Global Lawyer

Subject LAWS50071 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

March, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 01-Mar-2016 to 22-Jul-2016
Assessment Period End 10-Oct-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 15-Oct-2015
Census Date 15-Apr-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 22-Jul-2016


  • Six to eight seminars in Melbourne during early Semester 1;
  • One week of intensive seminars in Washington DC during the Winter Recess (June-July); followed by
  • One week of intensive seminars in New York City during the Winter Recess (July).

Please refer to the Melbourne Law School website for specific dates.

This subject has a quota of 25 students. Applicants are selected through a competitive application process. Please refer to the Melbourne Law JD website for further information.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Semester 1 and Winter Recess (15 hours per week)
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours


Only approved applicants can enrol into this subject. Please see above for information on how to apply for this subject, application due dates, etc.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law School welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Law School policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the School's programs.

The inherent academic requirements for the study in the Melbourne Law School are:

  • The ability to attend classes and actively engage in the analysis 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 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 must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.


Assoc Prof Bruce Oswald, Prof Andrew Mitchell, Prof Tania Voon


Graduate Services Coordinator (International Experience)

Phone: +61 3 8344 4475

Subject Overview:

This subject examines the various roles played by lawyers within the international legal order, including as advisers, advocates, negotiators, settlers of disputes, and drafters of legislation, contracts and treaties. Within the integrated theoretical frameworks of legal ethics, professional regulation, comparative law, and public and private international law, students will explore the complex functions and responsibilities of ‘international lawyers’, meaning those operating in the following international contexts:

  • Private lawyers acting in cross-border contractual negotiations, cross-border transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, or cross-border disputes involving individuals or firms;
  • Private lawyers practising domestic law in foreign jurisdictions;
  • Lawyers in internationally focused non-governmental organisations and think tanks;
  • Government lawyers addressing international issues;
  • Lawyers within the Secretariat of an international organisation.

The class will have the opportunity to hear from and interact with expert interlocutors on-site at a diverse range of governmental, intergovernmental, non-governmental and private commercial organisations, taking into account recent developments.

Learning Outcomes:

A candidate who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an expert understanding of their future opportunities and obligations as a lawyer in a globalised world;
  • Have a specialist understanding of the integrated relationship between domestic and international laws, and the interaction between the laws of different countries, in the context of acting as a lawyer in an international environment;
  • Be able to clearly explain, reflect on and critique the various accountability mechanisms that govern the practice of law in an international context;
  • Have advanced knowledge of key contextual factors influencing international lawyers from the perspectives of law, policy, politics, diplomacy, and management.

  1. 100% class attendance (hurdle requirement);
  2. Short written report on assigned topic (20%): students may be required to work on this assignment individually or in small groups. Topics assigned will be diverse, and may address such matters as themes arising in the course, organisations visited or studied, and/or relevant aspects of law. Each student’s report (or share of a group report) will be approximately 500 - 1,000 words in length;
  3. Class participation (10%), including:

    - Professional comportment throughout the course;
    - Active participation in seminars in Melbourne and the USA;
    - Leading discussions and questions on particular topics;
    - Researching, introducing and thanking individual guest speakers;
    - Assisting with logistical and administrative matters.

  4. 6,000 word research paper (70%).

The due date of the above assessment will be available to students via the LMS.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will also be made available from the Melbourne Law School.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will have developed the following skills:

  • Advanced written communication skills: essay-writing, writing short reports and announcements, writing professional emails to institutions and guest speakers;
  • Advanced oral communication skills: discussions, debates, question and answer sessions, introducing and thanking guest speakers;
  • Cognitive skills: critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical skills;
  • Professionalism: engaging in a thoughtful and professional manner with individuals and organisations in a range of international contexts;
  • Specialised capacities in information seeking and evaluation;
  • Writing and working in small groups;
  • Working with and in different institutional and national cultures;
  • Complex and specialised legal research.


Students will need to cover the cost of their flights to the United States and travel costs, meals and accommodation within the United States.

Related Course(s): Juris Doctor

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