• Class Number 6718
  • Term Code 2950
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Imogen Saunders
    • Dr Imogen Saunders
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 17/06/2019
  • Class End Date 01/08/2019
  • Census Date 05/07/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 17/06/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the law of the World Trade Organization (‘WTO’) and to the context of economics and politics within which the law operates. 

It provides both a stand-alone introduction to WTO law and a solid basis for further study (eg, LAWS8073 Trade Remedies Law: WTO & Domestic Implementation).

The course considers the functions of the WTO through the consideration of some basic economics or trade, or public choice and game theory. It reviews the history of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) regulating trade in goods, and the creation of the Agreement Establishing the WTO ending with a review of the institutions of the WTO and of the framework of rules applying under the GATT. 

It also includes a detailed study of the WTO dispute settlement system under the WTO Understanding on Dispute Settlement, its concepts, procedures and enforcement. 

The course will examine the framework of rules under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the relationship between regulation of trade in goods and regulation of trade in services; and the rules of the Agreement on Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS), emphasizing patents, copyright and trademarks.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate a reasonable level of proficiency in researching WTO law;
  2. Demonstrate a solid knowledge of the Agreement Establishing the WTO, and the 3 main treaties binding WTO Members: the General agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS);
  3. Demonstrate an ability to advise as a legal practitioner on how certain parts of WTO law, including the fundamental rules of the GATT, GATS and TRIPS, apply to fact situations;
  4. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the nature of the WTO system for negotiations, of the WTO legal system and of the WTO dispute settlement system, its concepts, procedures and enforcement mechanisms;
  5. Critically appreciate how the law operates in a context of economics, politics and history including a capacity to apply established theories to the analysis of the law; and
  6. Demonstrate a level of knowledge and understanding of the WTO system sufficient to undertake more advanced or more specialized study independently in areas of trade law not specifically covered in the course.

Research-Led Teaching

This course develops distinctive skills in international legal research through the research essay component. The teaching in this course is informed by the research of its teaching staff.

Additional Course Costs

This course is an intensive course taught at the ANU Acton Campus in Canberra. Students will need to cover costs associated with travel, accommodation, meals etc, if attending from out of State.

There is no prescribed book for this course. All recommended reading will be available on the course WATTLE site, either in PDF form or as a link to an online resource (case, journal article, position paper etc). An ANU login may be required to access some of the reading from journal databases.

The following texts are useful reference resources:

•      S Lester and B Mercurio, World Trade Law: Text, Materials and Commentary (2nd ed, 2012)

•      M Matsushita, T J Schoenbaum and P C Mavroidis, The World Trade Organization: Law Practice and Policy (2016: Electronic resource, available through the library at http://library.anu.edu.au/record=b3806347)

•   D Rothwell et al, International Law: Cases and Materials with an Australian Perspective (3rd ed, 2018)

The following websites are useful sources of information on trade issues:

·      WTO home page: http://www.wto.org/ (news and developments, WTO Secretariat publications, downloadable versions of WTO texts, latest WTO Panel and Appellate Body reports).

·      OECD home page: http://www.oecd.org/ (OECD news and developments, including full text of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment)

In view of the intensive nature of the course, it is highly desirable for you to complete the Day 1 reading at least for the first classes. We also suggest that you explore the WTO website, including the ‘About the WTO’, ‘Decision Making’ and ‘Trade Topics’ sections.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written feedback on assessment pieces
  • Oral feedback during group activity

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. Please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements relating to the course.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Legal Analysis based on fact scenario from group activity 40 % 15/07/2019 06/08/2019 2,3,4
Research Essay 60 % 08/08/2019 02/09/2019 1,2,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


For all courses taught face-to-face in intensive mode, the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the graduate program and students are required to attend ALL classes (and all of each class).

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be granted permission by the Course Convenor, in consultation with the Stream Convenor or Director, LLM Program, to miss some classes, provided:

(a) it does not exceed a maximum of 25% of the classes;

(b) permission is requested in advance; and

(c) the request is supported, where appropriate, by adequate documentation.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in a student receiving the grade of NCN (non-complete fail). The normal pressures of work or planned personal trips do not constitute exceptional circumstances to justify an exemption from full compliance of this policy.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 15/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 06/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Legal Analysis based on fact scenario from group activity

Nature of Task: Problem-Style Assignment

Weighting: 40%

Word limit: 2400 words.

Due date: 23.59 Monday 15 July 2019.

Estimated return date: Tuesday 6 August 2019.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Content

  • answering the question asked
  • identification of the legal issues raised from the questions
  • legal principles states/explained with accuracy
  • legal principles stated/explained in appropriate detail
  • relevant facts recognised and linked to the legal principles
  • recognition and evaluation of judicial and statutory ambiguities and ‘grey areas’
  • originality/innovation in approach to issues
  • clear conclusions

b) Structure/organisation

  • emphasis on the significant issues
  • answer is coherent and structure logical

c) Expression

  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography where appropriate
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation where appropriate
  • adherence to word limit

Assessment Task 2

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 08/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 02/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

Research Essay

Nature of Task: Research Essay

Weighting: 60%

Word limit: 3600 words.

Release: Student’s choice of topic with lecturer’s approval. Approval must be gained by 5pm Thursday 27th June 2019. A list of suggested topics will be provided for those students who prefer additional guidance.

Due date: 23.59 Thursday 8th August 2019.

Estimated return date: Monday 2nd September 2019.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Understanding of the Issues

  • addresses the question and covers all the important points
  • evidence of close consideration of the question and the research materials drawn on
  • issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified
  • material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively

b)  Communication & Development of Argument

  • clear theme or argument
  • arguments logical and well-organised
  • ideas/paragraphs linked coherently

c)  Argument/Analysis

  • originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material
  • complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
  • suggestions for change where appropriate
  • interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate
  • addressing opposing arguments
  • well-reasoned conclusions

d)   Research

  • research covering primary and secondary materials
  • good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used
  • use of theoretical material where appropriate
  • range of research sources
  • integration of material from research resources into the essay

e)  Presentation, style and referencing

  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
  • adherence to word limit

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.


Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Imogen Saunders
+61 2 6125 8142

Research Interests

Public International Law, International Trade Law, Women in International Law

Dr Imogen Saunders

Dr Imogen Saunders
+61 2 6125 8142

Research Interests

Dr Imogen Saunders

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions