LAW4681 - Global economic law - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Professor Justin Malbon Research ProfileResearch Profile (

Not offered in 2018


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) prior to 2015:

LAW1101; LAW1104

For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112; LAW2111


LAW5392Not offered in 2018 - Globalisation and international economic law


The rapidly increasing rate of globalisation of economic activity over the past few decades has dramatically altered the nature and dimensions of global economic transactions and engagement. It has also challenged the capacities of national governments to regulate economic activity within their domestic domains.

The post-World War II trading rules (including GATT), along with the lower cost of international transport and the advent of the internet have facilitated the rapid growth of global economic activity, and the growth of international corporate behemoths. This has brought about substantial economic benefits to many, and assisted with lifting millions of people out of poverty. However, this has come at the expense of lowered competition through the growth of global monopolists (or near monopolists), the exploitation of labour and the environment, and increased tax and regulatory evasion, as national governments struggle to regulate cross-border activities. These trends are placing strains on domestic consensus about the benefits of economic globalisation, which is evident in the rise of nationalistic movements in various countries, including those in developed countries.

This unit engages students in critical discussion and evaluations about the nature and form of these developments, the key global arrangements and institutions involved, the costs and benefits of these developments, and ways in which reforms could be undertaken.

Students will actively engage in analysis and debate about:

  • global trading arrangements and institutions (GATT, WTO and free trade agreements);
  • global financing arrangements and institutions (IMF, Bank of International Settlements, and the resolution of international investment disputes settlements - the ICSID);
  • the possibilities for global regulation of the exploitation of labour and the environment and access to medicines; and
  • global policy making institutions and organisations, including the G20, OECD, UNCTAD, UNCITRAL, Davos and NGOs.


On completion of this unit students will:

  1. Have a depth of understanding of the nature and dimensions of global economic activities and the international rules and institutions that relate to such activities;
  2. Have the capacity to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories about economic globalisation and the ways of regulating such activities;
  3. Conduct research in the empirical and legal bases of issues in economic globalisation and its institutions;
  4. Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to economic globalisation and its institutions.


Attendance requirement: Students who fail to attend at least 80% of the classes in this unit (ie who miss 3 or more classes) will receive a result of 0 N for the unit. Students who are unable to meet this requirement due to severe illness or other exceptional circumstances must make an application for in-semester special consideration with supporting documentation.

Class participation: 10%

Class presentation: 25% (recorded: 20 minutes)

Research assignment: (3,250 words): 65%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcome for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average nine hours of scheduled activities per week, in a semi-intensive format. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

See also Unit timetable information