International Business Law

This course is part of the training Bachelor in Business Management.


Course level
Introductory or advanced

Course prerequisites (start competences)
Basic knowledge of civil law
At least student in their second year
students are able to do research, make analyses and work on papers, assignments independently
students are able to work in team
students are generally able to adapt to foreign cultures
students are able to contribute to discussions in English
students are able to fluently read and write English
enthusiast, willing to learn
open minded
critical, yet not arrogant
eager to function in a multicultural environment
longing for international experience
willing to give and receive feedback; able to cope with negative feedback
stress resistant
motivated and not easily giving up
having an own opinion, while at the same time being able to listen to others

Course description & goals (final competences)

International managers are subject to international as well as local rules for business relationships and transactions. In examining the legal considerations involved in doing business internationally, this course explores the law surrounding international dispute resolution, the international sale of goods, the European Union, The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the regulation of imports and exports, and a variety of other topics relevant to the legal relationship between businesses and the international community. Participants learn about laws that are different from domestic laws and prepare themselves for careers in which they will do business with foreign countries.
Participants gain an understanding of
- the legal framework for cross-border business transactions; especially the particularities of the European business sphere (EU and EFTA),
- the legal aspects of world trade and the meaning and relevance of the rules of the WTO,
- how international business relationships are influenced by European and global legal frameworks, and
the variety of ways international contracts can be written.

Table of contents

This course examines legal aspects of transactions across national boundaries and views international business law from a multinational and multicultural perspective. Inquiry is made into the character of international law and related bodies of national law involving more than one legal and political system. The course develops basic concepts of international business law and examines international organizations and international treaties that have an impact on international business.
1. Introduction to International Business.
2. International Law and Organizations.
3. The Resolution of International Disputes.
1. Sales Contracts and Excuses for Nonperformance.
2. The Documentary Sales and Terms of Trade.
3. The Carriage of Goods and the Liability of Air and Sea Carriers.
4. Bank Collections, Trade Finance, and Letters of Credit.
National Lawmaking Powers
1. GATT Law and the World Trade Organization: Basic Principles.
2. Laws Governing Access to International Markets.
3. Regulating Import Competition and Unfair Trade.
4. Imports, Customs, and Tariff Law.
5. The European Union and Other Regional Trade Areas.
6. The Regulation of Exports.

1. International Civil Law
2. International Marketing Law: Sales Representatives,
3. Advertising, and Ethical Issues.
4. Licensing Agreements and the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights.
5. Host-Country Regulation: Corporate Law, Taxation, and Currency Risk.
6. Political Risk: Nationalization, Expropriation, and Privatization.
7. Labor and Employment Discrimination Law.

Teaching method

The course is taught by relating written laws to examples. Course participants then apply the rules to short cases and are given feedback and further clarification by the instructor.

Course material

Herdegen, Internationales Wirtschaftsrecht, 5. Aufl. (2006)
Collier, Conflict of Laws, 3rd edition (2001)
Weiß/Herrmann, Welthandelsrecht (2003),  
The World Trade Organization: Understanding the WTO (2005) (published by the WTO)
Herdegen, Europarecht, 7. Aufl. (2005)
Hartley, European Union Law in a Global Context (2004),     or
Dabbah, EC and UK Competition Law (2004)


90 minute written exam consisting of theoretical questions and short cases to be solved logically by applying legal rules.


Any retake of the courses is generally only possible during the period of July 8 – July 31 following the winter term in which the RIBA courses have been taken the first time. Individual arrangements may only be fixed in direct contact between and mutual agreement of the failing students and the responsible lecturer. (Both the academic and institutional coordinators (Prof. Dr. Nagengast and Dr. von Randow) have to be informed.)

Information lecturer

Assistant professor Mr. Saller