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Faculty Directory

Sonia Elise Rolland

Associate Professor of Law
Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (France), BA 1999
Université Paris-10 (France), MA 2000
University of Michigan, JD 2003
Cambridge University (UK), PhD 2009
Office: 39 Cargill Hall
Mail: 400 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: (617) 373-7331
Fax: (617) 373-5056

Professor Rolland's current research focuses on the framework for development in international trade law. Her research interests include public international law, international trade law, environmental law and energy regulation. She teaches International Law, International Trade Law, International Business Transactions and Cross-Border Civil Litigation.

Professor Rolland's current research focuses on trade and development in international economic law. Her book, Development at the WTO (Oxford University Press, hardbound 2012; forthcoming in paperback Aug. 2013), presents the legal framework for development at the WTO, combining an analysis of substantive law and institutional perspectives. 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. Her research interests include public international law, international trade law, environmental law and energy regulation. Professor Rolland has published widely in French and in English. 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 United Nations General Assembly.

Prior to joining the law school faculty in 2009, she served as a visiting research scholar at Columbia University Law School in 2006, and taught as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School. Professor Rolland currently serves as vice-chair of the International Economic Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law. Professor Rolland clerked for H.E. Gilbert Guillaume and H.E. Ronny Abraham at the International Court of Justice.

Fields of Expertise

  • Trade Law
  • WTO Law
  • Civil Procedure/Private International Law
  • International Institutions

Selected Works


  • Development at the WTO (Oxford University Press, 2012) February/April 2012, 396 p. (hardbound); paperback edition forthcoming August 2013  
  • See also book review: Sungjoon Cho, "Reinventing the Development Wheel of the World Trading System (Reviewing Sonia E. Rolland, Development at the World Trade Organization (2012))", forthcoming 16 Journal of International Economic Law, (2013)

Selected Articles

  • "Are Consumer-Oriented Rules the New Frontier of Trade Liberalization?," Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 55, Forthcoming 2014
  • "The BRICS’ Contributions to the Architecture and Norms of International Economic Law," 107ST ASIL Conference Proceedings, forthcoming 2013
  • "Transboundary Regulation in the Case of Nanotechnologies: A Theoretical Framing" (with Sarah Schools) and Editor, Special Issue Global Regulation of Nanotechnologies, 9 Nanotechnology Law and Business, forthcoming Summer 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, forthcoming 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

  • “WTO Law,” Chapter 7 WTO Law, in Transnational Law (M. Reimann, J. Hathaway, T. Dickinson, J. Samuels, eds., West casebook, 2013
  • "Les principes généraux à l’OMC in Vincent Tomkiewicz," Thierry Garcia & David Pavot, eds., Les Sources et les normes dans le droit de l’OMC, Pédone, Paris2012, pp. 105-121.
  • "Les groupements et coalitions d'Etats à l'OMC : la recherche d'un cadre juridique in Vincent Tomkiewicz," Thierry Garcia, eds., L’Organisation mondiale du commerce et les sujets de droit, Bruylant, Paris, 2011pp. 79-94. 
  • French to English translation: selected chapters in: J. Crawford and A. Pellet (eds.) The Law of International Responsibility (Oxford University Press 2010): 
    Chapter 15: Relations between the International Law of Responsibility and Responsibility in Municipal Law (P.M. Dupuy)
    Chapter 22: The Attribution of Conduct to International Organizations (P. Klein)
    Chapter 85: Obligations Relating to the Use of Force and Deriving from Peremptory Norms of International Law (C. Leben)

Press and Interviews