LAW 7070 - International Trade Law (PG)

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 2 - 2019

This introductory course deals with structural aspects of the international trade law system, including the different municipal legal systems; the history of the international legal system; customary international law; treaty law and interpretation; the meaning and jurisprudence of international law statehood and recognition; international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the IMF, World Bank, UNCTAD, UNCITRAL and ICSID as well as the relationship between the international legal system and domestic systems. In addition the course will review the legal vehicles available to facilitate international dispute resolution methods for governments and business entities. Specific attention is paid to the dispute resolution mechanism in the World Trade Organization, the International Centre for Settling Investor-State Disputes and International Commercial Arbitration. Finally the course briefly considers the concept of 'Choice of Law' for international trade contracts and the recognition of foreign awards and judgements through municipal courts.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7070
    Course International Trade Law (PG)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Trimester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment participation, assignments/research paper &/or exam as determined at first seminar
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Keith Wilson

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Identify the relationships between public international law principles and the law applicable to international trade
    2 Explain the roles and responsibilities of major international trade and legal institutions including in the U.N. system, WTO, IMF, World Bank etc.
    3 Analyse and interpret international trade law instruments particularly in the GATT/WTO system and other trade and investment regimes 
    4 Compare the reasoning underlying dispute resolution in WTO, ICSID, ICJ and other trade related decisions of international and national courts and tribunals
    5 Demonstrate to interactions between policies, principles and motivations underlying development in international trade in goods, services, technical barriers to trade, environmental issues, IPRs etc.
    6 Critically examine and report, both orally and in writing on the operation of international trade law in theoretical and practical contexts
    Knowledge and Understanding

    This introductory course deals with structural aspects of the international trade law system, including the different municipal legal systems; the history of the international legal system; customary international law; treaty law and interpretation; the meaning and jurisprudence of international law statehood and recognition; international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the IMF, World Bank, UNCTAD, UNCITRAL and ICSID as well as the relationship between the international legal system and domestic systems. The course also considers sectoral trade law issues in goods, services, technical barriers to trade, environmental issues and IPRs. In addition the course will review the legal vehicles available to facilitate international dispute resolution methods for governments and business entities. Specific attention is paid to the dispute resolution mechanism in the World Trade Organization, the International Centre for Settling Investor-State Disputes and International Commercial Arbitration and the recognition of foreign awards and judgements through municipal courts

    The overall aim of the course is to enable students to critically examine the legal operation of international trade agreements and their application and impact on international business and trading activities. 

    Communication Skills

    The continuing development of good inter-personal and communication skills is widely recognised as important for all graduates. This course specifically seeks to develop students’ abilities to work in small groups, to engage the seminar group through presentations/case studies, to participate in group discussions and to interact with students from different legal systems, cultures and disciplines.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    In order to engage effectively in the intensive format and to complete the course successfully, students are expected to prepare by undertaking general reading and research relating to the course in advance of the week of lectures.

    A package of materials will be provided before the first week of lectures. Students are required to bring their materials to class and are encouraged to bring additional relevant materials, reports and media articles, both historical and contemporary, and to use opportunities for discussion to address questions and issues that may have arisen during preparation. Lectures will provide the background context to, and an overview of, the various topics in the course and will draw out some of the connecting themes between the various parts of the course. The case studies/ topics and related materials will be distributed and assigned in the week before the commencement of the course.
    Recommended Resources
    Due to the dynamic and changing nature of international trade law and the range of international agreements and organisations, as well as differing national jurisdictions and legal systems (common law, civil law etc), and arbitral disputes and other forms of dispute settlement continually being used, no specific text book is prescribed that can provide a completely up-to-date resource. Students are encouraged to read selectively from a range of recommended texts and references listed below, and also to undertake on-line research on the activities of relevant organisations as well as in electronic journals. If students are considering other textbooks and resources than those listed below, they are welcome to contact the lecturer to discuss their scope and applicability. References and chapters of texts dealing in detail with private business aspects of international trade law and export will be more applicable for those students also considering undertaking the second semester course in International Transactions and the Law.

