LAWCOMM 730 - Special Topic: International Trade Law

Course details  
Semester One
Study mode Intensive
Dates Thursday 11 - Wednesday 17 April 2019
Time 9.30am - 5pm
Locations Room 341, Level 3, 1-11 Short St
Value 30 points

Lecturer Biography

Raj Bhala is one of the world’s most renowned scholars and teachers of International Trade Law. He also teaches and engages in research in Islamic Law, International Law and Literature, and Public International Law. Please visit his Wikipedia entry, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raj_Bhala.

An Indian-American, Raj joined the University of Kansas School of Law (KU Law) faculty in 2003 as the Rice Distinguished Professor, the highest university-level professorship at KU. He received the 2011 Woodyard International Educator Award, a university-wide award granted to one faculty member for outstanding contributions to internationalization efforts, the 2010 Moreau Award for advising and counseling students, and a 2008 Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence. He has worked in 28 countries and played in another 19 countries.

Raj is a member of England's Royal Society for Asian Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Law Institute, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and the All India Law Teacher's Congress. The Indian Society of International Law has conferred on him Life Membership.

Raj's reputation is based in part on a sustained, prolific publication record. That record includes a treatise, “Modern GATT Law,” now in its two-volume 2nd edition, and “International Trade Law,” a two-volume textbook in its 4th edition, which has been used at over 100 law schools around the globe. Both books are widely acclaimed for
their substance and style. Raj’s latest book is “TPP Objectively: The Law, Economics, and National Security of History’s Largest, Longest FTA.” His record also includes more than three dozen provocative articles, including eight major pieces on the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, several works on poor countries, a trilogy on stare decisis, and the annual “WTO Case Review.” Raj's articles have appeared in The International Lawyer, the most widely circulated international law review, five times.

Raj's energy and enthusiasm extend to Islamic Law. He is the first non-Muslim American law professor to write a comprehensive textbook in the field, Understanding Islamic Law (Sharī‘a). This highly praised, widely used work, now in its 2nd edition, covers in an accessible manner the religion, history and law of Islam. He is honored and humbled to teach Islamic Law to United States Special Operations Forces at the Command and General Staff College of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Raj’s eagerness to pioneer new fields in the American legal academy extends to India. He is under contract to write the first textbook on the business laws of modern India. It also extends to the Law and Literature movement. His is the first course to emphasize International Law both “as” and “in” literature.

Raj practiced international banking law at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which twice granted him the President's Award for Excellence. At the New York Fed, he represented the United States in international wire transfer negotiations at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), dealt with legal issues in the largest financial market in the world (foreign exchange), and was actively involved in international banking law enforcement, including the infamous scandal involving the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). His UNCITRAL work earned him a Letter of Commendation from the State Department.

Raj is an International Legal Consultant for The Al Ammari Law Firm, in association with Blake, Cassels & Graydon LL.P., Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Blakes is one of Canada's famed "Bay Street" (or "Seven Sisters") law firms, and Dr. Saud Al Ammari offices, are renowned throughout the Gulf.​

Raj is a summa cum laude graduate of Duke, where he was an Angier B. Duke Scholar. The British government awarded him a Marshall Scholarship, and he earned master's degrees from both the London School of Economics and Oxford in economics and management, respectively. He obtained his law degree with honors from Harvard. Bhala joined KU from George Washington, where he held the Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professorship, before which he began his teaching career at William & Mary.

Course Outline

There are no prerequisites for this course. All are welcome!

International Trade Law examines the regulatory aspects of the sale of goods across national borders. Key concepts and topics include:

  • History and institutions of the GATT-WTO system
  • WTO dispute settlement
  • Regulation of import duties and non-tariff barriers
  • Customs classification and valuation
  • Remedies against unfair import competition (antidumping and countervailing duties against dumping and unfair subsidies, respectively)Remedies against fair foreign competition (safeguard actions)
  • Trade in agriculture (including sanitary and phytosanitary issues)
  • Trade in services
  • Protection of intellectual property rights against infringement
  • Government regulation of export trade (trade sanctions and export controls)
  • Regional trade regimes (FTAs and customs unions) and preferences for poor countries (such as the GSP)
  • Ideological and policy issues relating to trade liberalization and globalization

Among the interdisciplinary topics emphasized are:

  • Trade relations with developing, least developed, and Muslim countries
  • Critical link between trade and national security
  • Complex interaction among trade, human rights, labour rights, and the environment
  • Efforts to protect local culture in an era of globalization

Simply put, this course reflects the fact in the contemporary era of globalization, “trade” is a highly stimulating, provocative, and diverse field, with many practical opportunities around the world.

The course is held from 9:30 am to 5 pm on weekdays from Thursday, 11 April to Wednesday, 17 April 2019, in Room 340, Level 3, Building 810, 1-11 Short Street.

