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Private international law in international commercial litigation

Module information>

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

The first module of this course looks at the largely theoretical aspects of private international law. In contrast to many other areas of law, theory has remained and continues to play a very important part particularly in the United States.

As the course takes a comparative approach, looking at the law in the EU and in the US it’s very important to understand the different conceptual basis’s that exist in these different jurisdictions. It is also important to understand the rules of applicable law are important to all aspects of international commercial litigation – something that arises from many different international commercial deals. This course also covers the enforcement of judgments when parties from different jurisdictions are involved. The course as a whole tries to take you through those various elements of private international law; the theory, jurisdiction, applicable law and finally enforcement of judgements.

Module A: Introduction to private international law in international commercial litigation


  • History of private international law
  • The individualist theories of private international law
  • The state theories of private international law
  • The economic theories of private international law

Module B: Jurisdiction and competence of courts in private international law


  • Introduction to the jurisdiction and competence of courts
  • The Brussels Regulation (No. 44/2001) system
  • The rules of jurisdiction in England and Wales
  • The rules and restrictions on jurisdiction in the United States
  • Insolvency under Regulation (EC) No. 1346/2000

Module C: Applicable law in private international law


  • Introduction to applicable law
  • Rome I Regulation and the Rome Convention
  • Rome II Regulation
  • Other choice of law rules in England and Wales
  • The rule for applicable law under the Insolvency Regulation
  • Choice of law in the United States

Module D: Recognition and enforcement of judgments in private international law


  • Introduction and considerations for the enforcement of foreign judgments
  • The recognition and enforcement of judgments under the Brussels Regulation
  • Other European regimes
  • The enforcement of judgments in England and Wales
  • The approach of the United States to the enforcement of judgements


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


It is strongly recommended you complete Module A.

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.

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

  • Commercial and Corporate Law
  • Comparative and Foreign Law
  • Corporate and Securities Law
  • International Business Law
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • Procedural Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.