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LLM Master of Laws

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  • Objectives
    This programme is designed to allow you to deepen or to broaden your knowledge of law as an academic subject and to assist your development as a legal professional.
  • Entry requirements
    recent law graduates (or graduates of joint degrees with a significant law content) as well as established legal professionals who may have graduated a number of years ago.
  • Academic Title
    LLM Master of Laws
  • Course description
    Programme description

    - outstanding reputation.
    - exceptional breadth of modules and staff expertise.
    - unrivalled location.

    This programme is designed to maximise students' intellectual potential while keeping you grounded by drawing on the real world experiences of staff and other practitioners. The programme is rigorous and demanding and requires serious commitment. There are 15 specialist pathways available in the areas of Commerce and Finance Law, European and International Law and Law in Society.

    Pathways
    LLM; LLM in Commercial and Financial Law; LLM in Competition Law; LLM in Intellectual Property Law; LLM in International Business Law; LLM in International Financial Law; LLM in Regulations of Financial Services; LLM in Regulation and Technology; LLM in Tax Law; LLM in European Law; LLM in Public International Law; LLM in Criminal Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice; LLM in Labour Law; LLM in Legal Theory; LLM in Public Law & Human Rights.

    Programme format and assessment
    A compulsory research methods half module which is assessed by a research plan, and a compulsory research element being either one short research essay or one dissertation. The student will need to have studied the equivalent of four subjects including the compulsory elements. These may be delivered by two to three hours of timetabled lectures and seminars per LLM subject per week and assessed by written examinations and assessed coursework. PT students are taught at the same time as FT students.

    Programme modules for LLM Master of Laws 

    Commercial Banking Law (Core Module)
    Introduction to the principles of English banking law considered in the context of modern domestic banking with particular emphasis on the impact of new technologies on the development of banking law and practice. A wide-ranging module in which you will rigorously examine all aspects of the bank-customer relationship, modern payment systems, current account financing and loans.

    Collective Labour Relations Law
    Analyses the law governing regulation of employment by collective organisations of workers and employers - when disputes arise, there is extensive legal regulation of any resulting industrial conflict. Collective agreements determine the terms and conditions of employment. The law of collective labour relations is subject to international labour standards laid down by, among others, the International Labour Organisation, the European Union and the Council of Europe.

    Comparative Constitutional Law
    Since 1989 and the emergence of new regimes, countries around the world have been remaking or reconstructing their constitutional orders. Established democracies too have been undergoing this process. The module concentrates on Western and Eastern Europe and Russia, Australia, Canada, India, Israel, and Japan and examines problems of both constitutional structure and constitutional law. It is taught with leading experts and is the only module currently devoted to comparative constitutional law within the University of London.

    Comparative European Company Laws
    Designed to contribute to your understanding of domestic and European company law and addresses major policy and practical questions of core company law. Primary sources are the company laws of European countries and EU Law. Most of the topics covered concern the harmonisation of company law in the EU. Subjects include the EU law framework and recent policy initiatives such as the Commission's Company Law Action Plan, placed firmly in the context of directives proposed or adopted more recently and developments in related areas such as financial market regulation and corporate insolvency.

    Constitutional Law of the European Union (half module)
    The EU attempts to have a Constitution for Europe approved - so far without success. However, the EU constitutes an important and complex level of governance which requires its own constitutional arrangements. This module looks at the very political and legal nature of the EU and traces its political and legal development. It studies the EU institutions, the processes through which they develop policies and make law, and the principles concerned. It further analyses the nature of the EU competencies, and the relationship between EU law and the laws of member states. It is complemented by the module Judicial Protection in the EU.

    Drugs, Crime and Criminal Justice (half module)
    Political and policy responses to illicit drugs are critically appraised in the context of illicit drug use in post-industrialised societies and theories of normalisation of patterns of use. This module provides a critical understanding of the criminological debates about the links between drug use and crime. This module closely examines the approaches taken by criminal justice agencies to illicit drugs and their users and critically reviews of the extent to which their purposes and effectiveness are supported by empirical research.

