • Murphy, Rose Alice: The Development of Economic Sanctions in the Practice of the United Nations Security Council (co-supervised with Professor Dino Kritsiotis)
  • Vargiu Paolo: Towards a New System of ICSID Review
  • Senior, Kerry: The Relationship between International and EU Law: Judicial Review, Art. 103 UN Charter and the Protection of Human Rights (co-supervised with Professor Nigel White)

From AY16/17, i.e. commencing in September, 2016 and thereafter, I will be taking on no new PhD students.

Current Research

Aspects of transnational economic governance: the role of transnational law and legal process in international rule-making; complex transnational governance. Challenges to law-making in the domain of public international law: effect of state practice and role of treaty bodies and autonomous institutional arrangements under multilateral treaties.

Past Research

Institutional and normative aspects of the World Trade Organization. The role of soft law in international economic relations. the relationship between trade and investment. Various aspects of biotechnology, international law and food security.

Future Research

Return of the state and its significance for international law and policy making. The politics of international investment law.

  • MARY E FOOTER, 2019. The EU's engagement with business. In: JAN WOUTERS, MANFRED NOWAK, ANNA-LUISE CHANÉ and NICOLAS HACHEZ, eds., The European Union and Human Rights: Law and Policy Oxford University Press. 40 (In Press.)
  • MARY E FOOTER and NIGEL D WHITE, 2019. Special Issue on Business, Human Rights and Security: Editorial Business and Human Rights Journal. 4(1), 5 (In Press.)
  • MARY E FOOTER and TIMOTHY BRYAN MASIKO, 2019. Lawmaking by Non-State Actors. In: ANTHONY CARTY, ed., Oxford Bibliographies in International Law Oxford University Press. 26 (In Press.)
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2019. The 'Decision on the Achmea Issue' and the role of evolutionary interpretation in defining the 'outer limits' of ICSID jurisdiction. In: GABRIELLE Z MARCEAU, ed., Evolutionary Interpretation in Different International Legal Systems Hart Publishing. 12 (In Press.)
  • NIGEL D WHITE, MARY E FOOTER, KERRY SENIOR, MARK VAN DORP, VINCENT KIEZEBRINK, Y WASI GEDE PARUKA and AYUDYA FAJRI ANZAS, 2018. Blurring Public and Private Security in Indonesia:: Corporate Interests and Human Rights in a Fragile Environment Netherlands International Law Review. 65(2), 217-252
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2018. Effecting Global Governance Through the WTO: One Step at a Time?. In: DENISE PRÉVOST, IVETA ALEXOVIČOVÁ and JENS HILLEBRAND POHL, eds., Restoring Trust in Trade: Liber Amicorum in Honour of Peter Van den Bossche Hart Publishing. 19-34 (In Press.)
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2017. A Comment on Lorand Bartels 'Jurisdiction and Applicable Law in the WTO'. In: JACQUES BOURGEOIS, MARCO BRONCKERS and REINHARD QUICK, eds., WTO Dispute Settlement: Time to Take Stock 19. P.I.E. Peter Lang - College of Europe Studies. 53-57
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2016. The making of international trade law. In: CATHERINE BRÖLMANN and YANNICK RADI, eds., Research Handbook on the Theory and Practice of International Lawmaking Edward Elgar. 395-418
  • MARY E FOOTER, JULIA SCHMIDT, NIGEL D WHITE and LYDIA DAVIES-BRIGHT, eds., 2016. Security and International Law Hart Publishing.
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2015. Human Rights Due Diligence and the Responsible Supply of Minerals from Conflict-affected Areas: Towards a Normative Framework?. In: JERNEJ LETNAR ČERNIČ and TARA VAN HO, eds., Human Rights and Business: Direct Human Rights Obligations of Corporations in International Law Wolf Legal Publishers. 179-228
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2014. Righting Socio-Economic Wrongs in Times of Financial and Economic Crisis. In: MARISE CREMONA, PETER HILPOLD, NIKOS LAVRANOS, STEFAN STAIGER SCHNEIDER and ANDREAS R ZIEGLER, eds., Reflections on the Constitutionalization of International Economic Law: Liber Amicorum for Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann Brill/Martinus Nijhoff Academic Publishers. 521-536
