Transnational Law, Finance and Technology

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law, Gender and Media

Module overview

The module deals with the Actors, Norms, Institutions, Market-led Processes and Legal Conflicts in transnational law. 

Case studies, taken out of legal practice in financial, technological, and socio-legal contexts, provide an opportunity to explore complex, border-crossing problems that involve jurisdictions and transnational legal developments originating in the Global South and beyond (the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa and the United Kingdom). 

Case studies illustrate concrete legal problems, patterns or trends in transnational law such as: the degree to which established legal fields have begun to change or develop under the influence of hybrid norm creation and the private law conflicts which can arise; the intersection of public and private law; global regulatory dynamics and distributional trade-offs; technological diffusion and regulation; the transnational legal implications of non-state actors such as international standard setting organisations as well as multinational corporations; the offshoring/onshoring of law; the transnational normative orders which facilitate informal value transfer systems (informal finance). 

The module has two aims. First, it provides students with the opportunity to engage with the research concerning the intersection of transnational law, finance, and technology. The module helps students to develop methodological toolkits for engaging with transnational law, grounded in comparative, sociolegal, and law and economics methodologies. 

Second, the module examines the legal conflicts and regulatory developments which arise in transnational financial and technological contexts. The module seeks to understand law as it originates, operates, influences and is influenced by finance, technology, and the social embeddedness of exchange. The module introduces an interdisciplinary approach to the study of law that considers the full scale of normativity and sanctioning patterns including norms, customs, institutions, market forces, code, and the law.

This normative approach interrogates the assumption of the primacy of state-law and considers the problems and legal impact of sanctioning patterns at work in financial and technological contexts.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Analyse, describe, and critique ‘transnational law’ and/or evaluate and explain transnational law in a financial or technological context. 
  • Demonstrate understanding of the various methodologies involved in the analysis of transnational law in finance and technological contexts.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the module’s case studies of transnational legal practice in finance and technology contexts.
  • Critically assess transnational regulatory conflicts and developments in finance and technology. 
  • Demonstrate and critically assess transnational lawmaking and diffusion in financial and technological contexts. 
  • Demonstrate understanding of the full range of sanctioning patterns including norms, customs, institutions, market forces, code and the law and their relevance to the regulation of finance and technology.


A weekly 2-hour seminar

Scope and syllabus

Part I: Theoretical Concepts and Methodologies

Transnational Law or a Methodological Architecture for Global Law in Context? Global Legal Pluralism

Part II

Case Studies Transnational Unification and/or Harmonisation of commercial and financial law Transnational Commercial Law in an African context: The Organisation for Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA); the CISG and UNCITRAL Rules Transnational Private Law Disputes Globalisation and Regulatory Law Transnational Informal Finance: Informal Value Systems and the Law Technology and the Law Cryptocurrencies and the Law Blockchain, Smart Contracts and the Law

Method of assessment

  • Essay: 80% (3000 words)
  • Concept paper: 20% (500 words)

Suggested reading

Core reading

  • William Twining, Globalisation and Legal Theory (Butterworths, 2000)
  • Gunther Teubner, Global Law Without a State (Dartmouth Publishing Co, 1997)
  • Gralf-Peter Calliess and Peer Zumbansen, Rough Consensus and Running Code (Hart Publishing 2010)
  • Roger Cotterrell, Sociological Jurisprudence: Juristic Thought and Social Inquiry (Routledge, 2018)
  • Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Toward a New Legal Common Sense: Law, Globalization, and Emancipation (Butterworths LexisNexis, 2002)
  • Saskia Sassen, A Sociology of Globalization (W.W. Norton & Co., 2007)
  • David Vogel and Robert A. Kagan, Dynamics of Regulatory Change (University of California Press, 2004)
  • Tim Buethe and Walter Mattli, The New Global Rulers: Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy (Princeton University Press, 2011)
  • Andrew Moriss, Offshore Financial Centres and Regulatory Competition (AEI Press, 2010)
  • Mark Granovetter, Society and Economy: Framework and Principles (Harvard University Press, 2017)
  • Primavera De Filippi and Aaron Wright, Blockchain and the Law (Harvard University Press, 2018)

Additional reading

  • Jonathan Ercanbrack, The Transformation of Islamic Law in Global Financial Markets (Cambridge University Press 2015) Available in SOAS Library
  • Dawn Oliver, Tony Prosser and Richard Rawlings, Transnational Legal Theory (Oxford University Press, 2014) Not Available
  • Peer Zumbansen, The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Law ( Oxford University Press, 2021) Not available
  • Roger Cotterrell and Maksymilian Del Mar, Authority in Transnational Legal Theory: Theorising Across Disciplines (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016) Available in SOAS Library
  • Roy Goode, Herbert Kronke and Ewan McKendrick, Transnational Commercial Law: Texts, Cases and Materials (Oxford University Press, 2015) Available in SOAS Library
  • Werner Menski, Comparative Law in a Global Context (Cambridge University Press, 2006) Available in SOAS Library 


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.