    EC State Aid and State Regulation Law
    Case law at national and European level is growing fast, both in numbers and importance. Significant and ever more frequent legislative and regulatory measures have been adopted at European level. The reasons for this increasing EU focus on public intervention in the economy can be summarised as primarily due to the completion of the internal market and the current liberalisation and privatisation process. In this module you will focus on the relevant provisions of the Treaty, most notably analysing Articles 86, 87 and 88 in different contexts - political, economic, other instruments and rules of European law-making, and jurisprudential.

    Equality and the Law: The Legal Regulation of Discrimination
    Provides students with a firm grasp of the law regulating discrimination in the UK/Europe, and of how these approaches to legal regulation fit within the broader pattern of discrimination and equality law (special reference being made to Canada, the US and international standards). The approach is a critical one with students being encouraged to think beyond the confines of existing methods of regulation. Part one may be taken as a half-module.

    European Community Competition Law

    Anti-competitive agreements and the abuse of a dominant position are the main focuses of this module. You examine the way in which Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty impact upon business practices, including cartels that fix prices and share markets, distribution agreements, joint ventures, research and development agreements. You consider the impact of Articles 28 to 30, which deal with the free movement of goods; intellectual property rights and the competition law implications of licences; and the EC Merger Regulation which came into force in 1990.

    European Internal Market
    By focusing on the development and application of the free movement of people, goods, services and capital, this module assesses whether these objectives have been achieved. The structure is based on the four fundamental freedoms and analysed with reference to case law of the European Court of Justice and relevant legislation. Areas such as financial services, food law and the regulation of monopolies are also included. Particular attention is given to whether the same criteria and principles may be applied to the whole of the internal market and to the degree of convergence of the economic freedoms in EU law.

    European Labour Law
    The effect of this transnational labour law on international business and organised labour in a globalised economy is examined. Multinational corporations, trade union organisations, national, European and international organisations have an increasing need for legal expertise concerning EU regulation of labour in transnational business activities; European works councils in multinational enterprises are an example. European labour law has led to litigation both in national courts and in the European Court of Justice. The module analyses this dimension of the emerging 'social constitution' of the EU.

    Individual Employment Law
    Individual employment governed by the common law contract of employment is increasingly regulated by legislation covering human rights, privacy at work, equality and discrimination (sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, belief) and working time (hours, overtime, rest periods, holidays). Fragmentation of the workforce produces specific regulation of part-time, fixed-term and temporary workers. Includes: detailed treatment of wrongful dismissal at common law, and statutory protection against unfair dismissal; redundancy and the economic consequences for workers of business re-structuring (transfers of undertakings); and the fundamental rights of individual employees, including the rights of individual trade union members.

    International and Comparative Law of Copyright
    International and comparative study of copyright, authors' rights, neighbouring rights, moral rights, rights in performances and other related rights. International Conventions, in particular the Berne Convention and the Rome Convention, are examined together with copyright laws in the leading copyright systems and those of other countries that are topical or of specific interest to you. The module also includes matters of contemporary interest such as moral rights, cable and satellite broadcasting, private copying, databases and collecting societies.

    International and Comparative Law of Trade Marks, Designs and Unfair Competition

    Emphasis on the international and comparative aspects of the subject. An historical, economic and comparative examination of the common law and civil law concepts of trademarks, passing off and unfair competition with particular reference to the UK and Commonwealth jurisdictions; the USA; Canada; France and Germany; and Japan. The module examines the international trademark regimes: the role and influence of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO); the Paris Convention from the Protection of Industrial Property, as amended; the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks, as revised; the Protocol to the Madrid Agreement (1990); the Nice Arrangement concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services, as revised; the Trademark Registration Treaty of Vienna 1973; the Lisbon Arrangement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin, as revised; the Community Trademark Convention; parallel developments in international trade.

