This module introduces students to the fundamental questions of applicable law that arise in a globalised society. The course gives a broad theoretical underpinning to the concepts of conflicts of laws as well as examining from a practical standpoint the challenges faced by litigators dealing with cross-border disputes. The substance of the module provides an overview of choice of law principles in the main areas of civil and commercial practice (contracts, torts, property, and company matters) and takes a closer look at developing and problematic areas as well as the challenges posed to these traditional principles by new technologies and an increasingly interconnected global marketplace. The starting point of the course is to address these issues of applicable law as they arise before the English courts. In this context, aspects of both the English common law rules as well as the European regulations, which now govern substantial aspects of English private international law in civil and commercial matters, are covered in depth. Where appropriate, the course also considers from a comparative perspective the approaches taken in other major jurisdictions (for example the USA, Switzerland and South America).

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