- View our staff and graduate researchers
See our directors, programme directors, distinguished fellows, research fellows and research students.GELN People
View academic publications from our staff
GELN academic staff regularly publish books, chapters, articles, journals, working papers, and submissions.GELN Publications
- Tweets from https://twitter.com/GELN_UniMelb/lists/geln-twitter-feed
GELN is engaged in a number of innovative and important research projects relating to international economic law in Australia and internationally.
- Research Grants
GELN academics have been awarded a number of research grants.View
GELN staff are exceptionally active in research and have published in a wide range of scholarly and policy outlets.View
GELN academics are active in making submissions to relevant enquiries of government and other bodies.View
GELN staff, and faculty members associated with the network, teach in the degree programs of Melbourne Law School and supervise research students. Lists of current subjects taught by GELN members are available at:
Melbourne Law School Programs
For more information on degree programs at Melbourne Law School see:
- The Melbourne JD - which is designed specifically for graduate students and leads to admission to legal practice.
- The Melbourne Law Masters - which aims to deepen knowledge and understanding in a general or specialised area of law. The program offers masters degrees and graduate diplomas across more than 20 specialist legal areas.
- Graduate Research Degrees - which provide students with excellent research training and access to outstanding research facilities as well as academic supervision from internationally recognised scholars and some of the best emerging research talent in Australia.
Graduate Law (Melbourne JD)
Professor Andrew Mitchell, Associate Professor Bruce Oswald & Professor Tania Voon
Institutions in International Law
This subject examines the place of international institutions within the international legal order, considering their structure, normative underpinnings, and activities. It focuses on inter-governmental organisations but also considers non-governmental organisations and the role of civil society and national governments in both types of institutions. It considers how international institutions reflect conflicting notions of fragmentation and unity in international law. Principal topics covered include:
- The complex role of international institutions in the development of international law and global governance;
- Introduction to specialised international institutions in Geneva and elsewhere including their history, trends in their mission, influence and importance, recent developments, and reform proposals;
- The theory surrounding fragmentation of international law, including the proliferation of institutions and dispute settlement tribunals and the proliferation of substantive laws;
- Inter-organisational cooperation, coordination and conflict in areas such as trade, human rights, the laws of war and development;
- Participation and representation in international institutions by governments, business, civil society and secretariat staff.
The subject provides students with the opportunity to hear from and interact with expert guest lecturers on-site at a diverse range of governmental, intergovernmental, non-governmental and private commercial organisations.
This subject examines the various roles played by lawyers within the international legal order, including as advisers, advocates, negotiators, settlers of disputes, and drafters of legislation, contracts and treaties. Within the integrated theoretical frameworks of legal ethics, professional regulation, comparative law, and public and private international law, students will explore the complex functions and responsibilities of 'international lawyers', meaning those operating in the following international contexts:
- Private lawyers acting in cross-border contractual negotiations, cross-border transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, or cross-border disputes involving individuals or firms;
- Private lawyers practising domestic law in foreign jurisdictions;
- Lawyers in internationally focused non-governmental organisations and think tanks;
- Government lawyers addressing international issues;
- Lawyers within the Secretariat of an international organisation.
The subject provides students with the opportunity to hear from and interact with expert guest lecturers on-site at a diverse range of governmental, intergovernmental, non-governmental and private commercial organisations, taking into account recent developments.
The Institutions in International Law and Global Lawyer modules have received the following awards:
- Study Overseas Short-term Mobility Program grant from: Department of Education ($21,500, 2014); Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ($64,000, 2012).
- University of Melbourne Nominee for Australian Awards for University Teaching.
- Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council for ‘exceptional curriculum design and inspiration of students in the field of international law’ (following nomination by University of Melbourne 2011).
- LexisNexis Australasian Law Teachers Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Teaching of Law, 2011.
Graduate Law (Melbourne LLM)
International Economic Law
Associate Professor Jürgen Kurtz
Newspaper headlines frequently concern global economic issues, from trade disputes between countries, investment claims by foreign investors against sovereign States, to countries facing a balance of payments crisis and seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This subject examines the law governing global economic issues. It is designed both as a comprehensive introduction in its own right to this important field, as well as a foundation for further exploration through specialist subjects in the curriculum. It begins with a historical and theoretical background to the field before turning to focus on the law and practice of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including close analysis of the WTO dispute settlement system and the role of 'free' or preferential trade agreements within that system. This provides context for understanding international investment law, including under bilateral investment treaties and pursuant to investor– State dispute settlement decisions. Finally, the subject examines the lending policies and practices of international financial institutions, particularly the IMF and the World Bank.
