Module SXL-2150:
Commercial Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Mr Thomas Perry

Overall aims and purpose

strong textCommercial Law is an optional module in the LLB programme. The initial aim of this module is to consolidate the students’ knowledge of the general law of contract, especially remedies. Thereafter the module seeks to provide the students with a sound academic understanding of the laws of England and Wales pertaining to the sales of goods, sufficient for the students to be able to identify and solve problems arising in common commercial contracts relating to the sales of goods. Once the students have mastered the subjects covered by this module they will then be equipped to move on to study more specialised aspects of commercial law, for example consumer law as a substantive subject and international sales law.

Course content

The course will contain lectures dealing with the distinction between sale; service; hire; hire purchase and barter transactions and with the significance of these distinctions. These will be followed by lectures and tutorials to include the duties and obligations of the buyer and seller and the remedies for breach of a sales of goods contract; the validity of exclusions and/or limitations of liability in contracts of sale; the concept and relevance of property and title; how and when property passes in a sales of goods transaction; the use and validity of retention clauses and the uses of agency.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

To achieve a First Class (A) grade, the assessment must: • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of the area of law, including familiarity with relevant case law, legislation, academic debates and any recent or anticipated developments. Be able to identify all legal issues and apply relevant law. • Demonstrate extensive background study as appropriate to the assessment method, using appropriate sources, including case law, legislation and academic commentary such as journal articles, law books and authoritative reports. • Be well structured, including the coherent development of arguments and the use of an introduction and conclusion, and highly focussed on the question asked, including the ability to determine what is relevant and the omission of superfluous information/material. • Contain logically presented and defended arguments, which are based on appropriate research and legal analysis. • Be completely free from substantive legal errors. • Include significant elements of original interpretation, including depth of analysis and the ability to present arguments based on sound legal reasoning. • Be presented to very high standards with very accurate communication, including the use of language and grammar, layout of the text, footnote referencing, bibliography and adherence to the stipulated word limit. An A* grade: • Exceeds expectations for most of the above criteria; • Demonstrates complete command of the subject matter; • Incorporates highly original ideas or arguments. An A+ grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates complete command of the subject matter; • Incorporates highly original ideas or arguments. An A grade: • Meets all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates command of the subject matter, with only very minor gaps in knowledge; • Incorporates mostly original ideas or arguments. An A- grade: • Meets most but not all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates command of the subject matter, with some gaps in knowledge; • Incorporates mostly original ideas or arguments.

threshold

To achieve a Third Class (D) grade, the assessment must: • Demonstrate a very basic knowledge and understanding of some of the key case law/legislation and principles in the area of law. Be able to identify some legal issues and apply relevant law. • Demonstrate some, if only limited, evidence of background study, using appropriate case law and legislation. • Attempt to present an answer on the question asked, with only some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure. • Attempt to present relevant and coherent arguments, which are based on appropriate legal analysis. • Not contain a large number of substantive legal errors. • Demonstrate an attempt to avoid major weaknesses in presentation and accuracy, albeit with some errors in referencing, spelling and grammar, or bibliography present. A D+ grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates moderate factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding; • A few ideas/arguments are presented but with weaknesses in logic/presentation. A D grade: • Meets all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates limited factual knowledge with several weaknesses in understanding; • Very few ideas/arguments are presented. A D- grade: • Meets most but not all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates limited factual knowledge with many weaknesses in understanding; • Very few ideas/arguments are presented and with errors in logic/presentation. . The assessment will be given a Compensatable Fail (E) grade if: • It does not fulfil the associated learning outcomes. • There are deficiencies in knowledge and understanding, even of the key case law/legislation and principles in the area of law. Fails to identify even the key issues in the assessment. • There is very limited evidence of background study of appropriate sources. • The answer relies on tangential material (e.g. legal authority from other areas of the law or the student’s own opinions, without those opinions being grounded in law or practice) and lacks a coherent structure. • No arguments are presented. • There are many substantive legal errors. • No original interpretation. • Poor presentation containing many inaccuracies. An E+ grade: • Exceeds expectations for most of the above criteria; • Demonstrates very limited factual knowledge with many weaknesses in understanding; • Weak attempt to answer question. An E grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates major gaps in knowledge and understanding; • Weak attempt to answer question. An E- grade: • Matches all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates very limited knowledge and understanding; • Ideas/arguments are largely irrelevant to the question. The assessment will be given a Fail (F) grade if: • It does not fulfil the associated learning outcomes. • There is no evidence of relevant knowledge and understanding, even of the key case law/legislation and principles in the area of law. Fails to identify even the key issues in the assessment. • There is no evidence of background study. • The answer relies on irrelevant material and lacks a coherent structure. • No arguments are presented or are not relevant to the assessment. • There are many substantive legal errors. • No attempt at interpretation. • Very weak presentation containing many inaccuracies. An F1 grade: • Exceeds expectations for most of the above criteria; • Demonstrates no evidence of knowledge/understanding; • Only limited evidence of an attempt to answer question. An F2 grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates no evidence of knowledge/understanding; • Very limited evidence of an attempt to answer question. An F3 grade: • Matches all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates no evidence of knowledge/understanding, and evidence of misunderstanding; • No attempt to answer question. An F4 grade: • Matches very few of the above criteria; • Demonstrates no evidence of even cursory knowledge/understanding; • No attempt to answer question.

