UCL Summer School


International Trade and Maritime Law

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session Two
Module leader
Dr Melis Özdel
None. Standard UCL Summer entry criteria apply.
Assessment method
Memorandum (75%), Presentation (25%)
Download syllabus (PDF)
International Trade and Maritime Law

Module overview

The selling and purchasing of goods across territorial borders is an ancient yet sophisticated commercial activity. International trade involves interlocking contracts, including letters of credit and contracts of sale, carriage and insurance, all of which concern the minds of traders whilst performing this activity for profit. In pursuit of certainty and predictability in their affairs, traders around the world typically refer to English law in their sale contracts as the governing law. London has an unrivalled reputation as a global centre for dispute resolution, and it has always been the heart of international trade and maritime disputes.

Carriage of goods by sea has been the backbone of international trade since ancient times. This age-old yet sophisticated commercial activity remains to this day of importance to traders selling and purchasing goods across territorial borders for profit. English law enjoys a long-standing predominance in the international shipping market, as it is frequently chosen by the parties to govern their contracts of carriage. A vast amount of goods is carried around the world under contracts of carriage governed by English law.
This module covers all facets of CIF and FOB sales, ranging from contract formation to remedies, focusing on the problems when the interlocking contracts are not back-to-back. It also covers the main principles of the law of carriage of good by sea, offering an essential study of the two main forms of contract of carriage, namely charterparties and bills of lading.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Have a clear understanding of the workings of international trade and the ways in which this field interlinks and operates with the law of carriage of goods by sea
  • Display an ability to discuss the key legal principles underpinning the sale contracts on CIF and FOB terms under English law and their practical implications in light of the commonly used standard form sale contracts promulgated by the major trade associations (namely GAFTA and FOSFA)
  • Have awareness of the different functions of the bills of lading and the international conventions governing contracts of carriage of goods by sea; and of the various standard form contracts for the carriage of goods by sea that are widely in use
  • Have a good understanding of the main principles of time charterparties and voyage charterparties
  • Have the ability to navigate through real life legal problems encountered in the maritime and international trade fields

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • 2,500 word memorandum (75%)
  • 15-minute presentation (25%)

Module leader

Dr Melis Özdel is the Director of the UCL
Centre for Commercial Law. At UCL, she
 convenes the International Trade law and
 Carriage of Goods by Sea modules and
 co-convenes the International Arbitration Law module. Melis has published extensively in various areas of Maritime, International Trade, Conflict of Laws and Arbitration Law. Melis is the author of Bills of Lading Incorporating Charterparties (Hart Publishing, 2015) and co-author of EU Maritime Transport Law (Hart-Nomos- Beck, 2016) Melis is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, GAFTA (Grain and Feed Trade Association), Turkey Bar Association and a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association.

Application information

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