MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
LLM International Commercial and Business Law options

Year 1, Component 02

Law option(s) from list
Legal Research and the English Legal System

Want to undertake legal research at postgraduate level? Interested in studying the principal sources of law operating within the UK system? Understand the essential techniques required for working with judicial decisions and statutes. Build research skills for reading legal materials, and develop your interpretative and critical evaluation abilities.

International Sale of Goods

In this module you study the second most important contract in international trade, the carriage contract. You’ll develop substantial knowledge of the carriage contract and will be able to place that within the matrix of international shipment sales, including the insurance and finance of international trade. You’ll also interpret domestic and international legislation relating to the international carriage of goods by sea.

Carriage of Goods By Sea

In this module you study the second most important contract in international trade, the carriage contract. You’ll develop substantial knowledge of the carriage contract and will be able to place that within the matrix of international shipment sales, including the insurance and finance of international trade. You’ll also interpret domestic and international legislation relating to the international carriage of goods by sea.

International Commercial Dispute Resolution I

The vast increase in international trade has led to a proportionate increase in the use of arbitration as a means of resolving international commercial disputes. You’ll consider the whole range of dispute resolution procedures as well as looking at international commercial arbitration. You’ll review all aspects of arbitration, but particular regard will be paid to the practice of arbitration with a view to identifying best practice in the working of the arbitral tribunals.

Marine Insurance I

Marine insurance is one of the backbone contracts to an international sale and carriage transaction and this module introduces you to the structure and formation of that contract. It includes the protection of ships, cargoes and energy interests. 2015 brought the biggest change in insurance law for over 100 years with the Insurance Act 2015 receiving Royal Assent, coming into force in 2016. You’ll benefit from learning the foundations of the law from the Marine Insurance Act 1906 and the new law of the Insurance Act 2015.

Maritime Law and Wet Shipping

You’ll study the law of marine insurance in the wider context of international trade law, with emphasis on the impact of the London markets on the practice of insurance and reinsurance across the globe. You’ll focus on the key relationships and legal obligations that underpin the modern law and practice of marine insurance.

International Financial Law

You’ll gain an understanding of the range of financing options available to a large corporation and their individual contribution to the financial industry. You’ll also analyse the key legal issues and risks, and will advise a hypothetical lender/investor on how to address the issues and how to mitigate and avoid the risks.

International Law of the Sea

This module provides a comprehensive overview to the international legal framework applicable to the sea. Historically, the seas have always played an important role in the interests of States, e.g. exploration, navigation and trade, as well as the exploitation of resources. The delicate balance between the principles of sovereignty and freedom of the high seas is placed alongside the need for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity, raising tensions and fundamentally important questions of international law. This module offers students the opportunity to engage with the most cutting-edge developments in international law, as well as to understand the rich history that has shaped the international law of the sea. The module commences by demonstrating how the codification of the international law of the sea has been characterized by the differing interests of States, trying to achieve a sensitive balance between State sovereignty and the freedom of the high seas -- as evidenced by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea "UNCLOS" (1982). The module will then examine how UNCLOS governs different sea zones, starting from the rights and obligations of coastal States in relation to the territorial seas, contiguous zones and exclusive economic zone. The special regime of the continental shelf will also be addressed in light of the rights and powers of coastal States, e.g. exploitation of resources, as well as the rights and interests of third States and the international community, e.g. marine scientific research and protection of the marine environment. The module then moves beyond national jurisdiction by delving into the legal regime of the high seas, dealing with freedom of fishing and navigation, and with the rules permitting ships to visit and search other ships (shipping interdiction). The regime of the International Seabed Area will also be examined. Then, the module will consider States' rights, duties and obligations in relation to the conservation of marine living resources, as well as the conservation of marine biological diversity, before drawing to light the ongoing negotiations at the UN in relation to a legally binding instrument on the conservation of marine biological diversity beyond national jurisdiction. Finally, this module will expose students to the approach of international courts and tribunals to maritime delimitation claims between States. Students will learn about the voluntary and compulsory mechanisms available to States for disputes on the law of the sea.

