LLM Commercial Conflict of Laws

Teaching and assessment (2018-19): Semester 2, 1 x 3 hour examination 

Module description:

A private law subject concerned with what happens when a dispute has an international set of facts. It might be described as the law of international commercial litigation. It is often and alternatively referred to as private international law.

Outline of topics to be covered:

  1. Jurisdiction: when can a dispute with international sets of facts be heard in an English court? European Regulation applies where the defendant is domiciled in Europe; otherwise we use common law rules. Should an English court be prepared to hear any case, no matter how tenuously connected with England.
  2. Choice of law: when we have an international dispute, we have to decide which country’s law or laws to apply if the case is heard in England. We look at the law-selecting rules in the two most important areas: contract and tort law disputes.
  3. Recognition of foreign judgments: suppose that a US court had already ruled on the merits of a contract case and that the claimant wins damages, but the defendant holds his assets in England. To claim them, it is necessary that the English court recognises the effects of the foreign judgment. When will it do so? What if the judgment was given in a country where the defendant had no opportunity to defend himself or was decided on the basis of a repugnant law?