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Confirmation that this version of the module specification has been approved by the School Graduate Studies Committee:



  1. Title of the module

International Business Transactions (LW802)

  1. School or partner institution which will be responsible for management of the module

Kent Law School

  1. Start date of the module

September 2000, revised start date 2014-15

  1. The number of students expected to take the module


  1. Modules to be withdrawn on the introduction of this proposed module and consultation with other relevant Schools and Faculties regarding the withdrawal


  1. The level of the module

Postgraduate [M]

  1. The number of credits and the ECTS value which the module represents

20 credits (10 ECTS)

  1. Which term(s) the module is to be taught in (or other teaching pattern)

Autumn or spring term

  1. Prerequisite and co-requisite modules


  1. The programmes of study to which the module contributes

LLM in (Specialisation); PG Diploma in (Specialisation); PG Certificate in Law

  1. The intended subject specific learning outcomes

    1. To study the kinds of legal problems that arise in relation to commercial transactions between businesses established in different States, specifically from the ‘transnational’ nature of such transactions, and some of the legal solutions characteristically adopted by legal systems with emphasis on English, European, the Commonwealth and the United States legal systems.

    2. To study the general principles of public and private international law that that are applicable to international business transactions.

    3. To critically examine current trends and developments in the regulation of international business transactions particularly in relation to emerging markets.

    4. To generate interest in the subject for its own sake and to develop basic expertise in the subject for those intending to practise law, work for governments, businesses and international agencies.

    1. Conduct independent research which informs a sustained and complex argument.

    2. Present complex arguments both orally and in writing.

    3. Appreciate that juridical problems can only be fully understood through interdisciplinary research methods

    4. Use electronic data bases for original legal research – e.g. carry out online, subject specific journal searches.

    5. Respond constructively to feedback

    6. To make proper use of the library resources by way of law reports, articles and monographs and textbooks.

  1. A synopsis of the curriculum

This module will examine the legal problems that arise in commercial transactions between businesses established in different States. The module will concentrate specifically on the ‘transnational’ nature of such transactions, and some of the legal solutions characteristically adopted by legal systems with emphasis on International, English or the US system or, where appropriate, legal rules and materials of other jurisdictions by way of illustration. The module will also cover the unique features of current transnational business transactions such as Mergers and Acquisition, Franchising and the increasing influence of certain developing states, such as India, South Africa, Nigeria and China.

Indicative Outline of Course

1. The Province of International Business Transactions Defined: Content, Scope and Intersections with International Legal Studies.

2. The ‘Reimaginarium’ of Lex Mercatoria – Challenging the common assumptions relating to Sources and contents of the so-called Lex Mercatoria Principles.

3. INCOTERMS in 2010; Developments in the Law, Jargon and Practice of International Standardisation of Trade Terms / INCOTERMS.

  1. ADR in International Commercial Dispute Resolution.

  2. International Commercial Arbitration and Litigation; Arbitration – Problems with enforcement, Conventions. Special Emphasis on the resolution of conflicts between parties in the developed and developing states (Africa, India and China).

  3. Competition law and International Mergers and Acquisition: A comparative view.

  4. Tracing Stolen Funds: International Corruption and the Bribery of Foreign Officials.

  5. Aspects of the Law and Practice of International Finance and the Financing of International Trade.

  6. International Commercial Laws and The Discontented: Westernisation, The Development And The Underdevelopment Of International Commercial Laws

  1. Indicative Reading List

Schmitthoff’s Export Trade: The Law and Practice of International Trade) by Leo D’Arcy, Carole Murray and Barbara Cleave, 12th ed Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2012.

J.C.T. Chuah, Law of International Trade, Sweet & Maxwell, 5th edition 2013.

Indira Carr, International Trade Law, 5th edition London: Cavendish (2014);

Miriam Goldby, Indira Carr, International Trade Law Statutes and Conventions 2011-2013, Routledge.

Module Booklet (With Articles and materials to read).

Schmithoff, C Export Trade (latest ed. available) London: StevensCarr & Kinder Statutes & Conventions on International Trade (latest ed. available) London: CavendishVan Houtte The Law of International Trade (latest ed. available) London: Sweet & MaxwellReference to articles largely from the following journals will be made:

Lloyd’s Maritime & Commercial Law Quarterly

Journal of Business Law

Anglo American Law Review

International Journal of Comparative Law

American Journal of Comparative Law

Journal of World Trade

  1. Learning and Teaching Methods, including the nature and number of contact hours and the total study hours which will be expected of students, and how these relate to achievement of the intended module learning outcomes

The module will be taught in combined lecture/seminars of 2 hours on a weekly basis excluding reading and writing weeks. There are a total of 200 study hours for this module which will be divided into 18 hours of formal contact and 182 hours of private study. The students will be called upon to prepare and present seminar papers on selected topics and the issues raised in the paper will be discussed in the seminars. The seminars are intended to cultivate presentation skills in the student as well as enhance the research skills of the student – both of which will contribute to the intellectual development of the student. The lecture/seminars will address all module learning outcomes (11.1-5 and 12.1-9)

  1. Assessment methods and how these relate to testing achievement of the intended module learning outcomes

By submission of an essay of 4-5,000 words on a title normally chosen from a short list of assigned titles. This accounts for 80% of assessment ((subject specific learning outcomes 11.1 -11.5)); ((generic learning outcomes) 12.1-12.9)).

There is a participation assessment of 20% to be apportioned in the following manner:

  • (a) Substance of the 2000 word group paper contributions (10%) ((subject specific learning outcomes 11.1 -11.5)); ((generic learning outcomes) 12.1-12.9)),

  • (b) presentation/viva sessions of the paper by each group participant (10%) (( specific learning outcomes 11.1 -11.5)); ((generic learning outcomes) 12.2-12.3)).

A single mark will be allocated to the group paper and awarded to each participant. For the oral presentation/viva session however, students will present orally in groups but each student will be formally assessed on their individual contribution and marked individually. The convenor will take opportunities to clarify aspects of each student’s contribution to the group, as well as their overall knowledge and understanding. Students will also have the ability to discuss any ‘free-riding’ concerns with the convenor as necessary.

These methods permit students to develop their research, writing and analytical skills while providing scope to demonstrate the deep and detailed knowledge and understanding of the subject area required in a module at the postgraduate level.

  1. Implications for learning resources, including staff, library, IT and space


  1. The School recognises and has embedded the expectations of current disability equality legislation, and supports students with a declared disability or special educational need in its teaching. Within this module we will make reasonable adjustments wherever necessary, including additional or substitute materials, teaching modes or assessment methods for students who have declared and discussed their learning support needs. Arrangements for students with declared disabilities will be made on an individual basis, in consultation with the University’s disability/dyslexia support service, and specialist support will be provided where needed.

  1. Campus where module will be delivered: Canterbury

Revision approved February 2015

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