    International and Comparative Property Law
    Concepts of property, ownership, title, patrimony and estate are covered. Western (England, France, Germany and Jersey CI) approaches to specific topics including co-ownership, leases and security interests, and tying up property for the future (excluding trusts); non-Western approaches to property law, including Islamic, Nomadic, Jewish, Chinese and feudal systems; some international property ideas, including internationally agreed fishing, broadcasting and telecoms rights, etc; and comparative conflicts of law, looking at those areas which have a direct impact on property disputes. Introduced in 2003, this module is the first and probably the only one of its kind in the world.

    International and Comparative Trust Law
    David Hayton and Paul Matthews introduced this module in 1995 and it remains the first and only one of its kind in the world. It examines the extremes to which trust principles may be pressed in the offshore world, as well as conflicts of laws issues. It considers how three trust jurisdictions deal with selected aspects of trust law and what trust-like arrangements exist in non-trust countries. You are not required to have studied trust law formally in your first degree but will be assumed to understand trust law at the level of Hayton's Law of Trusts (4th ed, 2003).

    International Business Transactions I: Litigation
    Special problems arise in litigation resulting from international business transactions. This module's major theme is jurisdiction in all its aspects. More particularly the following topics are among those studied from the point of view of English, Commonwealth, American and, where relevant, EU Law: judicial jurisdiction; obtaining evidence in trans-national business litigation; provisional remedies and procedural problems in such litigation; recognition and enforcement of judgments in commercial matters.

    International Business Transactions II: Substantive Law
    Complements International Business Transactions I. Major themes are: the international reach of national legislation; the problem of disharmony in the international regulation of business; and attaining uniformity. Explored in English, Commonwealth, American and, where relevant, EU Law. Contexts include: applicable law in international commercial contracts; international sale of goods; the international reach of legislation for the regulation of business and the protection of consumers and employees; private international law aspects of boycotts and embargoes; agency in private international law; exchange control and currency problems; the international aspects of property transactions; legislative jurisdiction in anti-trust and the general issue of extra-territoriality.

    International Environmental Law
    The development of international environmental protection, the ways and means of creating international environmental law and other fundamental principles, such as sustainable development and inter-generational equity, state and civil liability and the settlement of disputes. Marine pollution, international watercourses, the atmosphere, conservation issues and the relationship between international trade and the environment are examined. Emphasis is given to current developments including climate change and new approaches to address questions of compliance with international environmental obligations. Special lectures by international practitioners form part of the module.

    International Refugee Law
    Who is a refugee? How does international law protect refugees? What is the meaning of 'persecution'? When is a person rightly regarded as 'unwilling to avail himself of the protection' of the country of his nationality? When is it right to say that there is sufficient protection against persecution in the person's country of origin? Case law is examined in this module and various modern conflicts considered, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Iran and Colombia, with a view to shedding light on these questions.

    International Tax Law
    Domestic tax systems have increasingly had to respond to globalisation so that taxation can still be viable in an environment without domestic borders to define their scope. The module considers taxation and international law in general and then moves on to look at the ways in which domestic systems deal with double taxation, where activities attracting taxation are carried out over more than one country, namely through double taxation conventions. The focus will be on the OECD Model and double taxation conventions based on this and why international business gives tax systems a problem and how this can be addressed.

    International Trade Law
    Examines English and international law of the sale of goods as applied to international trade transactions; the structure and legal effect of cif and fob contracts; the various forms of international trade finance including letters of credit and performance bonds; documents used in international trade; rights against, and liabilities to, the carrier of goods by sea; transport of goods in containers; marine insurance and the impact of new technology.

    Law and Social Theory
    Through social, ethical and historical dimensions of modern legality, you seek to understand problems of subjectivity, citizenship, difference, democracy and globalisation as they shape and are shaped by law and legal form. The module begins with a general theoretical introduction which examines themes of law, modernity and ethics in Hegel, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Schmitt, Habermas and Arendt. You then consider specific issues such as responsibility, Europe, race, gender and queer theory, and globalisation and their connections to law.

