International Commercial Law

Question One
1.“The Nation-state of Australia expropriated the intellectual property of international tobacco companies, by passing the (domestic) Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (Cth)”

Explain if you agree or disagree with this statement?

Question Two
Select a news article, posted during September or October 2019, which relates to an area of international commercial law we have covered. You could consider articles relating to: international CSR; shipping law; air carrier liability relating to different modes of transport; international trade payments; world trade, free trade agreements; international IP; or international commercial disputes. You should address the following:

a..Include a link to the article, stating the posting date, news forum, and author (if the author is stated);

b.What area of international commercial law does this media article relate to? explain the applicable law to be applied to this situation, or news update?

c.What relevance or impact does this article, or the issues that it raises, have with regard to international commercial law?

Question Three
Refer to the Montreal Convention and any relevant enacting domestic laws:

a.With reference to article 21 of the Convention, explain what is meant by the ‘two-tiered system of liability’. How does this operate in Australia?

Question Four
Utilising your research skills, locate the ‘Australia-China BIT (1988)’. Answer the following questions:

a.Referring to the agreement, what is the role and purpose of this instrument?

b.Explain if this instrument provides protection from the taking of property from a foreign investor?

Question Five
Spurred on by the recent Free Trade Agreement signed with Hong Kong, an Australian based producer of online education materials, called Oz-E-Learning, entered into a contract with the University of Hong Kong.

Both agreed that Oz-E-Learning would provide goods and services to the University, comprising of paper based materials and licensed access to online learning portals. The hard copy materials in the consignment contained various ISDN numbers and access codes required to unlock the online learning portal. The Sales Agreement was validly executed on 23rd October, 2018. On 1 November, 2018 the paper based textbooks and materials were dispatched by the seller and loaded onto the vessel. The journey by sea was expected to take 24 days – which it did.

Oz-E-Learning entered into a carriage contract with Democra-SEA Co for the transportation of one handling unit of learning materials to be transported from the Port of Melbourne to the Port of Hong Kong. The value of the items was brought to the Carrier’s attention and noted on the B/L.

Democra-SEA Co docked into the Port, but was unable to unload the goods due to the backlog in customs clearance, caused by security concerns and recent civil unrest. This delayed clearance by 5 days. The goods arrived at their final destination 14 days after docking. By this time, the relevant short course ran by the University of Hong Kong was completed, and neither teachers, nor the students, were able to access any of the relevant materials for the course. The 14 students are each suing the University to be refunded the cost of the course, which is the equivalent of $AUD750 per student claim. The University is now suing Oz-E-Learning for fundamental breach of the contract.

It is now October 24 2019, and you have been asked to provide advice to Oz-E-Learning. After reviewing this scenario, please address the following questions in short-answer form, with reference to relevant law:

a.Can Oz-E-Learning demand that the University of Hong Kong pay for the consignment? Why or why not?

b.Is there a claim for damages against Oz-E-Learning? If so, what is the liability for, and what is the quantum of damage?

c.Is there a possible claim for damages against Democra-SEA Co by Oz-E-Learning? If so, what is the liability for, and what is the quantum of damage?

Question 6
Regional free trade agreements, such as the ‘TPP-11’ and the ‘Indonesia and Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership’, are great for the private sector in Australia!

Do you agree, or disagree with this statement?

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