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International trade is of great importance to almost every country in the world. Many legal relationships are necessary for goods to be traded from one country to another, and they are all predictably flavoured by the issues that arise when different legal systems interact. This subject considers the private commercial legal issues that arise when goods are traded from one country to another, framework contracts such as agency and exclusive distribution, as well as public international law issues that arise when governments try to influence the subject of international trade. The goal of the subject is to give some sense of how the private commercial aspects of trade create issues for government-to-government relationships about trade, and vice versa.
Principal topics include:
- The contracts by which trade in goods takes place: sale, transport, payments and insurance
- Marketing and licensing structures: distributors, agency, franchising, licensing and transfer of technology
- The impact upon trade of international institutions and agreements: the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)
- Impediments to, and regulation of, international trade: anti-dumping, duties and antitrust
- Regulation of international investment
- Conflict of laws issues in international trade
- Resolution of disputes in international trade litigation, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution and the recognition of foreign judgments and awards.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Be aware of the legal problems that arise from international commercial transactions
- Understand how the law of sale of goods, negotiable instruments, carriage of goods, securities, tax and dispute settlement is affected when goods and services are traded across national boundaries
- Be familiar with the ways in which trading parties resolve or reduce problems created by the international nature of their relationship
- Understand how international conventions, treaties and intergovernmental agreements promote, regulate and restrain trade
- Be aware of the various ways in which government regulation may affect international commercial transactions
- Be familiar with the different types of marketing structure used in international trade and Australian law relating to each type.
Last updated: 3 November 2022