    Law of Human Rights in the UK
    The Human Rights Act 1998 has transformed many aspects of UK law. This module considers the jurisprudential foundations of the new Act, its roots in English law and its relationship with the law and practice of civil liberties in the UK. It also subjects the Act to in-depth analysis against the background of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. You will analyse the UK-based case law on human rights both before and after implementation of the Act in October 2000 and finally discuss the implications for British Law, English legal culture and the role of the judiciary.

    Law of International Finance
    The three modules listed below are focused on the major transactions carried out by investment banks, transnational banks and multinational corporations in the global financial markets in London, New York, Tokyo and additionally in Singapore, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Paris and Sydney. The modules examine the legal structures used in these transactions and the complex legal issues arising. Part I needs to be taken if you plan to take either Parts II or III.

    Law of Restitution
    The English legal system has been slow to acknowledge the existence of unjust enrichment as a discrete source of rights and obligations in private law, independent of contract and wrongs. Well-publicised cases involving the recovery of very large sums following the breakdown of financial deals have attracted commercial lawyers to the need for better understanding. Primarily concerned with the award of restitutionary remedies on the grounds of unjust enrichment under English law, but gain-based remedies for wrongs are also discussed and other common law jurisdictions considered.

    Law of Treaties
    Most international legal obligations are created in the form of treaty obligations. Consequently, treaties perform a vital role in international political and economic relations. This module explores all aspects of the international law of treaties, including the negotiation and formation of treaties; types of treaty instruments; the capacity of states and their representatives to conclude treaties; the role of reservations in multi-lateral treaty systems; methods and problems of treaty interpretation; and issues of breach or termination. The module does not presuppose a detailed knowledge of public international law. Special lectures by diplomats and legal practitioners are part of the module.

    Law, Technology and Global Governance: Key Regulatory Issues
    This unique module considers a range of issues concerning the relationship between law and rapidly emerging technologies (biotechnology, ICT, nanotechnology, and so on). On the one hand, technology is a challenging regulatory target, presenting difficult questions with regard to the legitimacy of regulation, its effectiveness and its optimal design. On the other, modern technologies have considerable attraction as regulatory tools. In a dynamic and technologically transformed global context, what are the prospects for law? The module is in five parts: 1 Generic Regulatory Issues; 2 Regulating Biotechnology; 3 Regulating Information & Communications Technology; 4 Regulatory Technologies; 5 Future Technologies..

    Legal Regulation of the Music Industry
    Legal issues involved in the core music business activities of delivering live musical performances to the public, producing and selling sound recordings and printed music, and administering copyright in musical compositions and recordings. Also provides an understanding of how intellectual property rights fit into a larger picture, both in terms of the different ways in which the law categorises music and in terms of the interrelationship between intellectual property rights, contractual obligations and the structure of the music industry. Although desirable to have a prior knowledge of copyright law, it is not essential.

    Monopoly, Competition and the Law
    Covers UK and EU competition, and compares the ways in which each system deals with typical business phenomena such as distribution agreements, joint ventures, and research and development agreements. In the UK, the Competition Act 1998 has replaced much of the old law with effect from 1 March 2000. Mergers are now controlled under the Enterprise Act 2002. At the same time EC competition law, contained in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty of Rome, and the EC Merger Regulation, prohibit cartel agreements and the abuse of market power, and enable mergers to be controlled.

    Regulation of the Conduct of Mergers and Acquisitions (half module)
    Accountants, investment bankers and transactional lawyers are the three professional advisors that play significant roles in M&A transactions. This module focuses on the routes by which the takeover or merger are structured and provides a comprehensive examination of how transactions are regulated in the UK following the implementation of Takeovers Directive on 20 May 2006. Included are: Takeover Code's General Principles and Rules through cases decided by the Takeover Panel and judicial authorities; the study of this jurisprudence; regulation under Takeover Code; different approaches under Federal and State regulation in the United States.

