Commercial Law is a subject of immense importance, especially for those
intending to go on to practise law in a major metropolitan area.
It is a dynamic and exciting area. It must be flexible in order to
keep pace with the rapid changes in business and with the globalization
of markets. At the same time, it must deliver the certainty that
It is, however, not an easy subject to define and potentially encompasses
contract, company law, agency, sale of goods, banking, intellectual
property, competition, taxation, international trade and insurance.
This course does not seek to cover all of these subjects. The object
is to look at certain areas in order to acquire an understanding of
the main themes, principles and practices of commercial law. The course
is, therefore, organized around the contract of sale. In this it reflects
the view of one leading writer, Professor Sir Roy Goode, who remarked
that commercial law comprises ‘that branch of law which is concerned
with rights and duties arising from the supply of goods and services
in the way of trade.’
1. Agency: why is agency so important, who is an agent,
what are the rights and obligations that arise where an agent acts
for a principal?
2. Sale: what is a contract for the sale of goods, what terms arise
in such a contract, what rights and obligations do the parties have?
3. Banking: what is money and how are payments made? We will also
touch on something known as structured finance and consider what
wrong with the banking system. We will discuss what is meant by securitization
and special purpose vehicles; why these concepts are so important;
and how dull old trust law plays a key role in high finance.
4. Assignment: the discussion of structured finance leads on to the
issue of how rights (e.g. debts) can be transferred by a business
in order to raise money.
Two and a half hour written examination in May. In addition,
students submit two essays which do not form part of the assessment
in each term).