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

Year 1, Component 03

Business Law option(s) from list
Banking Law

You’ll cover the legal aspects of banking transactions, banking regulation and the bank-customer relationship. You’ll be introduced to the concept as banks as economic and social institutions and their regulation in a domestic and global context. You’ll analyse the bank-customer relationship including the important issues of contractual fairness, the banks duty of confidentiality, and the potential for transactional and advisory liability.

Employment Law and Practice

What is the nature of the legal relationship between employers and employees? Study the practical application of employment law to the settlement of workplace disputes while gaining practical skills in drafting and advocacy before an employment tribunal.

International Trade Finance Law

In this module you’ll develop detailed knowledge of the techniques and legal context of the financing of international trade. You’ll focus on international trade finance products and methods; namely documentary collections, documentary letters of credit, standby letters of credit and bonds/guarantees, international factoring, forfaiting, international leasing, and export credit agency financing. No previous knowledge is required.

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

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 examine the different aspects of international commercial and investment arbitration with a view to understanding best practices in the working of the arbitral tribunals.

Marine Insurance

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, eg 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 you 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, eg exploitation of resources, as well as the rights and interests of third States and the international community, eg 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 you to the approach of international courts and tribunals to maritime delimitation claims between States. You will learn about the voluntary and compulsory mechanisms available to States for disputes on the law of the sea.

Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Law

You’ll analyse how new information technologies influence the traditional legal approach to crime prevention and criminal prosecution. You’ll study the complexity of the challenges facing the legal profession. You’re encouraged to build on your knowledge of substantive criminal law to assess to what extent existing criminal law principles and tools can be used to solve new problems. As the challenges are not unique to the UK, where appropriate a comparative approach will be adopted with the US and Europe.

Data Protection Law in the Digital Age

In this module you’ll gain a detailed understanding of the law governing data protection, and in particular European Union law on this subject.

Contemporary Issues in Commercial and Business Law

This module aims to apply the comparative and case study methodologies to examine the national and global legal, philosophical, historical and socio-political contexts of business law and commercial relationships and transactions.

Competition Law and Fundamentals of Digital Markets Regulation

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.

Trade, 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.

International Environmental Law and Sustainability

This module introduces students to the critical study of international environmental law and sustainable development with an emphasis on the practical effects that these areas of law have on the decision-making, whether that be of States themselves, international organisations or businesses.

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.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.

Corporate Governance: Principles and Models
Academic Skills in International Law

This module is a compulsory module for all LLM in International Law students on all pathways, which aims to develop students’ academic skills as required for the postgraduate study of international law. This module has been designed to be taken alongside the module LW902 Public International Law (also compulsory for all LLM in International Law students). The LW949 Academic Skills in International Law module equips students with the technical skills required to engage in research and study of public international law, including academic referencing of scholarship, treaties, cases of international courts and tribunals. Students also develop the necessary skills to analyse international legal materials, complete both essay and problem-based questions within the field, produce high-quality independent writing at postgraduate level, and reflect upon feedback. This module will also prepare students for the foundation essay (formative essay) for the LLM in International Law. This is a formative essay, which provides an opportunity for students to engage with postgraduate level reading and writing on a topic of international law, and to submit an essay for the first time at LLM level. As a valuable learning tool, students receive feedback on their foundation essay, allowing them to reflect accordingly for future coursework with a view on how to further develop their skills throughout their postgraduate degree.

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.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.