Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013


Topics covered are:

  1. introduction and history of the GATT/WTO system;
  2. the nature of disputes and dispute settlement;
  3. dispute settlement organs of the WTO;
  4. dispute settlement rules and procedures;
  5. elements of non-violation complaints and GATT/WTO jurisprudence;
  6. jurisdiction, standing and essential elements of a claim:
    1. against whom may a claim be brought?
    2. the proper complainant
    3. activities which may be challenged.
  7. consultations, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution:
    1. consultations
    2. good offices, conciliation and mediation
    3. arbitration.
  8. establishment of the panel process:
    1. panel composition
    2. terms of reference.
  9. panel functions, process and procedure:
    1. powers and obligations of panels
    2. due process and procedure
    3. timing and urgency
    4. substantive stages of the panel process
    5. multiple complaints and joinder
    6. third party rights
    7. standard of review
    8. panel report - recommendations and rulings.
  10. sources of law and their interpretation;
  11. evidence, fact finding; burden and standards of proof;
  12. implementation and remedies;
  13. appeals and the appellate process:
    1. appellate Body Jurisdiction
    2. rights to appeal
    3. grounds of appeal - Law vs Facts.
  14. additional dispute settlement provisions - treatment of developing countries.


A candidate who has successfully completed this unit should:

  1. be familiar with the history and objectives of the GATT and WTO and ongoing negotiations;
  2. be familiar with the major WTO dispute settlement bodies and their decisions (by ad hoc panels and the appellate body);
  3. be able to explain the approach of the WTO to evidence and to procedure; and
  4. understand the key challenges that apply to national import and export behaviour and explain the likely outcomes, through the cases, and other dispute resolution techniques.


Open book examination (3 hours): 75%; assigned seminar presentation: 10%; and short response papers (3 x 400 words each):15%

Contact hours

The 36 hours of classes will be presented in 3.5 weeks. The remainder of the student workload of 108 hours will consist of pre-reading prior to class, preparing for class participation, researching and writing an assignment, and preparation for the final examination.