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Unit information: Commercial Conflict of Laws in 2020/21

Unit name Commercial Conflict of Laws
Unit code LAWD30136
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Arzandeh
Open unit status Not open

LAWD10008 Law of Contract and LAWD10011 Law of Tort



School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Commercial conflict of laws is a fundamentally important area of legal scholarship and practice. A substantial volume of high-value commercial disputes that are litigated in London involve the assessment of issues which fall within this discipline. This unit aims to introduce you to some of the key principles of commercial conflict of laws. First, it identifies and explores the set of rules based on which courts in England decide whether they are competent to assert jurisdiction over a commercial claim with international elements. Second, the unit examines the provisions based on which English courts determine the law governing the parties’ dispute. Finally, the unit outlines the rules according to which courts in England give effect to judgments made in foreign jurisdictions. An examination of these issues involves consideration of not only traditional doctrines of English law, but also a number of EU instruments which regulate various private-international-law questions.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • How comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the main concepts, values, and principles at the heart of commercial conflict of laws;
  • Demonstrate a clear appreciation of the differences and similarities between the approaches at common law and under European law to legal problems generated by international litigation;
  • Exhibit clear understanding of debates about how the current legal framework might be reformed and to assess the significance and merits of such reform proposals;
  • Show a firm grasp of the important legal principles in the fields of jurisdiction, choice of law and the recognition/enforcement of foreign judgments;
  • Apply their knowledge of the various legal principles to a range of specific questions concerning conflict of laws, presenting reasoned arguments for their conclusions.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

1 x summative assessment: Timed Open Book Assessment with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

  • Clarkson & Hill, The Conflict of Laws (5th edn, 2016);
  • Briggs, The Conflict of Laws (4th end, 2019);
  • Cheshire, North & Fawcett’s Private International Law (15th edn, 2017);
  • Rogerson, Collier’s Conflict of Laws (4th edn, 2013);
  • Briggs, Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments (6th edn, 2015) – reference text only;
  • Dicey, Morris & Collins on The Conflict of Laws (15th edn, 2012) – reference text only.