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International Construction Law (LAWS70139)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70139
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Cross-border construction contracting, and the avoidance and conduct of disputes, has a distinctive character and content. Lawyers and industry professionals need to be familiar with the differences between legal systems and the impact of statutory law, the key issues in the international financing and procurement of projects, the range of standard form international contracts available for various delivery methodologies, and the options for, and methods of dealing with, dispute resolution, along with the intricacies associated with those processes in an international context.

Principal topics include:

  • Discussion of the key differences between common law and civil law, and how they impact on the practice of construction law in different jurisdictions
  • The role of statute law applicable to the construction site, such as security of payment and mechanics’ lien legislation
  • Key issues in the financing and delivery of international construction projects, including alternative financing such as PPP
  • Standard-form contracts for international construction projects (including the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) suite and variants promulgated by multilateral development banks)
  • The main distinctions of principle and practice between the prosecution, determination or resolution of construction disputes in different jurisdictions
  • An examination of international bodies dealing with the determination or resolution of international construction disputes
  • An introduction to the jurisdictional, applicable law and procedural framework for the prosecution, determination and enforcement of construction disputes through international arbitration
  • Identification and consideration of contractual and extra-contractual alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and dispute avoidance procedures (DAPs) in the context of international construction.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding, in a comparative and contemporary context, of the role and functions of law in relation to construction projects involving international parties in different jurisdictions
  • Have enhanced their expert and specialised cognitive and technical skills required to practise as interdisciplinary professionals in the construction industry in Australia and overseas
  • Be familiar with, be able to critically reflect on, and be confident in working across, the interaction between the technical, commercial and legal aspects of construction procurement in Australia and overseas
  • Be able to demonstrate the research and communication skills required to independently investigate, examine and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to construction projects in Australia and overseas.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Take-home examination (5,000 - 6,000 words) (100%) (20 - 23 September)
  • 8,000 - 10,000 word research paper (100%) (21 October) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • August
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24-34 hours
    Total time commitment150 hours
    Pre teaching start date 3 July 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsThe pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.
    Teaching period 1 August 2019 to 6 August 2019
    Last self-enrol date28 June 2019
    Census date 1 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail13 September 2019
    Assessment period ends21 October 2019

    August contact information


    Dr Donald Charrett, Coordinator
    Sharon Vogel

    Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Additional delivery details

This subject includes class on a Saturday in 2019.

This subject has a quota of 30 students.

Enrolment is on a first come, first served basis. Waitlists are maintained for subjects that are fully subscribed.

Students should note priority of places in subjects will be given as follows:

  • To currently enrolled Graduate Diploma and Masters students with a satisfactory record in their degree
  • To other students enrolling on a single subject basis, eg Community Access Program (CAP) students, cross-institutional study and cross-faculty study.

Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Further information

Last updated: 10 September 2019