    Public International Law:

    • Sam Blay, Ryszard Piotrowicz, and Martin Tsamenyi., Public international Law: an Australian perspective – Oxford Univeristy Press – South Melbourne – 2nd edn – 2005 – ISBN 019551422X
    • Gillian Triggs, International Law: contemporary principles and practices – LexisNexis Butterworths – Sydney – 2nd edn - 2011 – ISBN: 9780409327038
    • Martin Dixon, Textbook on International Law – Oxford University Press – Melbourne – 7th edn – 2013 – ISBN 9780199574452
    • Stephen Hall, Principles of International Law – LexisNexis Butterworths – 5th edn – Sydney – 2016
    • Ian Sinclair, The Vienna Convention on the law of treaties – 2nd edn – 1984 – ISBN 0719014808
    World Trade Organization:

    • Bhagirath Las Das, An Introduction to The WTO Agreements - Zed Books Third World Network – Malaysia – 1998 - ISBN 1856495825
    • Peter Van den Bossche, The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization: Text, Cases and Materials – Cambridge University Press – 3rd edn – 2012
    • Robert E. Hudec, Essays on the Nature of International Trade Law -Cameron May - London – 1999 – ISBN 1874698775
    • Walter Goode, Dictionary of Trade Policy Terms - Centre for International Economic Studies University of Adelaide - 5th edn 2007 – ISBN 9780521712064
    • A. Hoda, Tariff negotiations and renegotiations under the GATT and the WTO: procedures and practice
    • M. Rafiqul Islam, International Trade Law of the WTO - Oxford University Press – Sydney – 2006 – ISBN 0195553284
    • WTO: Guide to the GATS: an overview of issues for further liberalization of trade in services.
    Dispute Resolution:

    • Anthony Connerty, A manual of international dispute resolution – London –Commonwealth Secretariat – 2006 – ISBN 9780850928372
    • Vicki Waye (ed), A guide to arbitration practice in Australia – Adelaide Law School – Adelaide – 2nd edn – 2006 – ISBN 064645398X
    • World Trade Organization: A handbook on the WTO dispute settlement system.
    • World Trade Organization: World dispute settlement procedures. 3rd edn, 2012

    • Michael Pryles, Jeff Waincymer and Martin Davies, International Trade Law: Commentary and Materials – Law Book Company – North Ryde – 2nd edn – 2004 – ISBN 0455 218900
    • Michell Sanson, Essential International Trade Law – Palgrave Macmillan – North Ryde – 2nd edn – 2005 - ISBN 9781876905330
    • Indira Carr, International Trade Law – Cavendish Publishing, London – 5th edn – 2014 – ISBN 9780415659239
    • Justin Malbon and Bernard Bishop, Australian export: a guide to law and Practice – Cambridge University Press – Port Melbourne – 2nd edn 2015 – ISBN 9781107634008
    Intellectual Property:

    • Carlos Maria Correa, Trade related aspects of intellectual property rights: a commentary on TRIPs Agreement – Oxford University Press – Oxford – 2007 – ISBN 9780199271283
    • Bernard O’Connor, The Law of geographical Indications, Cameron May – London – 2004 – ISBN 1874698996
    International Business

    • Ray August, Don Mayer and Michael Bixby – International Business Law: Text, Cases and Readings – Pearson Education – 6th edn – 2013 – ISBN 9780273768616
    • John J. Wild, International Business – Pearson Education – Frenchs Forest – 8th edn 2016 – ISBN 9780733974724
    • John Shijian Mo, International Commercial Law – Butterworths - Sydney – 6th edn – 2012 – ISBN 9780409341561
    • Clark, Bagaric, McConvill, Edney, International Commercial Law - Pearson Education Australia – Sydney – 2006 – ISBN 0733984401
    Private International Trade Law

