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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: LAWM013 Module Title: INTERNATIONAL TRADE LAW
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAWM013
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: CARR I Prof (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability

1st Semester


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting towards Module Mark (%)










Module Overview

At a  time when developing countries such as China and India are emerging as key players on the international trade scene, as exporters and importers and as negotiators in the World Trade Organisation, as understanding of international trade law has become increasingly important for those studying law.  This module provides an overview of the political interests driving international trade and its regulation and a comprehensive and informed analysis of the complexities of an international sale transaction.





Module Aims

The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the regulation of international trade, the political and ethical influences that shape internatinal trade, the role of international organisations in harmonising the law of international sales and tramsportation of goods.  It will focus on the types of contracts available and the nature of their provisions and procedures.  The ethical values, philosophical principles and commercial constraints will also be explored by examining the problem of corruption in international business and the various anti-corruption strategies


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the students will be able to:


·             Have an overview of the ethical, philosophical and political influences on international trade and contractual provisions


·             Understand the terminology used in international trade


·             Comprehend the nature of FOB and CIF contract and the procedures of each


·             Understand the nature and uses of bills of lading and harmoisation through sea transport    conventions


·             Understand the payment mechanisms, especially letters of credit


·             Understand the (negative) role of corruption in international business and gain a thorough understanding of the efforts to combat corruption at the international level


Module Content

·             The Emergence of International Trade and the Role of the WTO


·             International Sales, Standard Trade Terms (CIF, FOB, FAS)


·             Harmonisation of International Sales Law Through the Vienna Convention, 1980


·             Carriage of Goods & Transport Documents – Bills of Lading


·             Harmonisation of International Carriage Law – Hague Rules, Hague-Visby Rules, Hamburg Rules, Rotterdam Rules (in brief)


·             Letters of Credit


·             Electronic Commerce


·             Corruption in International Business and Legal Non-Legal Solutions such as Corporate Social Responsibility & Engagement of Civil Society


Methods of Teaching/Learning

8 x 3-hour seminars.  The seminars will be interactive and students will be expected to come prepared for the seminar and engage actively in discussions


Selected Texts/Journals

Essential reading


Schmithoff Export Trade


Goode Commercial Law (2005)


Wilson Carriage of Goods by Sea (2004)


Please also obtain a copy of Carr & Kidner Statutes and Conventions on International Trade Law (2008), which contains most of the required statutes and conventions for the course.  (This edition is expected by the second week of October.)



Extensive reading lists will be provided for each seminar



Background reading


Lowenfeld International Economic Law (2002)


Spero & Hart The Politics of International Economic Relations (2003)


Carr International Trade Law (2005)





A few of the journal titles are listed below.  Please use Westlaw and Lexis to access a multitude of US journals on international law or business law, which contain excellent articles.


Journal of Business Law


Lloyds Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly


American Journal of Comparative Law


North-western Journal of International Law and Business



Note to students taking this module:


For the introductory seminar, please read the following:


Baker, JH (1979) ‘The Law Merchant and Common Law’ 38 Cambridge Law Journal 295


Goode, Roy (1997) ‘Usage and its Reception in Transnational Commercial Law’ 46 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 1


Lord Irvine of Lairg LC (2001) ‘The Law: An Engine for Trade’ 64 Modern Law Review 333


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