LAW 7070 - International Trade Law (PG)

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 3 - 2021

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 3
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Participation, assignments/research paper and/or exam as determined at first seminar
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rebecca LaForgia

    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 regimes 
    4 Compare the reasoning underlying dispute resolution in the WTO, 
    5 Demonstrate the interactions between policies, principles and motivations underlying development in international trade in goods, services, technical barriers to trade, environmental issues, IPRs, health and supply chains.
    6 Critically examine and report, both orally and in writing, on the operation of international trade law in theoretical and practical contexts

    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. Core readings will be available via MyUni.

    Recommended Resources
    Due to the dynamic and changing nature of international trade law and the range of international agreements and organisations, no specific text book is prescribed.  Materials and recommeded references will be provided via MyUni.  

    Online Learning
    Online Learning:

    MyUni will be used to post announcements, lecture materials and announce assignment tasks. It will also contain electronic copies of the Course Profile 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.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The first two hours of class from 10.00-12.00am will be online lectures and guided activites. These lectures and activities will be recorded. This will be followed by in class seminars from 1.00-5.00pm which will be face to face, and also a zoom link if required, and devoted to an interactive discussion, exploration of lecture topics and also introducing and covering new topics. There will be a detailed outline available on my uni to guide each day of teaching.

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

    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 of private study in addition to your regular classes.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Day 1

    Lecture 10.00-12.00: Fundamentals of International Trade.
    GATT/WTO, International trade law agreements including GATT, GATS, TRIPS etc. Overview of Dispute Settlement and debates surrounding globalisation. Most Favoured Nation and National Treatment Principle.

    Seminar 1.00-3.00: Seminar - Institutional Aspects of WTO and themes of Multilateralism and Dispute Settlement.

    Seminar 3.00-5.00: Seminar - MFN and National Treatment.

    Day 2

    Lecture 10.00-12.00: Fundamentals of International Trade Law Regional Trade Agreements, and TRIPs and access to essential Medicines.

    Seminar 1.00-3.00: Seminar on RTAs

    Seminar 3.00-5.00: Seminar on TRIPs and access to medicines and group work preparation.

    Day 3

    Lecture 10.00-12.00: Group Work Presentations

    Seminar 1.00-3.00: Anti-dumping, subsidies and counterveilling duties, safeguards.  Trade policy and developing countries. Article XX and Trade and Human Right, Environment, Labour and Public morals. Future challenges for international trade.

    Seminar 2.00-4.00: Seminar on Antidumping and counterveilling duties.

    Day 4

    Lecture 10.00-12.00: Seminar Article XX

    Seminar 1.00-3.00 - Skills for research essay.

    Revision 3.00-5.00 overview of the course and revision seminar
  • 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 item % of final mark Dates Length Individual or Group Activity? Redeemable
    Learning Outcomes
    Contemporary Issues Analysis Compulsory.

    Friday the 24th of September 2.00pm
    1,500 words


    1, 2,3,4.

    Group Presentation - 


    Wednesday the 29th of September in class.
    Details on Myuni.


    4, 5, 6.
    Research Assignment.
    from the set topics

    65% or 90%
    Monday the 15th of November 2.00pm
    4,500 words



    1, 2, 3, 4,5,6.
    Assessment Detail
    1. Group Presentation  (10%, Compulsory, NOT Redeemable)

    In order for our interactive class discussions to be as productive as possible, 10% of each student's final grade will be based on their group presentation, the topic of which will be a synthesis of course material covered to that point in the course. Details will be available on myuni.

    2. Current Issues Analysis (25%, Redeemable)

    International  Trade Law is an exciting field in which new challenges are always presented, the current issue analysis will be a set question drawn from a contemporary issue in international trade law (redeemable on basis of bona fide effort as assessed by course coordinator).

    3. Research Assignment  (65% or 90%,)

    The primary assessment in this course will be a research assignment which will be on a set choice of topics.
    Standard Adelaide Law School submission requirements apply. Specific information will be provided in the assessment instructions for each
    item of assessment.

    Late Submission Penalties

    When an assessment is submitted after the due date, without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend and public holidays. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.

    Word Length Penalties

    5% of the total mark possible for a written assessment will be deducted for every 100 words (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. For example, a 3,000 word essay graded at 63% will have 5% deducted if it is between 3,001 and 3,100 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the essay is between 3,101 and 3,200 words long, 10% will be deducted for a final mark of 53%, etc. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, in quotations, but exclude citations in footnotes. Any separate cover page, table of contents, bibliography or list of sources is excluded from the word limit. If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.

    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.

    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 feedback
    The course is constantly being updated and revised to reflect the evolution of the law, to respond to student feedback, and to engage with the latest teaching practices. Student feedback is collected each time the course is run, including through SELT reports. Previous SELT reports, and staff feedback on them, are posted on the course MyUni site for students to view and consider.
  • 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 Integrity
    All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Academic Misconduct is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic Misconduct (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 Integrity 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.