Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment written assignments  1 X 6,000 words or 2 X 3,000 words [40% each)  80%
Semester Assessment oral presentation  20%
Supplementary Assessment resubmit course work  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

The purpose of the course is to enable you to acquire an understanding of the legal foundations of the world trading system - that is, the legal regime for the conduct of States in international trade, plus the system underpinning a deal for the
international sale of goods: how to decide which law is applicable, how to assess the rights and duties of each party, how the
goods are to be transported and paid for, what to do when there is a problem.


The law of International Trade plays a fundamental role in facilitating international commerce. In the era of globalisation its
significance is only increasing. The aim of the course is to address the fundamental institutions and legal methods of world trade.


1. The idea behind world trade
  • The objectives of the world trading system.
  • A history of the world trading system, the WTO and GATT.
  • The economic context: the theory of comparative advantage and competing ideas.
2. Substantive Foundations
  • The most favoured nation principle and exceptions
  • National treatment
  • Tariffs and tariff concessions
  • Non-tariff barriers, quantitative restrictions, technical barriers to trade
3. Regional Trade Agreements and Customs Unions

4. Antidumping Law

5. Countervailing Duty Law

6. Safeguards and Escape Mechanisms

7. Intellectual Property and GATS

8. Dispute Settlement

9. International commercial transactions
  • Public and private systems distinguished
  • Rationale for international business
  • Difficulties in doing international business
  • Differences in legal systems
  • International institutions and international business
10. International sale of goods: the contract of sale
  • Sale of Goods Act 1979
  • International harmonisation: Vienna Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods
11. Construction of international sales contracts
  • ICC
  • Incoterms 1990
  • CIF contracts
  • FOB contracts
  • Charterparties
  • Bills of lading - characteristics and classification
  • Electronic date interchange
  • CMI rules on electronic bills of lading
12. International carriage of goods
  • Carriage by land
  • Carriage by air
  • Carriage by sea - methods of performance - rights of suit - Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1971 and the Hague-Visby Rules - Hamburg Rules - Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992
  • Multimodal transport
13. Financing of international trade
  • International legal framework
  • Documentary credits
  • Bills of exchange
  • Electronic commerce
14. Conflict of laws
  • Jurisdiction at common law
  • Jurisdiction: Brussels and Lugano Conventions
  • Basic terms in conflict of laws
  • Bills of exchange


This module is at CQFW Level 7