Syllabus

The course uses Raj Bhala, “International Trade Law: An Interdisciplinary, Non-Western Textbook” (4th edition, 2015), Volumes One and Two, which may be ordered from Carolina Academic Press: http://www.cap-press.com/books/isbn/9780769869070/International-Trade-Law-Vol-1-and-Vol-2-Fourth-Edition. This Textbook is required. There are no other materials to be purchased or distributed.

The following 20 topics are studied (with references to the Volume and Chapters in the Textbook):

  • Moral Foundations of Free Trade (Volume One, Chapter 1)
  • Economic Foundations of Free Trade (Volume One, Chapters 2-6)
  • Historical Foundations of Free Trade (Volume One, Chapters 9-10)
  • Institutional Foundations of Free Trade (Volume One, Chapters 13-14)
  • Adjudicatory Foundations of Free Trade (Volume On, Chapters 15-16)
  • Legal Foundations of Free Trade: Pillars of GATT (Volume One, Chapters 17-24, 27)
  • Cracks in the Foundations (Volume One, Chapters 30-32)
  • Customs Law: Classification and Valuation (Volume One, Chapters 35, 37)
  • Trade in Agriculture (Volume One, Chapters 40-42
  • SPS Measures (Volume One, Chapter 43)
  • Trade in Services (Volume One, Chapters 44-46)
  • FTAs and Customs Unions (Volume Two, Chapters 81-85)
  • Antidumping Law (Volume Two, Chapters 51-58)
  • Countervailing Duty Law (Volume Two, Chapters 59-64)
  • Safeguards (Volume Two, Chapters 68-69)
  • Currency Manipulation (Volume Two, Chapter 75)
  • Export Controls (Volume Two, Chapters 78-80)
  • Trade Labour (Volume Two, Chapters 89-90)
  • Trade and the Environment (Volume Two, Chapters 92-94)
  • Preferences for Poor Countries (Volume Two, Chapters 97-99)

Across this 5 day intensive course, roughly 4 topics are covered per day, 2 in the morning session, and 2 in the afternoon session. (Please see Daily Schedule, below)

Students are not expected to master all the reading before coming to each class. That would not be possible. Rather, they should attempt a reasonable level of familiarity with the key points. They can rest assured the key points will pursued in class. Thereafter, students may re-read portions of the Textbook to broaden and deepen their knowledge.

Objectives

This course aims to provide students with significant knowledge of the breadth and depth of International Trade Law, and critical analytical abilities to spot issues in the field and develop constructive solutions to those issues. The course covers multilateral (GATT-WTO) and regional (FTA and customs union) level law, which means it prepares students are prepared to for practice in many countries around the world. Vitally, the course also seeks to convey a sense of enthusiasm, indeed fun, about the theory and practice of International Trade Law.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of International Trade Law, students should be able to:

  • Appreciate the importance of International Trade to global economics, politics, and national security
  • Understand the interdisciplinary dimensions of International Trade
  • Know the key legal rules used to liberalize cross-border trade in goods and services
  • Know the key legal rules used protect domestic goods sectors from free trade
  • Appreciate the difference between “free” and “managed” trade
  • Understand the intersections between International Trade Law and labour, environmental, and human rights
  • Understand the intersection between International Trade Law and national security
  • Identify and critically comment on issues concerning any of the aforementioned points
  • Enjoy the intellectual richness and practical opportunities in International Trade Law

Assessment

75% research essay of 12,500 words and 25% class participation and presentation.

Essay

Each student is required to submit a research essay of no more than 12,500 words including an abstract/synopsis of 500 words. The essay is to be original work, relying on secondary and primary sources. It must be the work of the enrolled student. Another person, other than the enrolled student, must not write the essay nor do the research on behalf of the enrolled student. Plagiarism is not permitted, and each student should read the University of Auckland’s plagiarism policy and adhere to it. All students are expected to sign a plagiarism declaration when submitting their essays.

Students must use proper legal citations and include a reading list at the end of their type-written essay. The essay should be comprised of properly crafted English sentences. (Note form is unacceptable.) The use of headings and sub-headings is strongly encouraged. Footnotes rather than Harvard style in-text referencing are to be used.

Descriptive essays are discouraged. Instead, students are expected to engage with relevant legal issues by: critiquing the law; developing proposals for reform; examining the operation of law and policy in practice; and/or providing a conceptual analysis of the law, for example.

The topic for the essay must be chosen from one or more of the Chapters in Volume One and/or Two of the “International Trade Law” Textbook. The relevant Chapters must be used and cited at least three times in the essay.

Essays must be submitted to the Faculty of Law on Thursday 27th June 2019 by 12 noon (Auckland time).

Extensions will not be granted lightly (only owing to serious illness or other extraordinarily compelling and unforeseeable circumstances). Such a request must be made formally through the Postgraduate Manager.

Class Participation / Presentation

Each student is expected to make individual contributions to class discussions throughout the course. Students are individually assessed on the quality of their contributions.

