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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5942M Conflict of Laws in Business Transactions

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as an Elective


The module aims to:
- develop students’ understanding of conflict of laws in relation to international commercial litigation;
- provide advanced instruction in several aspects of Private International Law that are of particular relevance to the competence of courts in international commercial disputes and litigation;
- provide advanced instruction in several key aspects of choice of law that are of particular relevance to business transactions in an international context.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- understand the nature and function of private international law in cross-border business transactions;
- understand the role, nature and implications of jurisdiction agreements in the context of (i) the Brussels I Regulation (ii) the 2005 Hague Choice of Court Agreements Convention (iii) common law in England and USA;
- develop, in the context of the Brussels I Regulation, knowledge of the grounds upon which courts will exercise jurisdiction in actions based upon contract.
- explain the approaches used to combat forum shopping and to deal with conflict of jurisdictions in cross-border commercial litigation;
- acquire knowledge of how the governing law of a contract is ascertained;
-understand the restrictions used to limit the effect of an applicable law;
- explain the specific requirements for conflict of laws in cross-border contracts with inequality bargaining power;
- understand the role played by the European Community and the Hague Conference on Private International Law in seeking to harmonize rules relating to choice of law, jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments. Appreciate policy considerations which often underpin such initiatives. Be aware of the impact this has had on commercial litigation within and outwith the European Union.

Skills outcomes
Legal research and legal writing


Conflict of laws resolves disputes containing foreign elements and decides three issues in relation to international commercial litigation, namely jurisdiction, choice of law and recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. This module examines the application of conflict of laws in business transactions from the perspective of both theory and practice. The module focuses on the latest development in the European Union and the Hague Conference on private international law. It also considers the comparison between common law and civil law conflicts approaches and explores the possibility of future development in international judicial cooperation and harmonisation in conflicts rules. The module, in particular, investigates the grounds under which a court could assert jurisdiction in commercial contracts, the effectiveness of jurisdiction agreements, the approaches to tackle forum shopping and conflicts of jurisdiction, the determination of the applicable law in cross-border commercial contracts, the effect of party autonomy and the limitation to commercial autonomy by mandatory rules and public policy.

Teaching methods

Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours0.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

The School is committed to providing an excellent student education and experience. This will involve a variety of teaching methods and follow a blended learning model, including meaningful on-campus in-person teaching for all students. Further information regarding teaching delivery will follow.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

By attendance at, and participation in, seminars

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:29:06


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