International Trade Law

Subject LAWS70028 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

June, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 30-May-2016
Teaching Period 27-Jun-2016 to 01-Jul-2016
Assessment Period End 21-Sep-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 31-Jan-2016
Census Date 27-Jun-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 12-Aug-2016

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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24-26 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

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 Student Equity and Disability Support.


Prof Martin Davies



Professor Martin Davies (Coordinator)

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

International trade is of great importance to almost every country in the world. Many legal relationships are necessary for goods to be traded from one country to another, and they are all predictably flavoured by the issues that arise when different legal systems interact. This subject considers the private commercial legal issues that arise when goods are traded from one country to another, framework contracts such as agency and exclusive distribution, as well as public international law issues that arise when governments try to influence the subject of international trade. The goal of the subject is to give some sense of how the private commercial aspects of trade create issues for government-to-government relationships about trade, and vice versa.

Principal topics include:

  • The contracts by which trade in goods takes place: sale, transport, payments and insurance
  • Marketing and licensing structures: distributors, agency, franchising, licensing and transfer of technology
  • The impact upon trade of international institutions and agreements: the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Impediments to, and regulation of, international trade: anti-dumping, duties and antitrust
  • Regulation of international investment
  • Conflict of laws issues in international trade
  • Resolution of disputes in international trade litigation, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution and the recognition of foreign judgments and awards.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Be aware of the legal problems that arise from international commercial transactions
  • Understand how the law of sale of goods, negotiable instruments, carriage of goods, securities, tax and dispute settlement is affected when goods and services are traded across national boundaries
  • Be familiar with the ways in which trading parties resolve or reduce problems created by the international nature of their relationship
  • Understand how international conventions, treaties and intergovernmental agreements promote, regulate and restrain trade
  • Be aware of the various ways in which government regulation may affect international commercial transactions
  • Be familiar with the different types of marketing structure used in international trade and Australian law relating to each type.
  • Take-home examination (5,000-6,000 words as specified in the subject reading guide) (100%) (12 - 15 August)
  • 10,000 word research paper (100%) (21 September) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator
  • Take-home examination (50%) (12 - 15 August)
    and 5,000 word research paper (50%) (21 September) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in International Economic Law
Graduate Diploma in International Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Law and Development
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law

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