Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit is designed to provide students with an applied understanding of the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO), its dispute settlement process and other relevant topics of international trade law, including free trade agreements, trade linkage issues and Australia's trade policy. Students become familiar with key aspects of the WTO covered agreements, including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), General Agreement on Services (GATS), Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), Anti-dumping Agreement (ADA), and Agreement Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). Students also continually reflect upon the relationship between WTO rules and other societal values, such as environmental protection, protection of public health and public morals. Major challenges of the WTO and its most recent reform efforts, including the stalled Doha round of negotiations, will also be considered. A key theme explored within the unit is the inherent policy tension between trade liberalisation and regulatory sovereignty.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) develop mastery of the fundamental principles of the WTO law, including the principles of most-favoured nation treatment, national treatment, as well as social and environmental exceptions to these principles; (2) develop advanced oral and written communication skills to apply and critically evaluate the jurisprudential framework and dispute settlement process under the WTO; and (3) demonstrate understanding of the historical and theoretical fundamentals of the WTO, and its emerging legitimacy challenges in real-world political and economic context.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) presentation; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit rules
Enrolment in
and LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and five Unit(s) ( LAWS4102 Criminal Law LAWS4103 Contract LAWS4104 Property LAWS4106 Torts LAWS4107 Land Law LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law and ( LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics
or LAWS4110 Interpretation
) )
LAWS5511 International Trade Law, LAWS6719 International Trade Law, LAWS6254 WTO Law, LAWS3319 International Trade Law
Contact hours
3 hours per week

Peter Van den Bossche and Werner Zdouc, The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization: Text, Cases and Materials, Cambridge University Press, 4th., 2017

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.