International Sale of Goods

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
01 July 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

LLM M10212 International Trade Law,
LLM M10224 International Trade Law,
LLM M22112 International Trade and Maritime Law,
LLM M22124 International Trade and Maritime Law,
LLM M221PP International Trade and Maritime Law with Professional Placement

Module description

This module explores the law governing export sales transactions. The comparative method is adopted with the emphasis on two 'competing' international regimes namely, the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and the English law on the sale of goods, including the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

We commence with an overview of the comparative method and an examination of the peculiar legal and practical considerations affecting international sale transactions. This overview is undertaken against a backdrop of efforts to harmonise international trade law and practice by bodies such as UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT and the ICC.

We then look at select substantive legal issues such as contract formation, the transfer of property, risk and the remedies available for breach of contract and the regulation of these issues under the different regimes.

We also look at the use of standard forms incorporating typical contract structures such as FOB and CIF. Throughout the module, we will refer to problems arising in international sales practice in order to gain understanding of the broader commercial context of export sales transactions.

Module aims

In addition to substantive legal knowledge, we will ultimately also be able to debate issues such as the following:
1. Why a major trading nation such as the United Kingdom has not as yet ratified the CISG despite its adoption by more than 80 other states including major industrialised nations and developing states;
2. Why parties in commodity sales transactions often choose English law to govern their international sales contracts;
3. The implications of competing regimes for questions of legal harmonisation;
4. The way forward for other nations still contemplating a possible ratification of the CISG.

Module learning outcomes

1. To familiarise candidates with the comparative method.
2. To identify the peculiar risks of international export transactions and the legal concepts which arise out of and underlie export transactions and specifically the international sale contract
3. To provide a thorough understanding of the legal rights and obligations arising out of an international sale contract
4. To consider standard forms incorporating typical contract structures such as FOB and CIF
5. To provide a thorough understanding of the legal and commercial consequences of a breach of an international sale contract

Module information

1. Introduction
- The comparative method
- The concepts of international trade law
- The international sale contract and ancillary contracts e.g. carriage and insurance
- Legal harmonisation

2. Application of the CISG and SGA 1979

3. The key performance obligations of the seller under the CISG and the Sale of Goods Act 1979

4. FOB and CIF contracts – their structure and operation – the use of standard forms – the relationship with financing contracts.

5. Risk, Frustration and the Transfer of Property

6. Breach of Contract and Remedies

7. SGA 1979 v CISG: Should the UK ratify the CISG?

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be taught via weekly 2-hour seminars. The module teaching team will upload all relevant teaching materials on Moodle. You will find reading lists, the textbook, weekly handouts or PPS notes on Moodle. The materials in question are designed both to help you navigate the material to be covered in the seminars and to equip you to analyse the required readings. You will be expected to have completed the required readings in advance of your seminars.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay (LW603 International Sale of Goods)     100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Belma Bulut Sahin, email: bbulut@essex.ac.uk.
The Law Education Admin Team - pgtlawqueries@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Prof Duncan Sheehan
University of Leeds
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 18 (90%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Law School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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