International Economic Law

Subject LAWS70308 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 01-Jul-2015
Teaching Period 29-Jul-2015 to 04-Aug-2015
Assessment Period End 14-Oct-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 06-Jul-2015
Census Date 29-Jul-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 04-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


Prof Jurgen Kurtz


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Newspaper headlines frequently concern global economic issues, from trade disputes between countries, investment claims by foreign investors against sovereign states, to countries facing balance-of-payments crises and seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This subject examines the law governing global economic issues. It is designed both as a comprehensive introduction in its own right to this important field, as well as a foundation for further exploration through specialist subjects in the curriculum. It begins with a historical and theoretical background to the field before turning to focus on the law and practice of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including close analysis of the WTO dispute settlement system and the role of ‘free’ or preferential trade agreements within that system. This provides context for understanding international investment law, including under bilateral investment treaties and pursuant to investor-state dispute settlement decisions. Finally, the subject examines the lending policies and practices of international financial institutions, particularly the IMF and the World Bank.

Principal topics include:

  • Nature, evolution and context of international economic law
  • The law of the WTO
  • Dispute settlement in the WTO
  • International investment law
  • Investor-state arbitration under the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention
  • International financial institutions (particularly the IMF and the World Bank).
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of key areas of international economic law, including the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO), international investment law and the practices of international financial institutions (International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank)
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal rules
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding controversies surrounding the impact of international economic law on various aspects of state sovereignty
  • Have a detailed understanding of the major forms of dispute settlement in the field (including the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding and the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes) and their similarities and differences
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to international economic law.
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding international economic law to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of international economic law.
  • Take-home examination (100%) (4-7 September)
  • 10,000 word research paper (100%) (14 October) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

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