GELN Conversation: Current Developments in International Trade

Melbourne Law School
Room 605, Level 6
185 Pelham St
Carlton VIC 3053


GELN would like to thank Professor Valerie Hughes and Mr Simon Lester for their insightful presentation on current developments in international trade and economics.

About the seminar

In this interactive session, Prof Tania Voon, Deputy Director of GELN, will engage in a frank discussion with two leading thinkers in international economic law, both of whom are previous contributors to the GELN seminar series.

Prof Hughes and Mr Lester are co-teaching WTO Law and Dispute Settlement in the Melbourne Law Masters during April 2018. We are delighted to have them join an open conversation that will touch on current developments in international economic law, such as the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium by President Donald Trump on national security grounds, wider aspects of United States trade and investment policy, the Comprehensive & Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (also known as the TPP-11), the impasse at the WTO Appellate Body and other challenges faced by the WTO, the EU’s proposed investment court system and reform of the international investment regime more generally, and the future of the international economic order in an era threatening nationalism and protectionism.

About the presenters

Professor Valerie Hughes of Queen’s University in Canada is former Director of both the Legal Affairs Division and the Appellate Body Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She worked for more than 2 decades with the Government of Canada, including as Assistant Deputy Minister at the Department of Finance, General Counsel of the Trade Law Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Senior Counsel in the International Law Division of the Department of Justice. She has served as counsel for Canada before international courts and tribunals and is the recipient of the John E Read Medal from the Canadian Council on International Law for her distinguished contribution to international law and organisations.

Mr Simon Lester is a trade policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Herbert A Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies and the founder of He was previously a trade law practitioner and Legal Affairs Officer with the Appellate Body Secretariat and has taught previously at Melbourne Law School, the American University Washington College of Law, and the University of Michigan Law School. His research focuses on WTO disputes, regional trade agreements, disguised protectionism, and the history of international trade law.