This course will introduce the international legal rules, principles and institutions of the World Trade Organization. You will gain an understanding of the WTO legal regime through the major WTO Agreements as well as of substantive WTO law, drawing heavily on reports of the WTO Appellate Body and panels.

We will cover the basic principles relating to trade in goods and trade in services, as well as some of the more specialised WTO Agreements. These will be examined through a consideration of the WTO Agreements and the legal disputes that have arisen under those agreements.

You will be asked to think critically about the effect of the WTO’s legal regime on Australia, and on developing countries. Although not a prerequisite, some knowledge of international law, international relations and/or economics would be a distinct advantage.

International Economic Law
UQ St Lucia (view map)
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Topics covered

  • introduction to international trade law, the history and institutions of the multilateral trading system and overview of the structure of the WTO and the WTO Agreements
  • examination of the understanding on rules and procedures governing the settlement of disputes and the processes by which trade disputes are managed and resolved in the WTO
  • introduction to tariffs, tariff negotiations and tariff bindings
  • background to the general ban on quantitative restrictions
  • examination of the national treatment and MFN obligations (as well as general exceptions to those obligations) through the relevant case law pertaining to Article III of the GATT
  • general exceptions under Article XX
  • introduction of principles underlying other WTO Agreements such as the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosantary Measures, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and the Agreement of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
  • introduction to the General Agreement on Trade in Services
  • examination of the rules concerning granting of subsidies, as well as the disciplines regulation the use of trade remedies such as countervailing, anti-dumping and safeguard measures

Who is the course designed for

Our CPD courses are available to professionals interested in contemporary legal issues.

Whether you're looking to acquire CPD points, expand your knowledge in a specific area of the law, or gain a general understanding of legal issues impacting your profession, our courses will equip you to go further in every possible future.

Style of learning

Our courses are delivered in collaborative, seminar-style teaching environments, in the award-winning Forgan Smith building.

Our CPD participants benefit from small class sizes which encourage group discussion and debate, and 1-on-1 access to industry experts and leading researchers.


This course is delivered at UQ St Lucia campus.

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Enrolment has closed.

This course is part of the Masters of Laws postgraduate program.

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CPD enrolment closes two weeks prior to the course start date.

No entry requirements apply, you are not required to submit assessment and your course participation cannot be used as academic credit towards a degree qualification.

Our courses count toward Queensland Law Society Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points if you can demonstrate relevance to your legal practice.

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