International Commercial Law
Full course description
This course is built around the international sale of goods transaction, which is then used to explore a number of other related issues, such as the carriage of goods, third party relationships and payment. In the first part of the course, we pay attention to the rights and obligations of buyers and sellers in international sales contracts, with a particular focus on the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. The course then shifts its focus to contracts for the carriage of goods. This part of the course covers the legal regimes applicable to the carriage of goods by road (the CMR convention) and by sea (the Hague (Visby) Rules), as well as the rules applicable to multimodal or combined transport. In international business transactions, a variety of parties will be involved in carrying out all aspects of the contract of sale and the contract of carriage. During the course we will consider different types of actors in international trade and their rights and liabilities. In the final part of the course, we will look into issues relating to financing international trade, for instance looking into the letter of credit (UCP 600).
The primary focus is on international treaties and European measures that impact on international commercial transactions, but some consideration of national systems cannot be avoided. After all, national courts must apply the international conventions, which can give rise to questions concerning uniformity in the application of international provisions. Furthermore, not all issues relating to international business transactions are dealt with by international or European measures, and therefore recourse must be had to the applicable national law. At the same time, it is important to also consider the private regulatory regimes set up in particular sectors. Trade associations often create model contracts that deal with the specific issues in that trade. Throughout the course we will therefore look at the interaction between these various levels of regulation of international commercial transactions.
In addition to studying the law, we will also consider a number of related topics such as the effectiveness of measures intended to unify law, the limitation of party autonomy in certain commercial contracts, the different levels of unification and the variety of actors involved in creating unifying commercial law, as well as how new technologies, such as blockchain, could affect the way in which business is conducted and regulated.
This course is useful and essential for those who want to be involved in the legal aspects of international trade.
Knowledge and understanding
You will acquire knowledge and understanding of international commercial law, including:
- Applicable law in international sales and carriage contracts: (including UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods; Rome I Regulation; Hague Visby Rules, CMR)
- Regulation of International Sale of Goods: in particular, UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, INCOTERMS 2010, model contracts
- Regulation of International Carriage of Goods: in particular, Hague Visby Rules, CMR, Multimodal transport
- Payment mechanisms in international trade: including documentary credits/UCP 600.
Applying knowledge and understanding
- You will learn to apply the knowledge you obtain to identify and solve concrete/complex problems that arise in the shaping, application or enforcement of international and national norms governing cross-border commercial activity.
- You will develop your analytical skills that enable you to identify and solve concrete/complex problems that arise in the shaping, application or enforcement of international and national norms governing cross-border commercial activity.
- You will develop your ability to translate knowledge (from textbooks, primary legal sources) into sound legal arguments or own legal points of view.
- You will develop your ability to construct your own views or position in legal debates or disputes.
- You will develop your ability to express your legal arguments clearly, both orally and on paper.
- You will develop your ability to express your legal arguments clearly, in proper legal English.
- You will develop the techniques legal experts need as regards the gathering, selecting, analyzing, interpreting and synthesizing information from primary sources of EU, international and national law (treaties, legislation, case law) as well as second sources (textbooks, law journals, etc.)
- You will deliver a legally sound, well-researched paper on complex legal issues in the context of International Commercial Law
- You will develop your ability to work both independently and in group settings.
- You will develop your ability to approach the law with an open-minded but critical and scientific attitude.
Reading materials and resources via Student Portal