Commercial Conflict of Laws

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
01 June 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module examines the concepts, theories, rules, models and principles of Conflict of Laws as they relate to commercial relationships, transactions and disputes.

Focusing on litigation, it considers relevant international conventions, regional instruments, model laws, legal guides, restatements of law, national law and other sources of rules and principles governing transborder commercial relationships, transactions and disputes. It then investigates how Conflict of Laws has developed to balance international or transnational commercial concerns with national approaches in determining appropriate jurisdiction and choice of law and in recognising and enforcing foreign judgments.

The module critically examines theoretical debates and doctrines of Conflict of Laws in the light of existing transnational and national approaches and practical cases. It draws on materials and practices from different national jurisdictions and international or transnational institutions and reflects some degrees of comparative analysis.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the sources, concepts, theories, doctrines, rules, principles and models of Conflict of Laws and to enable them to describe and discuss the legal, practical and business contexts in which they operate. The module aims to provide students with intellectual knowledge and the conceptual and practical skills necessary to understand and assess the merits and limitations of materials and practices of Conflict of Laws. It aims to equip students with effective independent research, communication and interpersonal skills for study and employment. It aims to contribute to and improve decision making and risk management in business and enable the implementation of suitable models at different organisational levels. The module also aims to develop appropriate research methodology skills and improve comparative and case study analytical skills.

Module learning outcomes

The learning outcomes for the module are to:
1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the sources, concepts, theories, rules, principles and models of Conflict of Laws and be able to describe and discuss the legal, practical and business context in which they operate, including their benefits, limitations and challenges;
2. Demonstrate understanding of the transnational and commercial contexts of Conflict of Laws;
3. Demonstrate a comprehensive and comparative understanding of approaches to Conflict of Laws;
4. Demonstrate critical awareness of relevant issues and identify and explain key conventions, legislations, model laws, legal guides, cases, texts and procedures on Conflict of Laws and evaluate critically them on pragmatic, commercial, moral, policy and/or other grounds;
5. Read treaty and legislative materials, model laws and case law and apply them critically to specific legal, business and other situations;
6. Identify and evaluate critically large and complex amounts of legal data from more than one source or jurisdiction;
7. Evaluate the business environment, and critically analyse and apply legal data to specific facts and deduce likely outcomes where law is indeterminate;
8. Demonstrate independent legal research and study skills, including multi-disciplinary research and use of library-based resources; and
9. Identify, select and organise materials and produce coherent and convincing arguments and demonstrate critical thinking and effective and persuasive oral and written communication skills.

Module information

Indicative Syllabus:

1. Introduction: The module, subject and scope of Commercial Conflict of Laws
2. English Law's Traditional Jurisdiction Rules for Action in Personam and Action in Rem
3. Defendant outside the jurisdiction of the English court and Stay and Restraint of Proceedings
4. Application, Contexts and Consequences of Jurisdiction Rules
5. Choice of Law Clauses
6. The Applicable Law in Absence of a Choice of Law
7. Choice of Law, the Contract, and Non-Contractual Obligations
8. The Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
9. The Applicable Law to the Contract

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.



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay (LW966 Commercial Conflict of Laws)    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
Prof Onyeka Osuji, email: o.k.osuji@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Onyeka Osuji



External examiner

Dr Emilie Ghio
University of Edinburgh
Lecturer in Law
Prof Bruce Wardhaugh
Durham University
Professor of Competition Law
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Law School

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