nl en

International Commercial Law


Admission requirements



This English taught course offers a firm introduction to the core legal concepts of international trade and commerce and how they interact. The course deals with various topics related thereto, e.g. international commercial sales, uniform rules, private international law, carriage and contract drafting. The lectures are aimed at giving a clear outline of the topic under discussion, enabling students to engage with the reading material and develop a structured view of private law doctrines of commerce and trade. We also practice with cases to prepare for the final exam. The course devotes special attention to legal vocabulary, so students will feel slightly less uncomfortable with (the impossible task of) transposing legal constructs from one jurisdiction into another. By necessity, the course also takes a comparative legal perspective on commercial law.
Please note: It is highly recommended to have completed property law courses before taking this course.

Course objectives

Achievement levels
Upon completion of the course, you are able to state, identify and apply, the relevant principles, rules and case law to a given case hypothetical, as well as offer a discussion and reasoned critique concerning various topics with respect to private law aspects of international trade and commerce, e.g.:

  • International commercial sales

  • Uniform rules

  • Rules of private international law

  • The main principles of contracts for carriage by sea

  • The main issues of contract drafting


Check MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

This course consists of 10 lectures with theoretical instruction and case-based teaching. Lectures are taught in English.

Please note: The program is subject to change.

Assessment method

Written exam (100%): 3 hours. The assessment method will be practiced during the lectures.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations). Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.

Reading list

  • McKendrick, Ewan; Goode, Roy; Kronke, Herbert, Transnational commercial law: text, cases, and materials, 2th ed., Oxford University Press, 2015 (an online version is available to the students via the library of Leiden University for free).

  • Bogdan, Michael; Pertegás Sender, Marta, Concise Introduction to EU Private International Law, 4th ed., Europa Law Publishing 2019.

  • Published on Brightspace (please see required reading in the course calendar).

  • Selected codes & statutes 2023 (under 'General information' and subsequently 'Syllabus' on Brightspace).


Check the website under “course and exam enrollment” for information on how to register for the course.

A block of seats will be reserved for exchange students and will be registered through the international office.


  • Institute: Privaatrecht

  • Department: Private Law

  • Room number secretary: B2.43

  • Opening hours: 09.00-17:00

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0) 71 – 527 7400

  • Email:


In case of (corona)restrictions imposed by the government, this course description is subject to change.