LAW5634 - Global economic law - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - 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


LAW5394Not 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:

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


At the successful completion of this unit, regarding the matters of analysis and debate referred to in section 10, students will be able to:

  1. identify and articulate complex legal;
  2. apply legal reasoning and research to generate appropriate jurisprudential and practical responses to legal issues;
  3. engage in critical analysis and make reasoned and appropriate choices amongst alternatives; and
  4. demonstrate sophisticated cognitive and creative skills in approaching legal issues and generating appropriate responses;
  5. demonstrate the intellectual and practical skills needed to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, legal methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions, as well as to identify, research,evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues;
  6. communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for legal and non-legal audiences; and
  7. collaborate effectively


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: (4875 words): 65%

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 36 contact hours of seminars per semester whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.