Professor Rolland's writings focus on the legal framework for sustainable and socio-economic development in international economic law. Her research interests include public international law, international trade law, international environmental law and energy regulation. Through the exploration of different subject matters, she examines the intersection of legal regimes to improve the understanding of an increasingly multi-layered international and transnational legal order. She teaches Public International Law, International Trade Law, International Business Transactions and Cross-Border Civil Litigation.

Sonia E. Rolland's book, Development at the WTO (Oxford University Press; hardbound 2012, paperback 2013), proposes a legal framework for development at the WTO, combining an analysis of substantive law and institutional perspectives. Professor Rolland has published widely in French and in English. Her writings have appeared in the Journal of International Economic Law, Harvard International Law Journal, Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Global Community Yearbook and the European Journal of International Law, amongst others. Her article, "The Precautionary Principle: Development of an International Standard" (23 Michigan Journal of International Law 429, 2002), has received several awards and its findings have been endorsed by the International Law Commission in a Resolution by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Professor Rolland will be visiting at Columbia University School of Law in fall 2015 and she has previously visited as a faculty member at Georgetown University and the University of Michigan. She has also lectured at the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics, Seikei University (Tokyo) and other prominent institutions in Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

She clerked for H.E. Gilbert Guillaume and H.E. Ronny Abraham at the International Court of Justice.

Rolland regularly acts as an expert for international and non-governmental organizations including the United Nations (sovereign debt restructuring), the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (subsidies) and the India Institute of Foreign Trade (WTO negotiations). She currently serves as co-chair of the International Economic Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law.

Fields of Expertise

  • International Law
  • Trade Law, WTO Law
  • International Economic Law
  • Civil Procedure/Private International Law
  • International Organizations
  • International Courts
  • Sustainable development, Energy, Climate Change

Selected Works


  • Development at the WTO, Oxford University Press (2012) 
  • Book review: Sungjoon Cho, "Reinventing the Development Wheel of the World Trading System (Reviewing Sonia E. Rolland, Development at the WTO,  16 Journal of International Economic Law (2013)

Selected Articles

  • "Are Consumer-Oriented Rules the New Frontier of Trade Liberalization?" 55 Harvard International Law Journal 361 (2014)
  • "Taking Climate Change by Storm: Theorizing Global and Local Policy-Making in Response to Extreme Weather Events" (with Amy Pimentel and Auroop Ganguly), 62 Buffalo Law Review 933 (2014)
  • "International Decisions: 'Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand Intervening),'" 108 American Journal of International Law (2014)
  • Book Review: "Towards Post-Modern Trade Relations? A Review of Dennis Patterson and Ari Afilalo, 'The New Global Trading Order: The Evolving State and the Future of Trade'”, 5 Jurisprudence 173 (2014)
  • "The BRICS’ Contributions to the Architecture and Norms of International Economic Law," 107st ASIL Conference Proceedings (2013)
  • "Transboundary Regulation in the Case of Nanotechnologies: A Theoretical Framing" (with Sarah Schools); Editor, Special Issue: "Global Regulation of Nanotechnologies," 9 Nanotechnology Law and Business (2013)
  • Book Review: "'Regulation of Energy in International Trade Law – WTO, NAFTA and Energy Charter', Edited by Yulia Selivanova," 16 Journal of International Economic Law 475 (2013)
  • “Considering Development in the Implementation of Panel and Appellate Body Reports,” 4 Trade, Law and Development 150 (2012)
  • “Developing Country Coalitions at the WTO: In Search of Legal Support,” 48 Harvard International Law Journal 483 (2007)
  • Book Review: “N. de Sadeleer,  Environmental Principles: From political Slogans to Legal Rules,” 16 European Journal of International Law 164 (2005)
  • Comment: “Standards for Habeas Corpus Review for ‘Enemy Combatants’ Under Hamdi, Padilla, and Rasul,” 2004 Global Community Yearbook of International Law 173 (2004)
  • “The Interpretation of Article I of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees by the European Union: Toward Harmonization,” 18 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 111 (2003)
  • The Precautionary Principle: Development of an International Standard,” 23 Michigan Journal of International Law 429 (2002) (Conclusions adopted by the International Law Commission in its Third Report to the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Legal Regime for the Allocation of Loss in case of Transboundary Harm Arising out of Hazardous Activities, UN Doc. A/CN.4/566, March 2006)

Selected Chapters

Press and Interviews