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Handbooks Courses Units

LAW7326 - World Trade Organization (WTO) law

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Professor Jeff Waincymer


City (Melbourne) Trimester 2 2008 (On-campus block of classes)


This unit will examine: * The main features of WTO law

  • The WTO in its historical and legal context
  • The WTO's institutional structure and decision making
and negotiating processes
  • A number of the key WTO agreements in more detail
  • The rules governing trade in goods and services in the WTO, in particular the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994) and the General
Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), including
national treatment, MFN treatment, tariff schedules,
market access and key exceptions to the national
treatment principle such as public morals, health
and environment.


On successful completion of this unit, students should:

  • Be familiar with the history of the GATT and WTO and
ongoing negotiations
  • Understand the legal framework of the WTO, including the relationship between the various agreements, the relationship between the WTO agreements and national laws, and the dispute settlement process
    • Understand the tensions that may arise between WTO objectives and other objectives in national or international law, and how these tensions may be resolved
    • Be able to interpret and apply certain key WTO agreements, including advocating a particular position in a given hypothetical, potential or past case
    • Be familiar with major WTO dispute settlement decisions regarding these WTO agreements, and be able to assess these decisions critically.


Take-home examination (3,000 words): 40%

Research assignment (4,500 words): 60%.

Contact hours

24 contact hours per semester regardless of the mode of offering.

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