Insegnamento a.a. 2015-2016



Department of Legal Studies

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 16 - 17 - 18 - 21
BIEMF (10 credits - II sem. - OB  |  4 credits IUS/04  |  3 credits IUS/05  |  3 credits IUS/14)
Course Director:

Classes: 16 (II sem.) - 17 (II sem.) - 18 (II sem.) - 21 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

This course offers an in-depth introduction to the regulation of international commercial transactions. The economy largely depends on international transactions. An understanding of the rules governing international commercial transactions is therefore a fundamental tool for virtually any businessperson. Few professionals do not encounter international business transactions in their career, and a career in this area can be rewarding and exciting.
The course has both practical and theoretical goals. From a practical point of view, to understand how to negotiate, draft, manage and litigate international contracts and transactions is obviously essential to conduct business not only internationally, but also domestically. From a more theoretical point of view, the course has an interdisciplinary approach that considers, in particular, economic and political causes and consequences of trade regulations; and includes a comparative law component that helps students to both understand better their own legal systems, and think out of the box.

Course Content Summary

After a brief introduction on negotiating and drafting commercial contracts, the course will focus on the international sale of goods and services, examining in particular the Convention on the International Sales of Goods, documentary sales, agency and distributorship agreements, regulations of imports and exports. It will then turn to licensing agreements for the use of intellectual property (trademarks and patents), and direct investments, through the establishment of foreign subsidiaries and joint-ventures abroad and their internal affairs. Business litigation will be covered next, discussing fundamental contractual provisions, common in most international transactions and particularly relevant in case of litigation, such as choice of forum, choice of law, enforcement of foreign judgments, and international arbitration. Finally, the course will focus on the main international (i.e. WTO) or regional (i.e. the EU) agreements aiming at reducing obstacles to trade, such as tariffs and non-tariff barriers, like sanitary measures or technical regulations; including those agreements, such as the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the US) still under negotiations. Specific problems such as the influence of monetary and financial issues on the transnational business activities, conflicts between investors and states, expropriations, corruption and violations of human rights by corporations doing business abroad will be also considered. As mentioned, while the course focuses on technical legal issues, emphasis will be put also on economic and political considerations affecting the regulation of international business.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Evaluation will be based on a final written exam, consisting of open questions.
Students enrolled in the course in the previous academic years, that still have to take the exam, are responsible to prepare for it according to the current syllabus.


The reference textbook for this course is:
  • Ralph H. Folsom et al., International Business Transactions in a Nutshell, West, 9th ed., 2012.
Judicial decisions and other materials will also be assigned and made available on Bocconi’s e-learning platform.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 21/01/2016 17:52