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2014. Trade-related Aspects of International Food Security Trade, Law & Development. 6(2), 288-358
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2013. International investment law and trade: the relationship that never went away. In: BAETENS, F., ed., Investment law within international law: integrationist perspectives Cambridge University Press. 259-297
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2013. On the laws of attraction: examining the relationship between foreign investment and international trade. In: ROBERTO ECHANDI and PIERRE SAUVÉ, eds., Prospects in International Investment Law and Policy: World Trade Forum Cambridge University Press. 105-138
  • MARY E FOOTER and ANDREW R FORBES, 2012. Changing Ideologies in Trade, Technology and Development: The Challenge of China for International Trade Law. In: SAM MULLER, STAVROS ZOURIDIS, MORLY FRISHMAN and LAURA KISTEMAKER, eds., The Law of the Future and the Future of Law II. Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher. 309-322
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2011. Future Imperfect: Institutional Autonomy and the WTO. In: RICHARD COLLINS and NIGEL D WHITE, eds., International Organisations and the Idea of Autonomy: Institutional Independence in the International Legal Order Routledge: Taylor and Francis Ltd. 380-397
  • MARY FOOTER, 2011. Article XXIX, Article XXX, Article XXXI, Article XXXII, Article XXXIII, Article XXXIV, Article XXXV. In: RÜDIGER WOLFRUM, PETER-TOBIAS STOLL and HOLGER HESTERMEYER, eds., Max Planck Commentaries on World Trade Law - 5: Trade in Goods Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. 736-766
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2011. The WTO as a 'living instrument': the contribution of consensus decision-making and informality to institutional norms and practices. In: THOMAS COTTIER and MANFRED ELSIG, eds., Governing the World Trade Organization: Past, present and beyond Doha Cambridge University Press. 217-240
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2010. Biotechnology and the international regulation of food and fuel security in developing countries. In: FAUNDEZ, J. and TAN, C., eds., International economic law, globalization and developing countries Edward Elgar Publishing. 331-353
  • FOOTER M.E., 2010. The (re)turn to 'soft law' in reconciling the antinomies in WTO law Melbourne Journal of International Law. 11(2), 241-276
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2010. International Organisations and Treaties: Ratification and (Non)-implementation of the Other Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. In: ALEXANDER ORAKHELASHVILI and SARAH WILLIAMS, eds., 40 Years of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties British Institute of International and Comparative Law. 183-203
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2009. Bits and pieces: social and environmental protection in the regulation of foreign investment Michigan State Journal of International Law. 18(1), 33-64
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2008. Some theoretical and legal perspectives on WTO compliance Netherlands Yearbook of International Law. 38, 61-112
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2007. A Tale of Two Commons: Plant Genetic Resources and Agricultural Reform. In: HAN SOMSEN, ed., The Regulatory Challenge of Biotechnology Edward Elgar Publishing. 174-200
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2006. An Institutional and Normative Analysis of the World Trade Organization Leiden, Boston: Martinus Nijhoff.
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2006. Agricultural biotechnology, food security and human rights. In: FRANCIONI, F. and SCOVAZZI, T., eds., Biotechnology and international law Oxford: Hart Publishing. 257-284
  • MARY E FOOTER, 2005. An institutional and normative analysis of the World Trade Organization: Een institutionele en normatieve analyse van de Wereldhandelsorganisatie Leiden: Nijhoff.
  • FOOTER, M.E. and AWUKU, E.O., 2005. The Seed Treaty and Equitable Benefit Sharing. In: Sustainable Justice: Integrating Economic, Social and Environmental Law Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands. 241-256