    • Schmitthoff’s Export Trade: The Law and Practice of International Trade - (Carole Murray ed., 12th edn) – Thomson Sweet & Maxwell – London – 10th edn – 2012 – ISBN 9780414046078
    • John Braithwaite and Peter Drahos, Global Business Regulation - Cambridge University Press – Cambridge – 2000 – ISBN 052178499
    • Michael G. Bridge, The International Sale of Goods: Law and Practice – Oxford University Press – Oxford – 3rd edn 2013 – ISBN 9780199658251
    • Robyn Burnett and Vivienne Bath, The Law of International Business in Australasia - The Federation Press – Sydney – 2009– ISBN 9781862877245
    Online Learning
    Online Learning:
    MyUni will be used to post announcements, post additional lecture materials (including slides, and where available, audio recordings of lectures) and announce assignment tasks. It will also contain electronic copies of the Course Profile, Lecture and Seminar Guides, and Course Materials. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.
    In addition, a range of online resources and websites contain a wealth of relevant information, including:

    Public International Law:
    American Society of International Law – 
    International Affairs Resources – 
    International Court of Justice – 

    International Trade Law Organizations:
    World Trade Organization – 
    United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) – 
    UNDROIT – 

    General Resources:
    World Trade Law – 
    World Trade Online – 
    EU – 
    NAFTA – 
    US Trade Rep – www.ustr.ogv/index.html 
    Australian Department of Foreign Affairs – 
    Australian Attorney General’s Department – 

    Intellectual Property:
    World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – 
    World Trade Organization – 
    International Trade and Business Law:
    Lex Mercatoria – 
    CISG Online – 
    Pace University – 
    OECD – 
    International Chamber of Commerce - 
    International Standards Organization – 
    International Monetary Fund – 
    World Bank – 
    World Customs Organization – 
    Georgetown University’s Institute of International Economic Law – 
    Food and Agriculture Organization – 
    Codex Alimentarius – 
    Inernational Maritime Orgnaization – 

    Dispute Resolution:
    International Commercial Arbitration – 
    ICSID – International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes – 
    London Court of Arbitration - 
    China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission – 
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Learning and Teaching Activities amounting to 24 hours (across lecture, seminar and structured learning activity formats) will be offered to students in this course.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week of private study in addition to your regular classes.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Course stage Course Component Topic
    Part 1 (Days 1-2) Day 1  Introduction
    Part 1   Day 1 The nature of International law and the International legal system
    Part 1 Day 1 Treaties, custom and other frameworks
    Part 1 Day 2 Major international trade law organisations - GATT/WTO, UNCITRAL etc.
    Part 1 Day 2  International trade law agreements including GATT, GATS, TRIPS 
    Part 2 (Days 3-5)                                   
    Day 3 Dispute resolution in international trade - WTO/DSU ICJ, international arbitration - student group presentations commence (days 3-5)
    Part 2 Day 4 Dispute settlement continued - trade and investment disputes
    Part 2 Day 5 Sectoral trade law issues, and methods of enforcement
    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Redeemable Length Course Learning Outcome
     Attendance and  Participation Individual

    All sessions

    10% No
    Seminar presentation in groups/pairs Individual 26-28 June 10% No
    Written outline of seminar presentation Group 1 July 10% No 1000 words
    Comparative case study critique Individual 8 July 20% Yes
    1500-1600 words

    Final research essay Individual 29 July 50% No

    Assessment Detail
    Class Attendance and Participation (10%)

    Seminar presentation in groups/pairs and written outline (20% in Total - 10% for each component)
    Students present in groups on topics/cases to be assigned - this component (10%) is assessed on an individual basis
    Written outline/summary of topic/case presentations- maximum 1,000 words. This component (10%) is assessed jointly.

    Comparative case study critique (20%, redeeemable)
    Comparative critique (1,500-1,600 words) of cases/topics presented by two of the other groups.

    Final research essay (50%, or 70% if redeeming Comparative case study)
    Topics to be assigned in the week of 1 July - 3000 to maximum 4,000 words.

    Standard Adelaide Law School submission requirements apply. Specific information will be provided in the assessment instructions for each item of assessment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Academic Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.