• Class Number 1476
  • Term Code 3420
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Imogen Saunders
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 08/01/2024
  • Class End Date 23/01/2024
  • Census Date 12/01/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 09/01/2024
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.

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)

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments

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

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

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

Extenuating circumstances: https://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/extenuating-circumstances-application

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

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

Distribution of grades policy: 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 any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Class sessions will be in person on campus.
Classes are on:Monday 8th January 9am - 5pmTuesday 9th January 9am - 1pmMonday 15th January 9am - 5pmTuesday 16th January 9am - 1pmMonday 22nd January 9am - 5pmTuesday 23rd January 9am - 1pm
There will be additional reading for students to complete outside of class sessions, as detailed in the reading guide. The full schedule, required reading/listening and additional reading guide will be available on the course Wattle site. Topics covered are:
  • Module 1 - Introduction to the course and to International Trade Law.
  • Module 2 - Key Disciplines of GATT
  • Module 3 - Unilateral Trade Remedies
  • Module 4 - Introduction to Exceptions, Trade and the Environment
  • Module 5 - Trade Law and Human Rights
  • Module 6 - Simulation Activity*
  • Module 7 - The Security Exception & RTAs
  • Module 8 - Trade Law and Development
  • Module 9 - SPS Agreement
  • Module 10 - Future Prospects

*Attendance at the simulation activity will be highly beneficial to completing assessment task 1.

Tutorial Registration

There are no tutorials in this course.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Legal Analysis based on fact scenario from online group activity 40 % 30/01/2024 13/02/2024 2,3,4
Research Essay 60 % 20/02/2024 12/03/2024 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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 in any mode (whether face to face or online), the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the program. Students are expected to attend all classes.

In line with the University’s recording policy, lectures, seminars and lectorials will be recorded and made available for students on Echo360. However, lecture recordings are only an additional resource and they should not be taken as a substitute for regular online attendance. If a recording does fail, there is no guarantee a replacement recording will be provided.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 30/01/2024
Return of Assessment: 13/02/2024
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Legal Analysis based on fact scenario from online group activity

Nature of Task: Problem-Style Assignment. Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task. The legal analysis is based on the same factual problem used for the negotiation session held during the course.

Weighting: 40%

Word Limit: 2,400 words.

Due Date: 5pm, Tuesday 30 January 2024. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply.

Estimated Return Date: Tuesday 13th February 2024.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Content

b) Structure/organisation

c) Expression

An assessment rubric will be available in Wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 20/02/2024
Return of Assessment: 12/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

Research Essay

Nature of Task: Research Essay. Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.

Weighting: 60%

Word Limit: 3,600 words.

Release: Student’s choice of topic with lecturer’s approval. Approval must be gained by 5pm, 25th January 2024. A list of suggested topics will be provided for those students who prefer additional guidance.

Due Date: 5pm, Tuesday 20th February 2024 . Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply.

Estimated Return Date: Tuesday, 12th March 2024.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Understanding of the Issues

b)  Communication & Development of Argument

c)  Argument/Analysis

d)   Research

e)  Presentation, style and referencing

An assessment rubric will be available in Wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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. You must ensure that you upload the correct document on the specified submission due date and time. Any document modified after the due date and time will either incur a late penalty or will NOT be accepted. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education), submission must be through Turnitin in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). Electronic copies in .pdf file format are not acceptable.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. 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 tests or examinations.
  • Late submission with an extension. To ensure equity for all students, the 5% penalty per working day for late submission of work does not apply if you have been granted an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time will be provided in writing. Importantly, any revised due date is inclusive of weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date will be penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the task per 24-hour period.

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.

Returning Assignments

All marks and feedback will be provided by the return date listed in the class summary.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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).

AsPr Imogen Saunders
+61 2 6125 8142

Research Interests

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

AsPr Imogen Saunders

By Appointment

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