  • MARY E FOOTER and CAROL GEORGE, 2005. The General Agreement on Trade in Services. In: The World Trade Organization: Legal, Economic and Political Analysis Springer, Dordrecht. 799-953
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2004. Our agricultural heritage: sustainability, common heritage and intergenerational equity. In: SCHRIJVER, N. and WEISS, F., eds., International law and sustainable development: principles and practice Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. 433-466
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2004. Agricultural Biotechnology, Food Security and Human Rights In: Biotechnology and International Law.
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2004. Introduction to the Legal Aspects of Access to Genetic Resources and Farmers' Rights In: International Law and Biotechnology.
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2004. Effective Global Governance: What can the World Trade Organization Learn from Other Internatinal Organizations and the European Union? In: Presentation of research on WTO Governance Issues in the Workshop Public Law I, as part of the Ius Commune Research School Annual Conference.
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2004. The Future of WTO Governance in Light of its Institutional Failings In: Developments in International Law.
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2003. Technical assistance and trade law reform post-Doha: brave new world. In: HATCHARD, J. and PERRY-KESSARIS, A., eds., Law and development: facing complexity in the 21st century: essays in honour of Peter Slinn London: Cavendish Publishing Ltd.. 108-131
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2003. Should Participation by Developing Country Members in the WTO Dispute Settlement System be Facilitated and, If So, How? In: The Reform of the Dispute Settlement System.
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2003. Some Thoughts on Managing the Interface between Intellectual Property, Genetic Engineering and Sustainable Development. In: Intellectual Property, Trade Competition, and Sustainable Development University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. 505-510
  • FOOTER, M.E. and ZIA-ZARIFI, S., 2002. EC - Asbestos: The WTO on trial for its handling of occupational health and safety issues Melbourne Journal of International Law. 2(1), 120-142
  • FOOTER,M.E., 2002. The General Agreement on Trade in Services: Taking Stock and Moving Forward Legal Issues of Economic Integration. 29, 7-25
  • FOOTER,M.E., 2001. Application of the GATT, GATS and WTO Agreements to Agricultural Trade ERA-Forum. 4, 94-101
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2001. The liberalisation of international trade and the future of cultural industries. In: ERNST, K, HALBERTSMA, M, JANSSEN, S and AND IJDENS, T., eds., Trends and Strategies in the Arts and Cultural Industries Barjesteh van Waalwijk Van Doorn & Co’s Uitgeversmij, Rotterdam. 67-81
  • FOOTER, M. E., 2001. John H. Jackson The Jurisprudence of the GATT and the WTO: Insights on Treaty Law and Economic Relations Leiden Journal of International Law. VOL 14(PART 1), 247-257
  • FOOTER, M. E., 2001. Developing Country Practice in the Matter of WTO Dispute Settlement Journal of World Trade. VOL 35(PART 1), 55-98
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2001. The symbiosis between public international law and national law - studies in the enforcement of public international law in the national legal order
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2001. Developing Country Practice in the Matter of WTO Dispute Settlement. In: Trade and Agriculture: Negotiating a New Agreement? Cameron May, London, UK. 195-247
  • FAUNDEZ, JULIO, FOOTER, MARY, NORTON, JOSEPH JUDE and UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, 2000. Governance, development and globalization : a tribute to Lawrence Tshuma / edited by Julio Faundez, Mary E. Footer, Joseph J. Norton London : Blackstone Press, 2000.
  • MARY E FOOTER and CHRISTOPH BEAT GRABER, 2000. Trade Liberalization and Cultural Policy Journal of International Economic Law. 3(1), 115-144
  • FOOTER, M.E., 2000. The WTO, Developing Countries and Technical Assistance for Trade Law Reform. In: Governance, Development and Globalization Blackstone Press Ltd, London, UK. 352-372
  • FOOTER, M.E., 1999. Intellectual Property and Agrobiodiversity: Towards Private Ownership of the Genetic Commons. In: Yearbook of International Environmental Law 10. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 48-81
  • FOOTER, M.E., 1998. The European Union and the WTO Global Trading System. In: The State of the European Union 317-336
  • FOOTER,M.E., NORTON,J.J. and ANDENAS,M., 1998. The Changing World of International Law in the Twenty-First Century Kluwer Law International, Deventer, NL.
  • FOOTER, M.E., 1998. What Future for EU-ACP Trade in the 21st Century. In: The Changing World of International Law in the Twenty-First Century Kluwer Law International, Deventer, NL. 273-316
  • FOOTER, M.E., 1997. Some Aspects of Third Party Intervention in GATT-WTO Dispute Settlement. In: The GATT-WTO Dispute Settlement Rules: Procedures and Practice 213-244
  • FOOTER,M.E., 1997. La Regulacion Internactional del Comercio de Servicios luego de la Ronda de Uruguay Revista de Derecho Internacional Economico.
  • FOOTER, M. E., 1997. The Role of Consensus in GATT/WTO Decision-making Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business. VOL 17(NUMBER 2/3), 653-680
  • FOOTER, M.E., 1996. Public Procurement and EC External Relations: A Legal Framework. In: The European Union and World Trade after the Uruguay Round John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK. 293-309
  • FOOTER, M.E., 1996. Participation of the European Communities in the GATT/WTO Trading System. In: The Legal Regulation of the Community's External Relations after Completion of the Internal Market Dartmouth Publishing Co. Ltd, Aldershot. 71-105
  • FOOTER,M.E. and LORIS,B., 1996. The Polish Office of Public Procurement Public Procurement Law Review. 5, CS81-82
  • FOOTER,M.E., 1996. C-360/93 on the Community's External Powers in the Area of Public Procurement Public Procurement Law Review. 5, CS148-149
  • FOOTER, M.E., 1996. Trade and Investment Measures in the Energy Charter Treaty. In: The Energy Charter Treaty: An East-West Gateway for Investment and Trade Kluwer Law International, Deventer, NL. 441-454
  • FOOTER,M.E. and BELLO,J.H., 1995. Preface to GATT Symposium Issue International Lawyer. 29:2, 335-343
  • FOOTER, M. E., 1995. The International Regulation of Trade in Services Following Completion of the Uruguay Round International Lawyer. VOL 29(NUMBER 2), 453
  • FOOTER, M.E., 1995. TRIPs and the EC. In: The Intellectual Property Institute
  • FOOTER,M.E., 1995. Public Procurement and the Wider Europe: a Review of the Recent Europe Agreements Public Procurement Law Review. 4, CS115-117
  • FOOTER,M.E., 1995. 'Opinion 1/94 on Community and Member States' Competences under the WTO: Implications for Public Procurement Public Procurement Law Review. 4, CS14-21
  • FOOTER,M.E., 1995. Remedies under the new GATT Agreement on Government Procurement Public Procurement Law Review. 4, 80-93
  • MARY E FOOTER, 1994. GATT and Banking as a Trade in Services. In: J J NORTON, CHIA-JUI CHENG and I FLETCHER, eds., International Banking Operations and Practices: Current Developments 25-54
  • MARY E FOOTER, 1994. External Aspects of the Community's Public Procurement Policy in the Utilities Sector Public Procurement Law Review. 3, 187-194
  • FOOTER, M.E., 1994. The Multifibre Arrangement. In: B. COLAS, ed., Global Economic Cooperation: A Guide to Agreements and Organizations Management Books/Kluwer Law & Taxation Publishers/United Nations Univerity Press. 67-70
  • MARY E FOOTER, 1994. Global and Regional Approaches to the Regulation of Trade in Services International and Comparative Law Quarterly. 43(3), 661
  • MARY E FOOTER, 1993. GATT: Developments in Public Procurement Procedures and Practices Public Procurement Law Review. 2, CS193-204
  • MARY E FOOTER, 1993. GATT and the Multilateral Regulation of Banking Services The International Lawyer. 27(2), 343-367
  • MARY E WORMGOOR-FOOTER, 1984. Time-sharing en Cooperative Vereniging Tijdschrift voor Antilliaans Recht-Justicia. 5:4, 286-289

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