good

To achieve an Upper Second Class (B) grade, the assessment must: • Demonstrate strong knowledge and understanding of most of the area of law, including familiarity with relevant case law, legislation, academic debates and any recent or anticipated developments. Be able to identify most legal issues and apply relevant law. • Demonstrate evidence of background study, using appropriate sources, including case law, legislation and academic commentary such as journal articles, law books and authoritative reports. • Be well structured, including the coherent development of arguments and the use of an introduction and conclusion, and focussed on the question asked, including the ability to determine what is relevant and the omission of superfluous information/material. • Contain coherently presented arguments, which are based on appropriate research and legal analysis. • Be mostly free from substantive legal errors. • Include some elements of original interpretation, including depth of analysis and the ability to present arguments based on sound legal reasoning. • Be presented to high standards with accurate communication, including the use of language and grammar, layout of the text, footnote referencing, bibliography and adherence to the stipulated word limit. A B+ grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates command of the subject matter, but with some gaps in knowledge; • Incorporates some original ideas or arguments. A B grade: • Meets all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates strong factual knowledge and understanding; • Ideas or arguments are well-presented but few are original. A B- grade: • Meets most but not all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates strong factual knowledge with minor weaknesses in understanding; • Most but not all of the ideas or arguments are well-presented and few are original.

C- to C+

To achieve a Lower Second Class (C) grade, the assessment must: • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key areas/principles in the area of law, including familiarity with the essential case law, legislation and academic debates in the area. Be able to identify the key legal issues and apply relevant law. • Demonstrate some, if only limited, evidence of background study, using appropriate sources, including some relevant case law, legislation and academic commentary such as journal articles, law books and authoritative reports. • Be focussed on the question asked, with only some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure. • Attempt to present some relevant and logical arguments. • Not contain a large number of substantive legal errors. • Be free of major weaknesses in presentation and accuracy, including the use of language and grammar, layout of the text, footnote referencing, bibliography and adherence to the stipulated word limit. A C+ grade: • Exceeds expectations for some of the above criteria; • Demonstrates strong factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding; • Ideas/arguments are limited but are well presented. A C grade: • Meets all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates moderate factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding; • Ideas or arguments are limited with weaknesses in logic/presentation. A C- grade: • Meets most but not all of the above criteria; • Demonstrates moderate factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding; • Ideas or arguments are limited with weaknesses in logic/presentation.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a good knowledge of the basic rules of delivery and acceptance under the Sales of Goods Act 1979 and of the real and personal remedies available to both buyer and seller.

  2. Apply basic knowledge to complex actual or hypothetical situations in relation to remedies under the general law of contract and under the Sales of Goods Act 1979, in particular the market price rule.

  3. Show an understanding of key ideas, concepts and arguments relating to nemo dat non quod habet (and the various exceptions thereto) and also in respect of Romalpa clauses.

  4. Identify and discuss the key elements of a contract for the sale of goods and the differences between a contract for the sale of goods and other commercial transactions such as hire purchase and contracts for work and materials.

  5. Identify and discuss the key issues in commercial contracts where liability may be limited or excluded and to demonstrate an understanding of and be able to suggest explanations for the differences in dealing as consumer and non-consumer in this respect.

  6. Demonstrate a good understanding of the rules in respect of the passing of property and risk sufficient to be able to undertake independent legal research into the basic differences between cif and fob contracts.

  7. Demonstrate a good understanding of the basic terms implied by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 into commercial contracts.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written essay 1
Final examination 2

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 156
Seminar

The module will be taught by means of 44 hours of seminars, 4 hours per week, taught over the course of one semester.

44

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
  • Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
  • Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources

Resources

Reading list

A TALIS reading list will be created detailing the following texts:

Atiyah's Sale of goods - Atiyah, P. S., Adams, John, MacQueen, Hector L., Atiyah, P.S. 2010

Commercial and consumer law - Furmston, M. P., Chuah, Jason, Willett, Chris c2010

Commercial law: text, cases, and materials - Sealy, L. S., Hooley, Richard 2009

Commercial law - A. P. Dobson, Robert Stokes, A. P. Dobson 2012

Courses including this module