International Commercial Litigation: Jurisdiction

Module code: LW7005
Module co-ordinator: Dr Diana Sancho Villa

Module Outline

Private international law is an aspect of English private law which applies to cases where a foreign element or aspect is present. The number of cases that refer to private international law rules is increasing. During the last century, international trade and commerce, free movement, migration have resulted in many more cases being brought before the English courts that require reference to rules of private international law. The objective of private international law is to ‘build a bridge’ between different legal systems by providing rules of jurisdiction, choice of law and recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements. The role of the EU, other regional trade groups and international organisations in shaping these rules has also increased.

In this particular module we consider two of those rules: rules of jurisdiction and rules determining the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements. In particular, we focus on civil and commercial jurisdiction rules at EU and national (English law) levels. We consider their effectiveness in cases involving for example on what basis non-EU defendants can be sued in England, whether the English courts can grant anti-suit injunctions against foreign court proceedings, the validity and enforceability of jurisdiction agreements, which courts have jurisdiction over internet contracts and torts and how the English courts recognise and enforce foreign judgements in England. In essence, these rules are relevant to the effective management of litigation and transaction risk in international commerce.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Lectures, seminars, drop-in tutorial session, private study and Blackboard.

Assessment Methods

One Research Paper (not exceeding 5,000 words including footnotes).


It is preferable that students should have studied law in, or law should represent a significant component of, their first or previous degree.