University of Technology Sydney

76036 International Trade Law and the Environment

6cp; distance
Requisite(s): ( 70327 Introduction to Property and Commercial Law OR (70110 Introduction to Law AND (76006c Public International Law OR 70108c Public International Law OR 76110c Introduction to Public International Law)))
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 78023 International Trade Law and the Environment AND 78224 International Trade Law and the Environment


The trade and environment debate conceals the problematic relationship between two legitimate interests of the international community. This subject introduces students to the significant interface between international trade liberalisation and the environmental imperative of ecologically sustainable development.

Initially the subject provides an overview of the frameworks of international trade law and environmental law and an insight into the philosophical underpinnings of both institutions. The subject considers the important role of developing countries in shaping the trade/environment debate.

The subject also considers the obligations imposed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) including the Agreements on Food Safety Standards, Technical Barriers to Trade and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The scope and operation of environmental exceptions that have been the subject of recent trade environment disputes in the WTO provide valuable insights into the area. The position of multilateral environmental agreements and the WTO is considered along with the serious implications for developing countries.

Particular specialty areas of concern are covered including ecolabelling, invasive species and intellectual property issues.

Upon completion of this subject students should be able to understand and analyse the current relationship between trade and environment, reflect in an informed manner on the future of the protection of the environment in the multilateral trade and investment regime and be able to critically assess the prospects for future harmonisation of global free trade regimes and ESD principles.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.