Maritime and International Trade Law

Course code LAWS5027
Available in 2015
2015 Course Timetables


Today, more than two-thirds of all transnational trade is conducted by multinational corporations; at the same time, well over 90% of Australia's import and export trade in goods takes place by sea. International Trade Law and Maritime Law are central to managing this trade. This course will focus on these two complementary areas of law, blending a combination of: substantive areas of the law (ranging from World Trade Organization rules to maritime liabilities and ocean pollution policies); procedural mechanisms for dispute resolution; and jurisdictional issues. Furthermore, both International Trade Law and Maritime Law are just as important locally for linking Australia to the global market as they are on an international scale for connecting nation-states large and small, far and wide. Because many aspects of both bodies of law are also consistent globally, the material covered by this course is relevant for students interested in engaging with commerce within Australia as well as those planning to practice law internationally.



  • Semester 2 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. A thorough and contextual knowledge of the legal framework for maritime and international trade law, in the areas covered during the course.

2. The capacity to identify relevant issues in maritime and international trade law, and apply legal doctrine to solve related problems.

3. A critical perspective on relationships between on the one hand maritime and international trade law and on the other broader social, political, and economic issues inherent in globalisation.

4. An analytic framework for understanding the impact of global value chains on issues of maritime and international trade law.

5. The ability to conduct high-level legal research, exploring primary and secondary materials, and provide critical analysis of problems and questions.

6. The capacity to prepare and present cogent arguments, orally and in writing, and make productive contributions to class debate and discussion.


Week 1: Introduction/Globalisation
Week 2: Historical sources of maritime and admiralty law;
Maritime law: the international framework
Week 3: Maritime law: the Australian framework
Week 4: Maritime law: the Australian framework (continued)
Week 5: Maritime law: contemporary issues
Week 6: International trade: background and history
Week 7: International trade: WTO structure and application
Week 8: International trade: WTO dispute resolution / international arbitration
Week 9: International trade: international trade law beyond the WTO
Week 10: International trade: the Australian framework
Week 11: Global value chains: general theory and application
Week 12: Global value chains: intersections with maritime and international trade law


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws and associated combined degree programs or Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and associated combined degree programs.

Assumed Knowledge

LAWS1001A, LAWS1001B, LAWS1002A, LAWS1002B, LAWS2003A, LAWS2003B, LAWS3004A, LAWS3004B, LAWS4011

Assessment Items

Participation: Class participation

Written Assignment: Pre-lecture questions

In Term Test: Two in-class tests

Essay: Research essay

Contact Hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term