LLM in Commercial Law and International Trade modules:
The compulsory modules are:
World Trade Organisational Law
This module examines the key aspects of the public international law of trade and finance. International trade, in its public sense, comprises the multilateral regulation of trade through the World Trade Organisation as well as the many free trade agreements that have been concluded outside the WTO framework. These agreements between governments limit and determine their powers to restrict the flow of goods and services between countries. As such they form a significant backdrop to the conduct of international business transactions between private parties as well as the conditioning of trade activity by all States. The majority of the module focuses on the fundamental principles of international trade contained in GATT 1994 under the WTO Agreement. In addition, the module examines international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank that have a role in the regulation and dispensation of financial goods, including currency movements and major project funding. This module is intended to outline the key international regimes at work in the contemporary trade and financial worlds, and allow students to explore and understand the reach of these institutions in international law.
Law of International Business Transactions
This module provides an introduction to the relevant components of business transactions within a global economy. The module focuses on the 'micro' perspective of the private business actor, rather than the 'macro' or public policy perspective of the regulator. It begins by introducing the basic transactions for the purchase and sale of goods, an analysis of various types of contracts, and remedies available for the breach thereof. Discussion subsequently focuses on special problems arising between buyer and seller where goods are carried in a container, followed by an examination of the various types of contracts for the carriage of goods by sea. The focus of the module then turns to banker's commercial credits, examining both the types of credits and then the contractual effects between the buyer and seller; buyer and banker; and the seller and banker. After sale of goods, the module proceeds to more complicated distribution and licensing agreements, and ultimately to joint venture and foreign direct investment agreements. Finally, the module considers dispute resolutions in international business transactions. This course prepares for 'Advanced Issues of International Business Transactions'.
Option 1, then choose one module from:
International Corporate Governance
New module for LLM in Commercial Law and International Trade, description will be available soon.
International Investment Law
The module aims to examine the laws, policies and legal issues affecting foreign investment and foreign enterprises, with special emphasis on the developing world and emerging markets. The reasons why investors invest abroad and why host countries permit and often actively encourage foreign investment are explored. The role that law plays in the investment process at both global and local levels is critically examined, including the rules, principles and institutions of public international law that affect direct foreign investment, host country laws that reward and regulate foreign investment, and the law of investment contracts. The module also examines core legal principles concerning investment operation, such as standards of treatment, expropriation and compensation. Finally, the course will examine the dispute settlement regime of international investment.
The compulsory modules are:
Advanced Issues of International Business Transactions
Aims at giving students who already are acquainted with the law on International Business Transactions the possibility to go into depth into selected problems. The course is designed to allow intense discussions of these problems in order to raise the sensitivity for the issues at stake and to lead to a research oriented approach. The course will treat a selection of topical contemporary issues of international business transactions, such as international e-commerce, UN Sales Convention (CISG), UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, charter parties, multimodal transport, marine insurance, agency agreements, international franchising, FDI and corruption. The course seeks to be as topical as possible, so that content may change in the light of developments.
International Economic Law
Examines the history, theories and application of the concepts of development and globalisation under international law. In particular it focuses on the key aspects of economic activity and environmental protection currently regulated under the auspices of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and other international and regional institutions. These systems are subjected to critical assessment and the positive and negative effects of the global project of development are questioned. The module also devotes time to contemporary topics relating to the right to development, food security, post-conflict and transitional countries, natural resource law, foreign direct investment and protests against development projects and programmes.
Option 2, then choose one module from:
International Commercial Arbitration
Introduces students to international commercial law and arbitration, including arbitral agreements, applicable law, the enforcement of arbitral awards and arbitrations involving state parties. The module also addresses the international regulation of conducts of foreign investment and critically examines the role international commercial law and arbitration plays in the process of economic globalization.
Banking and Financial Law
Provides a comprehensive overview and introduction to the banking business and its nexus with financial instruments and markets. In order to do so the module situates the modern wholesale and retail financial services sector and the business organisations supplying these services in their historical trajectory from the earliest development of fractional reserve banking in European nation- states into the nineteenth and twentieth century with particular attention to the US and UK, and other large economies for comparative leverage (Germany, Japan). The core purposes of financial intermediation will be examined: lending (for corporate finance, project and trade financing), the relationship between banks and other forms of corporate finance, the quasi-public utility of the payments system, and the UK and EU standards governing provision of retail/consumer financial services. The causal role of banks and financial markets and participants in historical and recent recessions and depressions will be considered and classical regulatory responses (central banking as lender of last resort) and more recent innovations in banking regulations (soft law across border, Basel Accords inter al) assessed as a response to the role banks and the panoply of financial organisations (including the shadow banking sector) play in servicing the real economy.
Your LLM dissertation is an extended and supervised piece on work on a particular aspect of international law chosen in consultation with your course tutors. It is an opportunity to gain knowledge through systematic academic enquiry and for you to demonstrate your ability to explore and present legal arguments. The style of research may range from empirical investigation to textual analysis. You will develop transferable skills in research and information and project management.
You will be encouraged to choose an international law topic of personal interest or one related to your occupation. Full-time students will normally begin preliminary work on the dissertation in Semester 1 and formalise the topic and structure of the dissertation in Semester 2. The main work on the dissertation will normally take place from June to mid-August.
Please note, as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module lists you choose from may vary from the ones shown here. Availability of options may also vary from year to year subject to staff availability and student demand.
Teaching and learning
A wide diversity of teaching methods are employed throughout
the LLM courses in order to provide a high-quality learning experience. These
include lectures, seminar discussions, individual and small group tutorials,
case studies, group and individual
presentations, and moots.
Particular emphasis is placed on skills training, with
opportunities provided to acquire and practise legal reasoning as well as
research and IT skills. Assessment methods include coursework, and individual
and group presentations.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes