module specification

LL6011 - Law of International Trade (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Law of International Trade
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   RESEARCH ESSAY (2,500 - 3,000 words)
Coursework 50%   CASE STUDY EXERCISE (2,500 - 3,000 words)
Running in 2021/22

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Shipping and cross-border trade are interrelated in both pragmatic and legal terms.

This module enables students to obtain a deep understanding of the context and characteristics of international sale contracts concluded on shipment terms. Students  will learn about the importance of English law in international trade. They will also be able to distinguish between the physical and documentary duties of the trade protagonists under a sale contract, understand the cardinal role of the bill of lading in shipping and commerce and the importance of the proper drafting of the sale and carriage contracts respectively.

By the end of the module, the students will be able to identify, decipher and debate relevant legal issues arising from international commercial law disputes. They will have the expertise to scrutinise sale contracts on shipment terms and advise the buyer and seller as to their respective rights and liabilities, with reference to English law.

It will be of particular interest to students taking the LLB (Business Law) but also to any student considering a career in commercial law in general.


1. International Sale Contracts

Definition and characteristics
CIF and FOB contracts
Formation of an international sale contract
The connection between the contract of sale and the contract of carriage
Carriage contract obligations of the seller

2. The Role of the Bill of Lading in International Maritime Trade

Passage of risk in international sale contracts
Transfer of property in international sale contracts
Classification of physical and documentary duties in an international sale contract

3. Terms

Conditions, warranties, ss 13, 14, 15, 15A of the Sale of Goods Act
Time of shipment
Declaration of shipment

4. The Seller’s Duties

Strict compliance or the de minimis rule?

5. Letters of Credit

Defining a compliant presentation
Comparison between Cash against Documents and Letter of Credit scenarios

6. Rescission of Sale Contracts and Remedies for Breaches of Condition

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning & Teaching Strategy

Weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar. 

The lecture will be used for:

Dissemination of knowledge through an overview of each topic with detailed guidance on appropriate aspects;
An introduction to relevant academic literature;
Guidance on learning strategies;
Use of blackboard and IT resources;
Whole group questions and discussion.

The seminar will be used for:

Development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:
Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules/principles/cases;
A range of step by step writing exercises;
IT tasks such as research of cases and statutes
Critical analysis
Legal writing

Blended Learning

All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on blackboard for use in directed private study.

Student engagement will be encouraged in both lectures and seminars through weekly use of Weblearn for access to all of the above materials.

There will be required use of the professional legal databases, especially Westlaw and Lexis Library, for legal research

Opportunities for reflective learning/pdp

Each weekly seminar will contain space for students to reflect on what they have learnt in relation to the overall syllabus. There will be frequent feedback and feedforward opportunities structured into the timetable.


Employability strategy will aim to acquaint students with a range of employment avenues both in the legal profession and in those professions into which legal qualifications and skills are transferable. This module is particularly relevant to students who are keen to specialise and practise maritime and international commercial law in the UK or abroad. As such, it is equally useful to those who wish to work in the industry (law firms, maritime and trading companies, P&I clubs), and to those who wish to embark on an LLM in Maritime/Commercial Law.

Student’s Study Responsibilities

The need for attendance, punctuality, preparation and engagement will be emphasised with particular reference to written and IT research, problem-solving, team-work, discussion, debate and critical awareness of the subject.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the students will be able to:

1. Critically research, analyse and debate contemporary legal issues surrounding international trade, such as comparing, contrasting and evaluating conflicting views, in a cogent and measured written presentation.

2. Independently research and advise on problem-based case studies, involving synthesis, critical analysis, appraisal and the application of the principles of international trade law.

Assessment strategy

Description of assessment items

(2,500 – 3,000 words)

A critical discussion of contemporary issues within the field of international trade law.

This will assess the ability critically to research, analyse and debate contemporary legal issues, such as comparing, contrasting and evaluating conflicting views, in a cogent and measured written presentation.

(2,500 – 3,000 words)

Independently researched problem-based case study, involving synthesis, critical analysis, appraisal and application of the principles of international trade law, to give lucid and supportable advice.


Core Texts:

Bridge, Benjamin’s Sale of Goods (Sweet and Maxwell)

Other Texts:

Murray, C and Holloway, D,  Schmitthoff: The Law and Practice of International Trade (Sweet & Maxwell)

Todd, P, Bills of Lading and Bankers’ Documentary Credits (Informa)


Law Quarterly Review
Lloyds Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly
Journal of International Maritime Law
Journal of Business Law

Electronic Databases:

Westlaw and Lexis Library