SOAS University of London

School of Law

Comparative Commercial Law

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

International commerce is global, but law is still largely local. This tension profoundly affects legal practice. An understanding of this situation is therefore essential for anyone practising or studying international commerce or any area affected by it, eg economic development.

Part I of the module is the same as Foundations of Comparative Law 15PLAH031. In Part II the principles learnt in Part I are applied to commercial law. The subjects studied in Part II may vary from year to year, but usually include: Application of Comparative Law to Commercial Law (CL); Providing for the Special Needs of CL; CL in England and France; Chinese Commercial Legal Environment; Soviet/Post-Soviet Commercial Legal Environment; Islamic Law and Its Commercial Aspects; Middle East Commercial Legal Environment.

Please note: in this module, all students are expected to think for themselves and participate actively. Class attendance is compulsory. Preparation is also compulsory: if it is inadequate, a student may be asked to leave, be marked as absent, or both. All students need to attend the first lecture. This teaching method is not for everyone. If you have any concerns, ask the module convenor.

Students may not take both this module and Foundations of Comparative Law (15PLAH031).

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate:

  • a sound knowledge of the foundation concepts of, and principal debates in, the discipline of Comparative Law, enabling students to recognise comparative law issues and to analyse them using the conceptual tools of the discipline;
  • that, in so doing, students have developed critical ways of thinking about legal studies; and
  • that they have acquired a sound knowledge of the application of selected issues in comparative law to the anticipation, recognition and solutions of problems arising from the interaction of different legal cultures in the practice of international commercial law and, in particular, the essentials of different attitudes to commercial law in selected legal systems.

Method of assessment

  • Coursework: 25% (2000 words) and 75% (6000 words)

Suggested reading

  • Foster, NHD (2007) 'Comparative Commercial Law: Rules or Context?' in Örücü, E and Nelken, D (eds) Comparative Law: A Handbook Hart


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules