COVID-19 information and resources
Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Fundamentals of International Trade Law

Course Code: BLAW 3700
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Department: Business Law
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 Weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of several important legal principles encountered in international business. The course will consider the structure and sources of international law and will examine key legal issues found in both private and public international law. The coverage of private international law will focus on the areas of international dispute resolution, international sale of goods transactions, international transportation, and legal aspects relating to international finance. The course will also consider selected issues of public international law that include the global trading framework, customs law, intellectual property law, international taxation, and international labour and human rights law. It is recommended that students take BLAW 1320 prior to enrolling in this course. Students who have already received credit for BUSN 3700 will not get further credit for this course.

Course Content

  1. Structure and Sources of International Law
    1. public and private international law
    2. customary international law
    3. international treaties, conventions and protocols
    4. comparative legal systems
  2. International Dispute Resolution, Jurisdiction and Choice of Law
    1. resolution of international trade disputes
    2. jurisdiction
    3. venue of dispute
    4. conflict of laws
    5. enforcement of foreign judgments
  3. International Sale of Goods
    1. international sale of goods contracts
    2. UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) - Vienna Sales Convention
    3. Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
    4. Canadian Customs Law and import and export controls
    5. international products liability
    6. e-commerce and the law in international business
  4. Finance and the International Sale of Goods
    1. common methods of payment and documentation used in international commercial contracts
    2. bills of lading
    3. international bills of exchange
    4. letters of credit
    5. promissory notes
    6. basic principles of international taxation and tax treaties
  5. International Transportation
    1. carriage of goods by sea, air, road and rail
    2. United Nations International Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea (the Hamburg Rules)
    3. insurance and international transportation
  6. The Global Trading Framework
    1. the WTO Agreement
    2. the North American Free Trade Area
    3. other regional trading agreements
  7. International Labour and Human Rights Law
  8. Intellectual Property
    1. types of intellectual property rights
    2. international agreements to protect intellectual property rights
    3. licensing the transfer of intellectual property rights
  9. International Business Alliances
    1. main types of business structures used in international business alliances
    2. basic legal considerations associated with business partnerships, joint ventures, strategic alliances, distributorships, licences and franchises
    3. legal aspects of foreign direct investment (FDI)

Methods of Instruction

Lectures, videos, analysis of legal issues, discussion of legal cases, case assignments, and/or group activities.

Means of Assessment

Term examination(s) 30 - 40%
Term Paper  20 - 30%
Final examination 30 - 40%
Class participation and/or assignments and/or quizzes 0 - 10%





Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the successful student should be able to:

  • distinguish between the concepts of international private law and international public law;
  • recognize the main aspects of the international legal system including the sources of international law and the issues encountered in transnational disputes;
  • identify the key elements of an international sale of goods contract and understand the role and influence of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods on global trade;
  • describe the main tools used to finance the global trade in goods;
  • recognize the importance of international transportation in global trade and identify the legal issues that arise with the carriage of goods by sea, air, road and rail;
  • describe the global trading framework set out in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement and various regional trading agreements including North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
  • summarize the basic principles of Canada’s customs laws as they relate to global trade;
  • distinguish between copyright, trademarks, and patents, describe the protection accorded to intellectual property by international law, and explain the available licensing mechanisms;
  • identify the general principles of international labour law and international human rights law;
  • explain the concept of international tax treaties and describe the various methods used by national governments to levy income taxes; and
  • describe the key legal aspects associated with the common forms of international business aliances.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.