Trade Reg, Health and the Environment (LAWS6306)


This unit will examine the intersection of trade, health and environmental protection. The unit will examine the extent to which the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO) constrains the ability of governments to pursue social objectives such as protection of human health and the environment, as well as economic development more broadly.
The unit will begin by exploring economic justifications for free trade and open markets, normative theories of regulation and theories underlying sustainable development. These theories highlight contentious views on the best path to economic development and the proper role of government in promoting social objectives and sustainable development.
Against this backdrop, the unit will examine how rules governing trade in goods and services, intellectual property rights and subsidies affect the sovereign authority of WTO Members. To illustrate the impacts of WTO law on these issues, the unit will draw upon contemporary case studies, including disputes concerning plain packaging of tobacco products, subsidization of renewable energy production and measures protecting endangered species in the context of commercial fishing. Throughout the course, students will be asked to think critically about the law and its implications, including those specific to developing countries.

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Further unit of study information


Aug 3-6 (9-5)


(Class participation (10%), take-home exam (40%) and 4500wd essay (50%)), or (Class participation (10%) and 7000wd essay (90%)), or (Class participation (10%) and 2 x 3500wd essay (total 90%)).

Faculty/department permission required?


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Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.