International Trade and Maritime Law

This module delves into core concepts concerning common law, the role of public versus private international law and how Trade and Maritime law fit into Commercial Law. You’ll also focus on some current developments in Shipping including Brexit and Shipping, Maritime Labour Law, Piracy and Restructuring/refinancing of shipping corporations.

Competition Law

Ensuring effective competition and maintaining a competitive market structure are the two key elements of EU competition policy. In this module you’ll examine the legal rules of EU Competition Law, taking into account the underlying economic principles and wider policy issues. Gain an understanding of the rationale behind competition law and policy, and its importance in the regulation of a free market economy, and develop an in-depth knowledge of the general principles of EU competition law and its application.

European Union Company Law

You’ll gain substantive knowledge of European Union law related to corporate structures and regulation, will develop a critical and contextual analysis of ideological and legal factors determinant upon the structures of corporate governance, and will be introduced to the problems arising from the implementation of EU legislation in the area of company law. A thorough analysis, not only of the current legislation but also of the cultural, ideological and political conflicts that have led to the shaping of the current framework, is provided.

Investment, Environment and Human Rights

What are the global standards set by the GATT/World Trade Organisation? And by World Bank policies? Examine relationships between human rights, international trade and foreign investment. Study legal issues, plus ethical, political and economic arguments on current topics. Evaluate cases to see the practical effect of linking trade and rights.

Business and Human Rights

What are the human rights responsibilities of private companies? And what about public or private institutions financing projects aimed at world development? Evaluate principles regulating human rights and examine how they contrast with principles regulating multinational commercial interests. Consider real-life cases from both national and international courts.

Corporate Responsibility and the Environment

This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the complex legal and quasi legal relationships that companies have with the protection of the environment. It will focus on the aspects of corporate law and environmental law, on the national and international levels, that play key parts in that relationship. It will also focus on the role that voluntary regulatory frameworks have to play and enable students to assess their effectiveness in practice. The module is designed to equip students with an understanding of the way that corporations tackle this issue in practice but it will also develop an awareness of the major challenges that are faced from a regulatory perspective and the debates surrounding further reform.

Corporate Responsibility and Business Law

This module examines the concepts, theories and models of corporate responsibility and corporate social responsibility (CSR) and their implications and challenges for business law and practice. It examines the role of CSR in as a business strategy and public governance tool in the context of the social and environmental impacts of business activities that suggest interesting dimensions to the role of business in society. In this module you will examine the debates and doctrines of CSR in domestic and transnational environments and explore broad questions such as: What is CSR and what are the forms of corporate responsibility? What is the relationship between law and CSR and can public and private laws facilitate CSR? Can CSR address regulatory and governance gaps in national and transnational jurisdictions? What are the limits of international law in business regulation and can CSR fill gaps in international law? What is the status of a company? What is a stakeholder and what interest groups exist in a company? What is the role of social reporting? Can CSR be used as a development tool and for promoting socio-economic rights and sustainable development? The module reflects some degrees of comparative analysis and interdisciplinarity and case study exercises will also enable you to explore the approaches of different disciplines to CSR, including law, management, politics, philosophy, ethics and international relations. You will have an opportunity to discover the strengths and weaknesses of taking global, contextual and comparative approaches to CSR.

Human Rights for Corporate and Commercial Lawyers
Commercial Conflict of Laws

This module examines the concepts, theories, rules, models and principles of Conflict of Laws as they relate to commercial relationships, transactions and disputes. Focusing on litigation, it considers relevant international conventions, regional instruments, model laws, legal guides, restatements of law, national law and other sources of rules and principles governing transborder commercial relationships, transactions and disputes. It then investigates how Conflict of Laws has developed to balance international or transnational commercial concerns with national approaches in determining appropriate jurisdiction and choice of law and in recognising and enforcing foreign judgments. The module critically examines theoretical debates and doctrines of Conflict of Laws in the light of existing transnational and national approaches and practical cases. It draws on materials and practices from different national jurisdictions and international or transnational institutions and reflects some degrees of comparative analysis.

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