Principal topics will include:
- Nature, evolution and context of international economic law;
- The law of the WTO;
- Dispute settlement in the WTO;
- International investment law;
- Investor–State arbitration under the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention; and
- International financial institutions (particularly the IMF and the World Bank).
WTO Law and Dispute Settlement
Associate Professor Jürgen Kurtz
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is at the centre of ongoing debates concerning both fragmentation of public international law and persistent inequities between developed and developing countries. It also provides one of the most active systems in the world for resolving international disputes, with jurisdiction over some of the largest and most significant matters arising today. This subject offers a sophisticated understanding of the WTO and its dispute settlement system, including a detailed analysis of the fundamental principles and jurisprudence of WTO law.
Principal topics will include:
- History and objectives of the WTO;
- Core disciplines under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994):
- Tariff bindings;
- Non-discrimination (most-favoured nation (MFN) and national treatment); and
- Prohibition on quantitative restrictions;
- Exceptions to WTO commitments, e.g. environment, health, public morals, culture, free trade agreements, and special and differential treatment for developing countries; and
- Current challenges facing the WTO and the Doha Development Round of negotiations.
International Commercial Arbitration
Professor Richard Garnett
International commercial arbitration is the most important method globally for resolving cross-border commercial disputes. The focus of this subject is on the basic principles of international commercial arbitration law and is taught from the perspective of both the practitioner advising clients and the scholar interested in advanced research. There will be a particular focus on the desirability of arbitration compared to other dispute resolution methods, the relationship between the courts and arbitrators, drafting techniques and developments in Australia and other countries.
Principal topics will include:
- The nature of international arbitration;
- Applicable law in international arbitration;
- The Australian procedural regime and an introduction to the UNCITRAL Model Law;
- Enforcing international arbitration agreements;
- Appointment and qualifications of arbitrators;
- Misconduct of arbitrators;
- Privacy and confidentiality; and
- Enforcement and challenge of awards.
Research Degree Supervision
Academics associated with GELN supervise research projects in a broad range of areas in international economic law.
Research Higher Degree students affiliated with GELN are listed here.
Prospective Graduate Research Students should submit an Expression of Interest through the Melbourne Law School Office for Research.
Past events 2018
Events from previous years
The Global Economic Law Network organises conferences, public lectures, workshops, seminars and reading groups.
GELN members are often featured in the media, applying their expertise in international economic law on current events.
Professor Tania Voon
Tania Voon presents at the 'International Trade in the Age of Brexit and Trump' conference alongside Mr S. Iswaran, The Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations and Minister for Communications and Information (Singapore), The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada and Mr Ho Kwon Ping, Founder and Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, hosted by Singapore Management University - 08/05/2018
Tania Voon and Ros Childs discuss likely Chinese retaliatory measures in the wake of President Trump's proposed China import tariff - ABC News 24 23/03/2018
Tania Voon and Ros Childs discuss the impact of President Trump's steel/aluminium tariffs - ABC News 24 05/03/2018
Tania Voon appears in The University of Melbourne research campaign - University of Melbourne 14/03/2016
Tania Voon gives interview on the release of TPP treaty text - Campus Review 06/11/2015
Live interview with SYN Radio on the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Panorama (13 November 2015).
Live TV interview with Stan Grant on the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Sky News (7 October 2015).
Interview with SYN Radio on the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Panorama (7 October 2015).
Live TV interview with Sky News on the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Asia Pacific Outlook (6 October 2015).
Interview with Declan Williams for SYN Radio on the China – Australia Free Trade Agreement (11 September 2015).
Interview for The American Lawyer (27 October 2014), for background in Michael Goldhaber, ‘Smoke and Lawyers’ (1 January 2015).
Radio 2SER interview re plain tobacco packaging in relation to international trade and investment law (13 December 2013).
Professor Andrew Mitchell
‘Breach of WTO Rules’ (2011) 8(3) Global Oil & Fats Business Magazine 6–9.
‘State Regulatory Autonomy and Tobacco Control in International Trade and Investment Law’ (19 February 2015) Investment Treaty News (online): http://www.iisd.org/itn/2015/02/19/state-regulatory-autonomy-and-tobacco-control-in-international-trade-and-investment-law/ (with Elizabeth Sheargold).
‘ADF personnel have a right to fair justice’, The Canberra Times (Canberra), 24 June 2005, Opinion 15(with Tania Voon).