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LAW3047 : Commercial Law

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Bryan Clark
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The overall aim of this of this class is to introduce students to some key aspects of English commercial law and the role of commercial lawyers. The class will cover a range of related topics including an introduction to commercial law, agency, sale of goods and commercial contracts, commercial dispute resolution (including litigation, arbitration and mediation) as well client commercial interests and the role of commercial lawyers in respect of handling clients’ disputes. While in the main the class shall focus on the gaining of knowledge and understanding of substantive law in commercial areas, the class will seek to engender in students an practical appreciation of dispute handling in respect of commercial disputes and the way that law interacts with other client interests in determining how disputes can be resolved through different processes.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to commercial law
Agency – appointment, authority, relations with third parties, rights and duties of principal and agent, termination of agency
Sale of goods- development, main principles, the passing of property and risk, good title, the seller’s obligations, delivery and payment
Commercial dispute resolution - arbitration, mediation and civil litigation
Judicial and non-judicial Commercial Remedies
Commercial interests and dispute resolution choice for lawyers including an appraisal of law’s interaction with other interests in dispute resolution, the core aspects of commercial litigation and alternative forms of dispute resolution and the role of the commercial lawyer in handling clients’ disputes

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture301:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The principal method of teaching shall be lectures with 30 held over the course of the year. Some of the lectures are likely to be more interactive than is standard with student led group work undertaken (where class size and facilities permit). The purpose of lectures is to provide students with a solid grounding in specific, relevant rules, concepts, and remedies. The purpose of seminars is to allow students to test and deepen their understanding of particular concepts and ideas, and develop their analytical and cognitive skills in the context of the close analysis of specific issues and texts. They also offer an opportunity for detailed discussion of issues covered in the lectures, and for developing and practicing essential legal skills of source synthesis and evidence- and research-based argument, as well as for giving feedback on student progress. In some seminars students will be required to prepare and delivery practical exercises including role play in a mock commercial dispute.

Put together, the lectures and seminars will encourage an active, integrated approach to the study of law and develop the legal skills necessary to achieve a critical understanding of commercial law and its place in the modern legal system, in a way that is relevant both to further study and to legal practice.

Independent study on this module will include directed reading in advance of lectures, consolidation following lectures, and preparation for seminars. Students in seminars will be expected to critically engage with material in a manner consonant with level 3 study

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1352A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M352000 words
Reflective log2M15Approx. 750 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The class shall be assessed by a combination of different techniques. The exam shall be used to test the breadth of knowledge of students across the range of commercial topics taught in the class. The essay shall the students to engage in a specific commercial law area in detail, taking a critical, analytical approach to the issue which engages legal policy and potential reform. The reflective journal shall be completed at the end of the course. The reflective journal is designed to provide you with an opportunity to think about what you have learned and consider how you will apply it. There is no set format, but the following points may be pertinent: describe things that have ‘struck’ you on the course, describe particular moments in the small group tutorials and how they relate to the reading/teaching; consider situations in your work or personal life where learning from the course could be applied, or where you have applied it; describe your own learning; describe any changes in your thinking as a result of your experiences on the course or in the wider world.

Reading Lists