International Business Transactions

Subject LAWS70392 (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 10-Jun-2015
Teaching Period 08-Jul-2015 to 14-Jul-2015
Assessment Period End 21-Oct-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 15-Jun-2015
Census Date 08-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 Bryan Mercurio


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

This subject is a basic ‘how-to’ on international business transactions and is essential for those wishing to practise international trade law. The subject focuses on the legal issues faced by practising lawyers in the field, with particular emphasis on the legal steps involved in structuring trade and investment transactions. Issues such as trade terms, international sales of goods, documentary credits and the various forms of operating a business and multinational enterprise will be discussed at length. This subject also considers several issues beyond trade and investment, such as franchising and intellectual property rights. It briefly covers possible action when disputes arise. The lecturer has practised international trade law in both government and private practice in North America, Asia and Australia. He has published in international business law, and taught international business law classes in Australia and Hong Kong for over a decade.

Principal topics include:

  • Basic trade contracts and common trade terms (f.o.b., c.i.f., etc.)
  • Choice of law and choice of jurisdiction in international trade contracts
  • The Vienna Convention on International Sale of Goods
  • Payment systems, including documentary credits and collections
  • Structuring business ventures abroad
  • Regulatory issues and red tape
  • Franchising
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Dispute settlement.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced understanding of how basic international trade and investment transactions are structured and work in practice
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess trade terms and the text of treaties, legislation and contractual documents
  • Understand and be able to engage with contemporary and controversial issues relating to international business law
  • Have an advanced understanding of the relevant regulatory regimes governing basic international trade and investment transactions
  • Have an understanding and appreciation for how trade transactions are financed and how risk is transferred
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating international business transactions, and to critically evaluate existing case law, principles and concept
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse complex legal issues relating to various aspects of an international business transaction
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding various aspects of an international business transaction to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Class participation (10%)
  • Take-home examination (90%) (14-17 August)
  • 10,000 word research paper (90%) (21 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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