International Commercial Disputes - NOTE: THE COURSE IS CANCELLED IN THE AUTUMN SEMESTER 2017

Course content

Within the European Union, indeed around the globe, international business transactions (IBTs), typically involving parties whose places of business are in different States, are regulated by a series of specialized rulesets. These rulesets are designed to promote “denationalization” of international business, thus levelling the commercial playing field, while promoting competition and trade.

The internationalization trend affects not only substantive rulesets (e.g., the law of obligations, including contracts and sales), but also regional and international rules which regulate IBT dispute resolution (by litigation or arbitration) and choice of law (Private International Law: PIL rules). Internationalization also impacts profoundly on substance, dispute resolution and PIL in tort and delict. The course is thus an interdisciplinary course designed to promote understanding of how key substantive, procedural and private international law (conflict of laws) rulesets operate in relation to IBTs, primarily as regards transactions and disputes involving contract and tort.
Starting with the international contract of sale as a substantive (contract law) paradigm, the course considers concrete cases and problems arising under the Vienna Sales Convention (CISG).

The CISG provide a platform for the exploration of procedural and conflict issues in a larger regional and international context, involving the international competence (jurisdiction) of national courts and international arbitral tribunals, choice of applicable law (in litigation and arbitration), recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards.

The course includes consideration of key decisions by the European Court of Justice and national courts and arbitral tribunals applying European and international rules and conventions, e.g.:

  • the UN Convention on Contracts for International Sale of Goods (1980)
  • the EU Rome I Regulation on International Contracts (2008)
  • the EU Rome Convention on Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations (1980)
  • the EU Rome II Regulation on the Law Applicable to Non-contractual Obligations (2007)
  • the EU Brussels I Regulation (2000) on International Court Jurisdiction and Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments
  • the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (2006)
  • the UN New York Convention on Recognition & Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958).


Emphasis is placed on knowledge and skills relevant for practitioners who deal with litigation and arbitration of commercial problems at the transnational level.

Main Topics:

  • General Introduction: Substance, Procedure & Conflict of Laws.
  • Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods CISG.
  • International Jurisdiction for courts: EU Brussels I Regulation.
  • Law Applicable to Contractual & Non-Contractual Obligations: EU Rome I & II Regulations.
  • Recognition & Enforcement of Judgments under the Brussels I Regulation.
  • International Commercial Arbitration: Model Arbitration Law􀀞 the UNIDROIT Principles
  • Recognition & Enforcement of Arbitral Awards: the New York Convention.


This course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World, see 'Remarks' below.

Learning outcome

The objective of the course is to enable the students to:

- Explain in English the structure and function of EU and Private International Law rules covered by the required reading material for the course.
- Identify complex EU and Private International Law problems.
- Analyze complex EU and Private International Law problems.
- Argue in favor of various tenable solutions, make a critical weighing of the relevant arguments and make a reasoned choice in relation to
theoretical and practical considerations.
-Put into perspective concrete relevant EU and Private International Law problems in a way that shows that she/he has a professional
breadth of view in relation to and knowledge about the course subject.
- Communicate and formulate her/his knowledge and arguments professionally and linguistically correct and in a way that is structured
and coherent manner.

1) A significant part of the course is characterised by the use of the Case Method of Study, and all students are required to participate in a series of case presentations and discussions.
The students’ acquired knowledge of the course materials, including various case studies – as well as the underlying general principles which govern the resolution of similar cases is tested both during in-class presentations an discussions.
2) Negotiation exercise, where students are divided into delegations and expected to play/perform diplomatic negotiations on the recast of the EU Brussels I Regulation. The delegations will receive ralistic proposals from the negotiations that took place in Brussels in
3) Online exercises will provide students with ample opportunity to practice their skills throughout the entire course.

  • J. Lookofsky: Understanding the CISG (5th Worldwide ed. 2017).
  • J. Lookofsky & K. Hertz: EU-PIL, (2nd ed. DJOEF & Juris Pub. 2015).
  • Online materials: cases (case law), law journal articles, etc.: appx. 300 pp.


Total Required Reading: about 750 pages

Students should have a good and active knowledge of English, as the course and the exam is in

Please observe, this course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World. Students who sign up for the iEP become iCourts Student Fellows and will get a unique opportunity to become part of the research environment of iCourts – the only centre of excellence in law in Denmark. The iEP is open to all Danish and foreign MA students at the Faculty. All iCourts courses may be taken individually but only students who complete at least three of the 15 ECTS courses offered by the centre will receive a certificate confirming their participation in the iEP. Read more about the programme: http:/​​/​​​​icourts/​​teaching-and-doctoral-training/​​master-excellence-programme/​​


Individual teacher feedback, as well as class/student feedback, on in-class group presentations and discussions as well as practical exercises in class.

Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Written exam, 4 hours with invigilation

The student's grade is based on the result of a 4-hour final written exam (with supervision). The exam is “open book” (all materials allowed).
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 356,5
  • English
  • 412,5