Criteria and Marking

Students are individually assessed on the quality of their contributions, and of their essay, with reference to the following criteria:

  • Extent to which the student has identified the important and relevant issues
  • Clarity of argument
  • Depth and thoroughness of understanding of pertinent material
  • Strength and clarity of arguments presented
  • Overall lucidity of the contribution
  • Extent to which issues are placed in their wider context
  • Display of grasp of the doctrinal and normative issues
  • Critical analysis of material
  • Overall synthesis of material
  • Correctness and elegance of style (particularly as to the written essay)
  • Ability to draw worthwhile conclusions

Class participation is assessed over the whole 5 days of the course. Quality rather than quantity matters. If a student is not present for all the classes, it is impossible to achieve the maximum marks possible even if a student’s contributions are brilliant when he/she does speak. Students are reminded that the full range of marks is available to the lecturer in assessing class participation. Please be assured that mistakes are part of learning. Accordingly, “getting the law right’” is not the key focus of the class participation component of assessment. If students knew all the law from the outset, then here would be little point in them enrolling in the course. Rather, class participation is included to extend students and to assess students’ imaginative understanding of, and engagement with, the materials under discussion. It is not meant to be threatening.

These points also hold true for the essay (with any necessary adjustments, particularly the month of time students have to prepare the essay).

Reading Materials

Raj Bhala, “International Trade Law: An Interdisciplinary, Non-Western Textbook” (4th edition, 2015), Volumes One and Two, which may be ordered from Carolina Academic Press: http://www.cap-press.com/books/isbn/9780769869070/International-Trade-Law-Vol-1-and-Vol-2-Fourth-Edition

Please see the special discount code (above) for ordering this Textbook.

Teaching Method

The course is taught over 5 days commencing on a Wednesday and concluding at the end of the following Tuesday. Classes are interactive and friendly. It is necessary for students to do the pre-reading for the course so that they get the most out of the materials under discussion, subject to the caveat noted earlier.

Classes commence at 9:30 am and run until 5:00 pm. Morning tea is around 11:00 am (for approximately 15 minutes). We take a brief break (1 hour) between the morning and afternoon sessions for lunch (12:30-1:30 pm). We also take a short break in the afternoon around 3:30 pm (for approximately 15 minutes).

Evaluation of Raj Bhala’s similar courses, International Trade Law and Advanced International Trade Law, at the University of Kansas

These courses typically rate well above Law School wide averages across all course, based on anonymous student evaluations. The Dean of the Law School reviews these evaluations each semester. The criteria used are: (1) “The professor was organized and prepared for class;” (2) “The professor challenged students to think critically about the course material;” (3) “the professor set and met clear goals and objectives for this course;” (4) “The professor provided a syllabus and substantially followed it;” (5) The professor was available for consultation outside of class.” Each criteria is scored on a 5 point scale (5 being the highest, “Strongly Agree,” and 1 being the lowest, “Strongly Disagree”).

The evaluation results are not published. However, ever since both courses were offered starting in 2003, they have regularly scored above 4 (“Agree”), and usually near 5, on all criteria.

Daily schedule

Thursday, 11 April

Morning:

● Moral Foundations of Free Trade (Volume One, Chapter 1)
● Economic Foundations of Free Trade (Volume One, Chapters 2-6)

Afternoon:

● Historical Foundations of Free Trade (Volume One, Chapters 9-10)
● Institutional Foundations of Free Trade (Volume One, Chapters 13-14)

Friday, 12 April

Morning:

● Adjudicatory Foundations of Free Trade (Volume On, Chapters 15-16)
● Legal Foundations of Free Trade: Pillars of GATT (Volume One, Chapters 17-24, 27)

Afternoon:

● Cracks in the Foundations (Volume One, Chapters 30-32)
● Customs Law: Classification and Valuation (Volume One, Chapters 35, 37)

Monday, 15 April

Morning:

● Trade in Agriculture (Volume One, Chapters 40-42)
● SPS Measures (Volume One, Chapter 43)

Afternoon:

● Trade in Services (Volume One, Chapters 44-46)
● FTAs and Customs Unions (Volume Two, Chapters 81-85)

Tuesday, 16 April

Morning:

● Antidumping Law (Volume Two, Chapters 51-58)
● Countervailing Duty Law (Volume Two, Chapters 59-64)

Afternoon:

● Safeguards (Volume Two, Chapters 68-69)
● Section 301 Sino-American Trade War and Currency Manipulation
(Volume Two, Chapters 74-75)

Wednesday, 17 April

Morning:

● National Security, Section 232, and Export Controls (Volume Two, Chapters 76-80)
● Trade Labour (Volume Two, Chapters 89-90)

Afternoon:

● Trade and the Environment (Volume Two, Chapters 92-94)
● Preferences for Poor Countries (Volume Two, Chapters 97-99)

Contact Details

Law Student Centre
Level 2, 1-11 Short St
Email: postgradlaw@auckland.ac.nz

Lecturer contact details: bhala@ku.edu