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QLLM051 International Commercial Litigation - Commercial Conflict of Laws

Module Description

The module examines the key aspects of conflicts of laws principles, as they apply in the context of litigation concerning commercial matters. There is an introductory section dealing with the fundamental techniques of this branch of the law, with emphasis upon those aspects which are of special importance to the conduct of litigation, including the identification of the relevant issues in a case, characterization / classification, distinction between substance and procedure, pleading, proof, application and exclusion of foreign law, the obtaining of evidence, and special remedies of a provisional or protective nature.

The module then moves to a consideration of the choice of law process, and of the rules by which an English court will determine the applicable law of a contract, or of other commercial transactions including international sales. Next, the rules for the exercise of jurisdiction are considered, both in relation to cases falling within the scope of harmonized provisions of the EU and in relation to cases falling outside their scope. Here, issues of forum shopping, conflict of jurisdictions and choice of courts agreements will be examined, as well as matters of establishing jurisdiction. This section of the module concludes with a study of the rules and principles affecting the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. 

Finally, there is an exploration of the law governing the financial aspects of international commercial transactions, including the role of currency clauses, the enforcement of monetary
obligations, and the English courts’ capability of awarding judgments in foreign currency. 

The module takes an international and comparative perspective, looking into various jurisdictions and national legal regimes. Particular focus, however, will be given on the European legal framework (the “Rome” and “Brussels” Regulations) and - where relevant - on the English Common Law rules.

Module Topics:

Part I

  • Consecutive stages of proceedings
  • Classification / characterisation
  • The dichotomy between substance and procedure
  • Choice of Law in commercial transactions; conflict of laws
  • The EU legal framework on conflict of law: Rome Convention, Rome Regulation I (Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations), Rome Regulation II (Law Applicable to noncontractual obligations
  • Pleading, proof, application and exclusion of foreign law

Part II

  • International commercial litigation in context: basic concepts, strategies and techniques
  • Staying of actions; anti-suit injunctions and restraining orders
  • Forum Shopping and conflict of jurisdictions
  • Issues of Jurisdiction; the Brussels Regulation
  • Forum selection: Choice of Courts and arbitration clauses Agreements; the 2005 Hague Convention
  • Special remedies: Mareva and Anton Piller orders
  • Obtaining evidence

Part III: International Sales

  • Determining the governing law of sales contracts.
  • Special aspects of export sales: CIF and FOB contracts; ULIS and CISG.

Part IV: Financial aspects

  • Payments problems in an international context: currency clauses; foreign money obligations; judgments in foreign currency.
  • Exchange controls; banking transactions; letters of credit.

Prerequisites

None

Applicable Groupings

Mode of Assessment

3 hour written examination paper

Credits

45 Credits

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