module specification

LL6066 - International Trade Law (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title International Trade Law
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   A critical discussion of contemporary issues within the field of international trade law
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

International Trade Law concerns shipping and cross-border trade, which 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.

The aim of this module is to enable students 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 (Commercial Law) but also to any student considering a career in commercial law in general.


1. International Sale Contracts  LO1, LO2 and LO3
• 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  LO1, LO2 and LO3
• 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  LO1, LO2 and LO3
• Conditions, warranties
• Sections 13, 14, 15, 15A of the Sale of Goods Act 1979.
• Time of shipment
• Declaration of shipment

4. The Seller’s Duties  LO1, LO2 and LO3
• Strict compliance or the de minimis rule?

5. Rejection of goods and rejection of documents  LO1, LO2 and LO3

6. Letters of Credit  LO1, LO2 and LO3
• Formation
• Principles
• Defining a compliant presentation
• Comparison between Cash against Documents and Letter of Credit scenarios

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning and 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 WebLearn and IT resources;
• Whole group questions and discussion.

The seminar will be used for the development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:

• Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules, principles and cases;
• A range of step-by-step analytical exercises;
• Problem solving;
• IT tasks, such as research of cases and statutes;
• Legal writing.

Blended Learning

All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on WebLearn 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 opportunities structured into the timetable and a range of sample answers posted onto WebLearn.

Students’ 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. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of international trade law on which to base a systematic evaluation of the key principles.

2. Critically debate contemporary legal issues surrounding international trade.

3. Independently research and advise on problem-based case studies.

Assessment strategy

Written coursework (2,000 words maximum)

Students will choose either:

1. 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 (from a choice of 2 questions); or

2. An 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 (from a choice of 2 questions).


The link to the Talis reading list will be provided when the module is due to start running.