LAW41200 Cross-Border Litigation: European and International Perspectives on the Conflict of Laws

Academic Year 2022/2023

Litigation is more complex where it has a foreign element: for example, where it concerns an international contract or a transnational tort.

The appropriate location for hearing the case may be unclear and highly contested where the parties are based in different countries. Beyond the convenience and familiarity of litigating at home, there may be procedural rules relating to legal costs or discovery of documents which make one forum much more advantageous from the perspective of one party (and therefore disadvantageous from the perspective of the other).

There may also be a dispute as to which substantive law should apply in resolving the case. If the case concerns contractual misrepresentation or product liability, and the two connected legal systems have different laws in this area, then each party will want to have the dispute resolved in accordance with the laws that suit their interests.

A question may also arise as to whether a judgment obtained in one country should be recognised and enforced in another country where the defendant has assets. Judgment-recognition may be particularly contentious where the original trial was perceived to have been unfair or where there was an assertion that the case should have been heard elsewhere.

These problems which arise in cross-border litigation are resolved by reference to conflict of laws rules, and in Europe mainly by reference to the harmonised conflict of laws rules laid down in EU Regulations.

Students on this module will explore these EU Regulations (including the Brussels I Recast Regulation and the Rome I and Rome II Regulations), alongside common law conflict of laws doctrine and relevant international conventions.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module, students should be able to
- identify the additional complexities that arise in cross-border litigation
- apply the methodology of the conflict of laws
- explain and justify the role of the conflict of laws
- understand the interaction of conflict of laws and rules of domestic substantive law
- critically assess the Europeanisation of the conflict of laws
- discuss the impact of international conventions on the conflict of laws
- recognise and resolve relevant conflict of laws issues
- carry out independent research in the field
- identify a wide range of primary and secondary specialist conflict of laws resources

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module is taught by way of a face-to-face interactive seminar. Teaching and learning methods include active/task-based learning; lectures; critical writing; reflective learning; enquiry and problem-based learning; debates; case-based learning. Students are assigned reading in advance of the class and are expected to come to class prepared to discuss what they have read. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
LAW30820 - Private International Law, LAW40410 - International Civil Litigation, LAW40420 - Choice of Law Issues, LAW40700 - Social Conflicts of Law

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Essay (2000 words) Week 12 n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Class attendance and participation in class discussion (based on assigned reading). Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Assignment (2000 words) Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive generalised feedback (via Brightspace) on their assignment and essay. Students will be given an opportunity for further (individual) feedback on their assignment and essay following the release of generalised group feedback. Students will also receive informal feedback during the in-class discussions.