06260164 - Legal environment of international business

Credit hour 3
Total number of hours 20
Number of hours for lectures 12
Number of hours for tutorials 8


This course will introduce the legal frameworks relevant to the conduct of business across the world. Participants will learn about the characteristics of the main legal traditions, as well as those elements of international law (including regional international associations) affecting private and commercial transactions.

- The origins, legislative systems and judicial structures of the common law, civil law and Islamic law traditions (as well as the diversity within them)
- Specific differences in the field of private law between and within countries belonging to the three main legal traditions
- The current environment for business provided by European Union treaties, legislation and case-law
- The international regime for resolving business disputes, including arbitration

- Knowledge of the key differences to be expected in law and practice between countries belonging to the main legal traditions
- Knowledge of key legal mechanisms relating to the conduct of international business
- Ability to research, explain and write about specific aspects of domestic or international regimes for business
- Ability to comprehend the rationale of key court judgments affecting business


CM no. 1 - Introduction to the Major Legal System Traditions of the World
CM no. 2 - Introduction to the Fundamental Aspects of Contract Law in the Major Traditions
CM no. 3 - Introduction to the European Union Single Market Legal Environment
TD no. 1 - Case-studies of Legal Problems when Entering or Moving within the EU
CM no. 4 - Introduction to Private International Law / Conflict of Laws as regards Contract Law
TD no. 2 - Case-studies of Contractual Disputes involving Different Legal Systems
CM no. 5 - Introduction to International Commercial Arbitration
TD no. 3 - Case-studies of Abritrated Disputes and Subsequent Judicial Challenges
TD no. 4 - Final exam (involving both knowledge of principles and its application to case-studies)


D. Johnson, European Business (London: Routledge, 2015)
M.L. Moses, The Principles and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)
M. Reimann & R. Zimmerman (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Further articles or sources will be suggested as the course progresses.


Final Exam
Written 2h
60% of final mark, answers to written questions

Continuing Examination
In class Examination
40% of final mark

Additional Information

The basic grounding in the differences of legal tradition relating to business, as well as in the international structures affecting business, will be delivered via lectures. For the tutorial sessions, the students will be divided into groups and asked to examine case-studies dealing with particular contractual disputes and arbitration cases across borders, and to apply what has been covered in the lectures to those circumstances.

No formal background in law is required.