    Tax and Estate Planning
    The taxation of an estate is a complex yet fundamental issue for many taxpayers. This module considers how an estate might be taxed and examines how legitimate tax planning can be used to reduce taxation. A number of taxes are considered and analysed including income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax. As many tax planning methods utilise trusts, the module looks at the treatment of each of these taxes towards trusts. Understanding of these rules is put into practice by considering specific circumstances where tax planning can be used. The module also considers how tax planning works on the international plane.

    Taxation of Business Enterprises
    Taxation is a key factor in business decisions and how to raise tax from businesses without damaging the economy is central to government policy. This module examines the taxation of businesses under UK income, corporation and capital gains taxes and also considers VAT, UK interaction with foreign taxes and stamp duty.

    Taxation Principles and Policy I (half module)
    Tax is influenced by politics, economics and society in general. This module considers: tax policy issues which lead to understanding of tax systems and their resulting design; how a tax system may operate in a more efficient way; and the aims and structure that an 'ideal' tax system may have. Beneficial if you plan to take other taxation modules, but have no background in taxation, or if you wish to consider the theoretical aspects of taxation with more technical studies in other taxation modules. If you have not studied taxation, and are taking other taxation modules, you should also take Taxation Principles and Policy II.

    Trans-national and Comparative Commercial and Financial Law
    Against the background of the internationalisation of the flow of goods, services and capital, private law response and the emergence of trans-national commercial and financial law are studied. The creation of a new legal order is discussed and the function and approaches of international bodies in the formulation of industry practices. Findings are compared with the US, especially in the Uniform Commercial Code. Academically you look at Common and Civil Law. Practically you examine laws of contract, sales, agency, payments, personal property, trusts, secured transactions, conditional sales, financial leases, repurchase agreements, factoring, securitisations and financial derivatives including swaps.

    UK Competition Law
    Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty are directly applicable in the UK, and the domestic competition authorities and national courts are obliged to apply them. There is also a substantial body of domestic competition law in the UK. This module considers the scope of application of domestic provisions and examines the relationship between the EC and UK competition rules, in particular in the light of the EC Modernisation Regulation (Regulation 1/2003), and the position of regulators, such as OFCOM and OFGEM, which share concurrent powers with the Office of Fair Trading to enforce competition law.

    US Antitrust Law
    US antitrust law is so long established that many of the problems systems of competition law are likely to encounter have already arisen. Scholars, practitioners, and enforcers often look to the US experience for guidance; as a result, the US influences the direction in which competition law evolves. Included are: the basic provisions of the federal antitrust laws of the United States; the objectives and origin of the antitrust rules and the mechanisms for the enforcement by both public authorities and individuals. You consider how the rules apply to, or affect, the pricing and non-pricing practices of firms with market power, both horizontal and vertical practices, and mergers.

    Value Added Tax (half module)
    VAT is an increasingly important tax in the UK and throughout the EC. Not only does it generate a large amount of revenue for governments, its character also makes interesting case law and controversy within domestic systems. This module considers the nature of VAT as a tax and the system of VAT as implemented in the UK. It considers the various elements and how it has developed in response to EC movement and pressure. Together with a comprehensive understanding of VAT in the UK, you will develop tools to comprehend other systems in Europe and appreciate why a seemingly simple tax has proved so complicated in the EC.

    World Trade Law
    World trade law, as a specific sector of international economic law, is developing rapidly and increasingly occupying a central role in international law. This module focuses on the law of the World Trade Organisation within several contexts: political, economic, other instruments and rules of international law-making and jurisprudential. You will acquire practical legal knowledge and a firm conceptual framework of analysis. The module includes various areas of WTO law: institutions; dispute settlement; essential GATT principles; the TBT and SPS Agreements; trade protection; trade in services; IP protection; treatment of developing countries; and constitutional issues. 

    Duration

    One year FT, two years to four years PT, September to August.

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