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   Course Title    International Business Law
Lecturer    Siargey Auseika
Institution    Belarusian State University
Country    Belarusia


I. Introduction

The idea of the course is to provide economists with a basic knowledge of law and practice of International business as well as national law of foreign economic activity. This course contributes to the following economic courses: Custom Activity, Taxation, State Regulation of Foreign Trade, Management of Foreign Trade, Finance and Credit etc. The legal studies background for my course is facilitated by the Civil Law, Business Law (national), International Law and Financial Law.

II. Course objectives

  • provide students with the legislative fundamentals of International trade;

  • explain the difference in legal force between national and International laws;

  • empower students to think in terms of the International Business Law.

III. Assessment

Assessment criterias:

  1. capability to reproduce main sense of lectures;
  2. ability to read additional materials;
  3. active participation in seminars;
  4. regular attendance in lectures and seminars is taken into consideration as well.

IV. Reading list

After each lecture, I offer students who want to gain a deeper understanding of the subject a reading list of relevant but not compulsory literature. As to compulsory literature, I prefer to appoint a student who elucidates questions in seminar using it. My experience, however, shows two major problems:

  • there are no textbooks in Belarussian or Russian covering my course comprehensively;
  • students are reluctant to spend much time in the poor and inefficient library searching for rarer relevant literature; instead, they prefer to use notes from the lectures. I find a partial remedy against this by offering my articles and handouts containing rarer materials.

V. Teaching Methodology

Last year I tried to give my students as much information as possible during the lectures. I noticed however that it lead to pure learning by heart and that students during seminars were unable to argue for and against a given case. This year I am going to empower them to think independently and not to rely on my opinion. In addition, I would like to encourage them to read basic materials before lectures. I have also realized that the significance of my course is different for different students. I therefore try to give a minimum of necessary information for all, but for students who are really interested in my course I prepare additional materials. By reducing the amount of information I give space for thinking and discussions. As it is evident, I believe that my aim is to empower students to think about my subjects.

VI. Course Details

Lecture 1. Introduction to the course

The subject-matter of International Business Law. Methods of International Business Law. Distinctions between and connections with International Public Law, International Private Law, International Economic Law, national legal disciplines. The outline of problems of the subject. Origins of International Business Law. Two levels of legal norms in International Business Law. Problems of collision between national laws and International conventions (other acts). The structure of norms. Objects and subjects of International Business Law.

Lecture 2. The rules of conclusion of International commercial contracts.

Procedures of negotiation, drafting and signing of International contracts. Agency. Standartisation of contract condition. Usual clauses. Implied terms. Offer and acceptance. Means of distant negotiations. Performance and termination of International commercial contracts. Remedies in case of non-performance. Principles of International Commercial Contracts (UNIDROIT Principles).

Lecture 3. Legal aspects of electronic commerce.

The sphere of the applicability of the electronic commerce in the International trade. Electronic commerce in banking, carriage, Internet trade. Validity of electronic contracts from the national law point of view. Legal problems of electronic commerce. Introduction into computer law. International legislation on the computer law.

Lecture 4 - 5. International sale of goods.

The Vienna Convention of 1980, its applicability and collision with national law. Forms of contract. Seller’s and buyer’s obligations. Responsibility and remedies of parties. Incoterms-2000. Group E, F, C, D. Transfer of risks. Correspondence with the Vienna Convention. Internal rules regarding International sale.

Lecture 6 – 7. International banking law.

Origins of the International banking law: conventions and ICC publications. Correspondent relations between banks. Schemesof payments and settlements in the international trade. International fund transfers. SWIFT rules. Bank’s responsibility for delay of payments and errors. Letters of credit, their types and modifications. Status of each bank. Commercial papers concerning letters of credit. International collection. International bills of exchange and promissory notes. International cheques. Bank guarantee. Payments by bank cards. International factoring and forfeiting. International leasing. Credit in International trade.

Lecture 8. International carriage of goods.

Carriage by road. CMR Convention. Geneve Convention 1975. Transport documents. Carriage by rail. Carriage by sea. International Conventions. Bill of lading.

Lecture 9. Other types of International commercial contracts.

International intellectual property law. Franchising. International construction. Insurance in International trade. International agency, dealing, distributing. Legal aspects of International countertrade.

Lecture 10. International and internal foreign exchange law. Taxation of foreign economic activity.

Principles of exchange regulation and control. IMF Articles of Agreement – World Financial Constitution. Current and capital operations. Buying and selling of foreign currency. Mandatory distribution of foreign exchange receipt. Cash operations. International dealing. Exchange control. Taxation of foreign trade and investment operation. Bilateral tax agreement.

Seminar 1. Negotiation, drafting, signing of International commercial agreement.

Questions:

    • 2 ways of contract conclusion;
    • right to sign contract;
    • electronic way to sign contract;
    • contracts in Internet;
    • language problems concerning International commercial contracts.

Seminar 2. International sale of goods.

Questions:

    • obligations of seller;
    • obligations of buyer;
    • transfer of property and risks;
    • remedies in case of breach of contract;
    • comparison of Incoterms-2000 and Incoterms-1990.

Seminar 3. International settlements.

Questions:

    • methods of payment in International trade;
    • payments in USD: characteristic of CHIPS and Fedwire;
    • correspondent relations between banks: loro/nostro accounts, SWIFT;
    • cleaning and documentary collection;
    • Geneva Convention on bills of exchange and promissory notes.

Seminar 4. Letters of credit in International trade.

Questions:

    • comparison of UCP-400 and UCP-500;
    • connection letter of credit with commercial contract;
    • financing by letter of credit;
    • transferable and assignable letters of credit;
    • other types of letters of credit.

Seminar 5. Miscellaneous.

Questions:

    • comparison between bank guarantee and surety contract;
    • commercial papers in International trade;
    • securities in International trade;
    • International carriage by road;
    • legal aspects of exchange regulation.

 



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