Competition, International Commercial and Business Law Dissertation Topics & Ideas

Here you will find a selection of 12 dissertation topics and ideas on competition, international commercial and business law. Please use these topics to help you create your own law dissertation topics.

Example Dissertation Topics & Ideas

1. Is the "Building Block" model of EU Competition law sufficient, or should the “rule of reason” model be imported from US Law?

The EU approach to Article 101 TFEU (Article 81 EC) has been defined as the "building blocks" approach, which is identifiable in cases such as Airtours plc v. Commission T-342/99 [2002] ECR II-2585. There are implications that Article 102 TFEU (Article 82 EC) is creating a similar approach (France Télécom v Commission (Wanadoo) Case C-202/07 P Judgment of 2 April 2009). The question that this approach raises is whether the concern is based on the effect of the companies on the common market, as opposed to the consumer. This is significantly different to the US model that is based on the rule of reason and the impact on the consumer (Board of Trade of the City of Chicago v. United States (1918) 246 U.S. 231). Thus, the following examination will compare the EU and US approaches to determine the most applicable model.

2. Should there be a more cohesive approach to private enforcement of competition claims in EU Competition Law?

The EU's Modernisation Regulation 2003 was aimed at enabling private antitrust claims, which in general have been resisted in most EU jurisdictions. The exception to this is English law's standalone model, as defined in Garden Cottage Foods v Milk Marketing Board (1984) 1 AC 130. Thus, the following examination will explore the difference between the English approach and other EU jurisdictions to determine the effectiveness of the Modernisation Regulation. It will also draw on the US approach, because the UK's standalone model is based closer to this approach; thus indicating a possible civil/common law divide.

3. To what extent should there be a balance between effects and the formation of Co-operative Industries, because prima facie ant-trust acts can be important to market stabilisation?

This discussion will explore the jurisprudence of EU and US approaches to anti-trust actions, in order to determine which the better model is. This is an interesting examination, because the EU approach has been criticised as protectionist (i.e. it is only concerned with the common market). Thus, this discussion of competition law will start from an international perspective.  

4. Does the EU Model towards Mergers and Acquisitions create a model of law that supports ant-trust actions? An examination of the EU and US approaches to Mergers and Acquisitions:

This topic will explore the impact of the Mergers Regulation on EU competition law, because it can be identified that the approach is far more lax. This is due to the focus on the common market, as opposed to the effect on the consumer. The US model is more stringent, because the impact on the consumer is the primary concern; thus a comparative review of the two approaches will be undertaken.

5. Should the CISG (Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods 1980) be ratified into English Law?

The CISG has not been ratified in the UK, because the assumption that the Sale of Goods Act 1979 is superior remains. However, the recent case of Fairchild v Glenhaven [2002] UKHL 22 recognised that inherently international areas of law need to consider a wider approach. In this case it was held that “[t]he law must be developed coherently, in accordance with principle, so as to serve, even-handedly, the ends of justice. If, however, a decision is given in this country to draw upon international situation which offends one's basic sense of justice, and if consideration of international sources suggests that a different and more acceptable decision would be given in most other jurisdictions, whatever their legal tradition, this must prompt anxious review of the decision in question” [at 31]. This decision points to a need to undertake a broader approach to international sales of goods, because it transcends national law. Thus, this discussion will compare the provisions of the SGA 1979 and CISG, in order to identify if ratification of the CISG is compatible with English law.

6. Are the Rotterdam Rules the Future of Carriage of Goods by the Sea? A Comparative Review of the Hague, Hague-Visby, Hamburg and Rotterdam Rules:

This topic will explore the development of carriers and shipper's liabilities under the common law, Hague, Hague-Visby, Hamburg and Rotterdam Rules in order to determine the best model. Thus, this comparative examination will determine the application of Rules across jurisdictions to identify the failings and benefits of the approaches; as well as to consider if further reform is needed (albeit the Rotterdam Rules are very new).

7. Can a Lex Mercatoria of International Arbitration be formulated, in order to enforce the principles of contractual and party autonomy?

This topic will explore if the procedural harmonisation of international arbitration can be extended to allow for a substantive lex mercatoria. Thus, this examination will explore the procedural harmonisation of competence, party autonomy and seperability, which allows the arbitral tribunal to determine their own jurisdiction (Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Yuri Pavlov [2007] UKHL 409). Then a consideration of international and national court rulings on the substantive elements, in order to identify if a lex mercatoria of international commercial arbitration can be developed.

8. Is the concept of “utmost good faith” fairly applied in English Insurance Law or does it create an unfair relationship between the insurer and insuree?

The concept of “utmost good faith” is at the centre of insurance law, but the question to be considered is whether there is fairness in this model. In the commercial realm the intentions of the insuree and honest belief does not mitigate misinformation (Sail v Farex [1994] CLC 1(94)). The English courts argue this strict model is centred on the nature of promise within insurance law (Bank of Nova Scotia v Hellenic Mutual War Risks Association (Bermuda) Ltd (The Good Luck) [1991] 2 WLR 1279). This examination will explore if this approach creates fair balance for insurees, or if the consumer insurance changes should be imported into commercial law.

9. Should the application of the fraud principle and the doctrine of strict compliance to documentary credits be reconsidered in English law?

The case of The American Accord [1983] 1 AC 168 held that the confirmed documentary credit must be upheld over all else. This has been reconfirmed over and over again, in which the fraud principle has been limited in English courts (Harbottle v. Nat. Westminster Bank [1977] 2 ALL ER 862). The case of Banco Santander SA v. Bayfern Limited [2000] 1 All ER (Comm) 776 maintained this approach, which raises questions when other jurisdictions support a fraud and illegality principle. Thus, this discussion will undertake a comparative case study of the fraud principle in documentary credits.

10. Should there be harmonisation of “fatwas” in Sharia-Based Financial Instruments or is clear contractual choice sufficient?

The harmonisation of fatwas is essential to allow sharia law to be an effective choice of law; otherwise there may be rejection of the Islamic elements if incompatible with the certainty of the law (Shamil Bank of Bahrain v Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd [2004] 1 Lloyd's Rep 1). Another plausible option will be a clear contractual choice, which also creates certainty through party autonomy (Nea Agrex SA v Baltic Shipping Co Ltd [1976] 1 QB 933 (CA)). Thus, this discussion will consider the five models of sharia governance and determine if harmonisation or contractual certainty is plausible.

11. Should the “Command and Explain” Model of Corporate Governance be replaced with a “Command and Comply” Model? An International Comparative Review of Corporate Governance Models:

The different models corporate governance will be explored to determine if the Corporate Governance Code 2010 is an effective model in the post-financial crisis era. Thus, this topic will take a cross section of corporate governance models to analyse the effectiveness of English law.

12. Should the Banking customer Relationship be reformed in English Law? A Comparative Case Study:

This topic will explore if the contractual relationship between the banker and customer is fit for purpose in the 21st Century. The case of PC Woods v Matins Bank [1959] 1 QB 55 confirmed the contractual relationship, which has maintained even though cases have inferred a “duty of care” (Barclays Bank v Quinceare Ltd [1992] 4 All ER 363); however this has not met the fiduciary model of Israel or the hybrid approach of Canada. Thus, this examination will explore if a fiduciary relationship between the banker and customer should be imported into English law.