COMMLAW 3502 - Legal Aspects of International Business III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course introduces students to the legal aspects of doing business abroad. Topics include: the different legal systems; tax and regulation of trade; the enforceability of contracts; and judgements and dispute management across borders. The course also introduces students to the issues of intellectual property protection and antidumping regulations

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMLAW 3502
    Course Legal Aspects of International Business III
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites COMMLAW 1004
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr John Tretola

    John Tretola                                         

    Location:             Ligertwood Building 

    Telephone:         8313 8250 (work)                                  


     Course Website

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    This course provides students with a basic understanding of the legal rules that affect global business. Topics include the rules relating to international trade in goods and services, intellectual property, international sales, and international transport. More specifically, the course is designed to encourage business students to:

    Knowledge and Understanding
    1. Develop an understanding of the ways in which legal rules can affect operation of global business.
    2. Become familiar with the overall structure of the legal environment for global business.
    3. Be introduced to different legal systems and attain an appreciation of how they apply different legal rules to regulate international business transactions.
    4. Gain practice in applying legal rules to advise on the effectiveness of proposed international business transactions.

    Communication Skills
    5. Provide students with the opportunity to practise their skills of written and oral expression.

    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 4
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-4
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    International Business Law- text, cases and readings by Ray August, Don Mayer and Michael Bixby, 6th edition, Pearson Education, 2013.


    Online Learning

    Copies of lecture recordings will be made available to students on MyUni. However these will not necessarily be made available the same week as the lectures and so it is still each student’s responsibility to attend lectures on a regular basis

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Course materials will be presented in lectures and problems will be explored in tutorial questions. As a major focus of this course will be on applying practical solutions to the problems faced by international business it is essential that students attend tutorials and prepare answers so that they can understand the application of the various legal rules to improving the operation of international business transactions.


    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 9 hours of private study in addition to your regular classes.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one tutorial class each week.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topics Lecturer Chapter Tutorials
    1 Introduction to International John Tretola 1
    2 State Responsibility/Dispute Settlement John Tretola 2,3 A
    3 The Multinational Enterprise John Tretola 4 B
    4 Trade in Goods John Tretola 7 C
    5 Trade in Goods/Trade in Services John Tretola 8 D
    6 Foreign investment and banking John Tretola 5 & 6 E
    7 Intellectual property John Tretola 9 F
    8 Sales John Tretola 10 G
    9 Transportation John Tretola 11 H
    10 Financing John Tretola 12 I
    11 Taxation John Tretola C/M* J
    12 Class test on chapters 8,9,10, 11 & 12/ Exam Review K
    *C/M = Course materials only (no chapter in textbook)
  • 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

    Tutorial paper                    = 10%

    Tutorial participation mark = 5%

    Assignment                       = 25%

    Final Exam                        = 60%

    The class test, assignment and final exam all seek to assess each student in terms of the five course learning outcomes specified above. All assessment is compulsory and non-redeemable.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    The Assignment must be lodged in the assignment submission box in the Adelaide Law School, Ligertwood Building - Level 1. A copy of the assignment needs to be lodged electronically through turn-it-in.
    Assessment Detail

    The assessment components are as follows:

    Tutorial Participation Mark                                                               5%

    This mark will assess the qualitative contribution of students to tutorial classes.  This requires regular attendance at tutorials but more importantly regular active participation in tutorial discussions.  

    Tutorial Paper                                                                                    10%

     Each student must submit a tutorial paper online through turn it in on the topic of Foreign Investment and Banking and this must be submitted no later than Monday 1pm of the week on this tutorial topic.

    Assignment                                                                                         25%

    An assignment will be issued to students and will be due on a date to be advised. The assignment will cover legal issues arising from chapters 1 through to 11.

    Date and time: To be Advised.

    To be lodged online through Turnitin.

    Final Exam                                                                                           60%

          There will be a 3hour exam. The final exam is CLOSED BOOK. This means that students cannot bring in any materials into the exam. However, students will be provided with a copy of relevant lecture slides.

    All assignments must be submitted electronically via Turnitin. This means that all papers will be electronically checked for plagiarism.

    Late Submission: 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. 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. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised accordingly.

    Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
    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.

  • 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.

    Due to comments made in previous year’s SELT forms the following changes have been made to the course:

    • Separate tutorial classes have been made available to students (last year a combined tutorial class was required due to a lack of staffing resources)
    • Earlier feedback is being given to students with a class test planned for week 6.
    • Class tests involving other than just multiple choice questions will be used to vary the types of assessment.
  • Student Support

    Occupational Health and Safety Arrangements

    The School is committed to upholding the University’s Policy on Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). All staff and students have a legal responsibility to act in the interests of themselves and others with respect to OH&S.

    To assist us, and to comply with your responsibilities, you are required to become informed about emergency evacuation procedures and the evacuation areas for the classes you attend.


    Evacuation Procedures

    Staff and students must leave the building via the fire stairs once the notice to evacuate has been given. The lifts should not be used.

    Those experiencing difficulties leaving the building should notify the floor warden. Staff and students may return to the building only after the Warden has granted permission.


    Medical Emergencies & First Aid In a life threatening situation only please telephone 8313 5444.


    Representatives and Officers

    First Aid officers are trained to deal with first aid situations. School Safety Officers represent the Head of School in OH&S matters. The elected OH&S Representative can represent staff and students in OH&S issues.



    Accident and Incident Reporting

    OH&S legislation demands that all accidents and near-miss incidents be reported to the School Manager or Head of School. In the event of an accident or incident the person involved, and their supervisor, must complete an Accident/Incident Report and Investigation Form, within 48 hours of the accident/incident. A copy of the completed form is to be forwarded to the OH&S Safety Officer. Copies of the form are available from the OH&S Representative or Safety Officer. For further assistance please contact the MBA front office.


  • Policies & Guidelines

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

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide 2014, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse 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.