EXC 2121 International Commercial Law


EXC 2121 International Commercial Law

Responsible for the course
Cathrine Bjune

Department of Accounting - Auditing and Law

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

The course aims at providing an understanding of the legal framework applicable to international business. The students get a thorough introduction to different legal legal systems, legal terminology, and the body of law that governs business and commercial transactions. The course covers general contract law and mechanisms for entering into and interpreting international contracts. Standard contracts used for international sales are covered, as well as standard trade terms and commonly used documents and contracts(such as a B/L, a Letter of Credit and cargo insurance covers). The students learn the importance of determining jurisdiction and applicable law when entering into contracts, and how to draft and enter into contracts in order to avoid common pitfalls. Methods of dispute resolution, such as court process, mediation and arbitration is covered. The course covers specific regulations such as CISG (Convention for the International Sale and Purchase of Goods), and NCOTERMS.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge
On completion of this course, students shall:

  • Have an overview of international sale and purchase law.
  • Be able to identify sources of law and regulations applicable to international business transaction, such as national laws, international conventions, trade terms and commercial practices.
  • Have learned to identify and understand common legal terms, expressions and different dispute resolution methods.
  • Aquired knowledge of how to enter into legally binding business contracts and to identify potential pitfalls.
  • Have an overall understanding of the legal challenges in international business and standard contracts used for international sale and purchases.
  • Gained practical knowledge about the law as it relates to international business.
  • Have learned to interpret contracts and find and apply relevant CISG rules.

Acquired skills
The students will be able to:
  • Know the main differences between civil law and common law practices in a commercial setting.
  • Evaluate the extent to which the parties may have to apply mandatory law, or if they can derogate from it in their contracts.
  • Understand the main principles underlying choice of forum and choice of law.
  • Know how to enter into basic commercial contracts and to understand and interpret relevant clauses.
  • Know how to apply INCOTERMS and letters of credit.
  • Apply and use CISG.

The students will have a general understanding of legal systems and contract practices, and how they can differ between countries. This understanding and knowledge will enable them to be more cautious if entering into contracts with a foreign element, and will make them reflect on the potential different outcomes that could be the result of applying alternative jurisdiction, applicable law and choice of dispute resolution clauses in business contracts.


Compulsory reading
Cordero-Moss, Giuditta. 2010. International commercial law. Privatrettsfondet. 161. Skriftserie / Institutt for privatrett, Universitetet i Oslo ; nr 185

Selected articles on CISG and Incoterms. (Articles will be posted on Itslearning)

Recommended reading

Course outline

  • Different legal systems and terminology
  • Mandatory laws vs. non-mandatory and contract law
  • International conventions and their use
  • Conclusion of contracts and standard terms in international contracts
  • Methods for interpretation of international contracts
  • International sale and purchase - CISG (the international sale of goods act)
  • Terms of delivery – INCOTERMS
  • Payments and transfer of risk
  • Letters of credit and standard documents used in international trade
  • Case work

Computer-based tools
Computer-based tools are not used in this course.

Learning process and workload
The course will be conducted through a combination of lectures, casework, group work and assignments. The students need to read the PowerPoint presentations, articles and curriculum as presented during the course. As a part of the learning process there will be given an assignment during the semester. The goal is, through writing and discussions, to train students in arguing and reflecing with reference to relevant law and terms. This is an important issue for the final exam.

The assignment will be published on It’s learning, and can be solved in groups of up to five students. It will be avilable in a periode of two weeks and the students should be able to answer it in about 3 hours if they have followed the recommended work schedule. If the students are not prepared, more time must be calculated. Further information will be given in the lectures and through It's learning.

Feedback to the students will be given during lectures. The lecturer will review some of these assignments in class. The feedback will consist of the students comparing their solutions with the one that is explained by the lecturer.

Recommended workload in hours
Participation at lectures
In class case work in groups
Participation at assignment reviews by lecturer*
Preparation for lectures
Preparation for exams
Total recommended use of time

    A three hour individual written exam concludes the course.

    Examination code(s)
    EXC 21211 - written exam that accounts for 100% of the grade in the course EXC 2121 International Commercial Law, 7.5 ECTS credits.

    Examination support materials
    All support materials allowed.
    Examination support materials at written examiniations are explained under examination information in the student portal @BI. Please note use of calculator and dictionary. https://at.bi.no/EN/Pages/Exa_Hjelpemidler-til-eksamen.aspx

    Re-sit examination
    A re-sit is held at next scheduled examination in the course.

    Additional information