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Multinational enterprises and the law

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

This course explores the relationship between multinational enterprises or MNEs and the law. It does this from two perspectives, one is to think about the impact of the law on multinational enterprises, and the other is to think about the impact of multinational enterprises on the law. We will consider these two relationships from the perspectives of three different parties; governments, civil society actors and multinational enterprises themselves. Multinational enterprises take many forms, they can be in the form of companies or partnerships located in different countries but the important thing to remember is that they are linked together in various ways. Multinational Enterprises are the subject of deeply divided opinion, they play an important role in the economies, political structures and the cultures of countries around the world. This course seeks to cover all sorts of perspectives on this divisive subject.

Module A: Multinational enterprises in context


  • Globalisation and the rise of the multinational enterprise (MNE)
  • Company and international law
  • State-MNE-civil society relations
  • MNEs and the creation and convergence of law
  • ‘Effective’ legal systems for investment
  • Culture, foreign investment and the law

Module B: National regulation of multinational enterprises


  • Keeping MNEs out, and drawing them in
  • Legislating over MNEs
  • Enforcing law against MNEs
  • Extending liability to MNEs groups and directors

Module C: International regulation and protection of multinational enterprises


  • Bilateral investment treaties
  • Multilateral standards for treatment and behaviour of MNEs
  • Renegotiation and expropriation
  • Settling disputes between states and MNEs

Module D: Fields of concern for multinational enterprises


  • Corporate governance, accounting and disclosure
  • Taxation and transfer pricing
  • Technology transfer and intellectual property rights
  • Labour standards and human rights
  • Corruption


Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


It is strongly recommended you attempt the modules in order.

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • International Business Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.

Study Material