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Course structure and organisation   

This compact course offers a unique combination of state-of- art topics related to legal aspects of most recurring issues in contemporary international trade and finance. The themes of the course have been strategically selected to equip the participants with the knowledge, insights and skills necessary to face the latest challenges in the field of trade and finance.    
 
The course consists selected subjects related to the rapidly changing international trade and finance law. The topics covered in this course include both a general discussion on recent case law and legislative developments related to jurisdictional and substantive conflict of laws rules and specific themes such as project finance, the place of public policy and economic regulations in international commercial arbitration, regulation of crypto currencies and assets, sovereign debt and sovereign investment, de-risking and optimal level of application of anti-money laundering laws and regulation, evolution of capital adequacy. 
The teaching offered in 10 sessions and each session lasts two hours. The participants shall be given the teaching handouts and teaching materials via a secured online system. You are expected to go through the handouts and seminar questions before attending lecture/seminars.  
 
There is no single textbook covering the whole course, however relevant articles and other texts, which can be found either via web or in IALS library, will be recommended. You will be given, in advance, detailed handouts for each session and a reading list of course materials, which we will cover in each session. 

What are the benefits for the participants?

The course aims to:  

1. Introduce you to the principles and theories that underlie the field and the role of law and regulation in dealing with the most topical legal challenges facing governments, businesses, markets, regulators and legal and business professionals  
2. Stimulate broader strategic thinking about the goals of international commercial and financial law issues and corporate and financial regulation and how it affects business strategy and overarching public policy, with an analysis of the economic and legal principles applied to practical cases.
3. Assist you in developing the skills in legal analysis and compliance with laws and regulation required for a dynamic career related to the law, regulation and practice of financial markets in an international context.
4. Widen your knowledge of corporate, financial regulation, and international and comparative aspects of trade and financial law.
 
Who Should Take this Course?

1.Banking and securities markets regulators 
2.Practitioners practicing in the areas of financial and commercial law
3.Commercial and investment banks 
4.Compliance officers of banks  
5.Pension funds managers 
6.Arbitrators and commercial law litigators 
7.Legislation drafters and government officials 
8.Officials from international financial institutions and organisations 

In this course we shall cover the following topics

1. Conflict of Laws and International Reach of National Economic Regulations

This session touches up fundamental rules related to the international commercial and financial contracts in terms of the procedures for the determination of the governing law to any dispute through the jurisdictional and substantive conflict of laws rules. The relevant rules and cases shall be examined in the context of English and European conflict of laws rules. However, the scope and extent of the application of the provisions of the governing law is subject to determination of the legitimate application of national regulatory public law rules under the international law or relevant conventions. Given the growth of national economic regulation and globalisation, the international application of national regulatory law to an international context is a very common practice and has become a contentious legal issue due to the resistance to the practice of some countries seeking the application of their economic regulation in other countries extraterritorially.

2. Recent Developments related to Letters of Credits and Bank Guarantee and the Evolution of UCP and URDG Rules 

For facilitation of international trade, banks offer two crucial services without which international trade would face serious challenges and obstacles. The facilitations of the cross-border payments through issuance, confirmation, negotiation and advice of the letter of credits is the cornerstone of the international trade. The international trade and investment is also dependent on banks’ involvement in terms of issuance of various kind of bank guarantees which allows the counter parties enter in contracts in particular EPC and loan agreements. However, given the complex contractual nature of the letters of credits and bank guarantees, disputes and lawsuits regarding the rights and obligations of the issuing and confirming banks, the applicant and beneficiaries as well as the rights and obligations of the buyers, sellers in the context of bank guarantees and letter of credits are abundant and recurrent. While barely a country has any rule about the rights and obligations of the parties to the letter of credits and bank guarantees, there has been a good collection of banks usage and practices by international chamber of commerce culminating to UCP and URDG rules which are regularly revised and updated. The scope and extent of application of UCP and URDG rules in parallel to the relevant national and international laws as followed and applied in some judicial and arbitration practices constitute the core of discussions in this session.

3. Legal Aspects of Foreign Investment by National Wealth Funds and Central Banks 

The governments, central banks and sovereign wealth funds are major players in international money and securities markets and take part in lending and borrowing capacities in various forms.
Sovereign entities such as central banks and sovereign wealth funds are major and important players in the international financial and money markets. Investment by sovereign wealth funds in some host states received mixed reactions, whereas some host states have been suspicious about the genuine commercial intention of the foreign wealth funds, the contribution of the funds in rescuing the markets from crisis and recession has been always welcomed. In any event, the legal nature of such investment and the relevance of the sovereign/commercial qualification of such investment has been subject to hot debates. The question concerns the extent that rules of private markets are applicable to such sovereign investment and financing.
 
4. International Project Finance and Nexus of Contracts: None Recourse and Privity of Contracts.

International finance, in principle, consists of corporate finance or project finance. The latter is the most common mode of financing which could involve either issuance of debt and equity securities or loan. In this session you will be provided with a general background of this method of financing and the regulatory and contractual aspects of project finance with some practical examples. In a further step, in this session we shall touch up one of the most important aspects of project finance arrangements in terms of creating third party rights for the financiers in various contracts entered into between the project company (borrower) and contractors, off takers and other companies which may enter into any kind of contracts with the project company. In this session the scope and validity of such third party rights clauses shall be examined under English law and UNIDROIT Rules on the third party rights.  

5. The Place of Good Faith and Contract Law Rules in International Securities Transactions.

In recent years the international private securities markets have been expanding and get more popularity due to the desire to avoid regulatory environment by both investors and issuers for various reasons. In the absence of protective regulatory laws, the investors are relying on the contractual remedies and protections. In this session, we shall review major national and international contract law regimes which could provide the necessary protection for investors through appropriate default rules such as good faith and duty of disclosure of information. In the absence of such contract law default rules, the investor (buyer of securities) needs to undertake extensive due diligence and rely on the contract terms. The session shall review some major legal systems with different approaches to the issue of good faith and in particular in the context of private securities transactions.

6. The Effectiveness and Legitimacy of FATF Recommendations: The Politics and Dynamics of Rule Making and Rule Taking in International Fight against Money Laundering.

Money laundering is a global and public harm and yet there is no consensus conceptually among all countries around the world on this issue and the means of tacking it. Whereas money laundering is now increasingly gaining an international dimension and in fact it is booming due to international markets and the gap left in national laws and regulation, creating an ideal opportunity for money launderers to conduct their business. Therefore, an effective combat of money laundering and terrorist financing could not be achieved unless there is an effective international cooperation. However, not all countries have the same interest and same perception on what should be considered as money laundering and what should be the response.  The diversity of views and interests may undermine the efforts for global schemes to fight money laundering. FATF and the associated international conventions have been considered as the most effective initiatives in this respect but its seems that in practice due to divergence of views and interests, and despite the imperative force of FATF, many countries either do not follow the recommendations or simply fake the rules and recommendations. This session addresses compliance challenges in implementation of FATF recommendations. 

7. The Limits of National and International Regulation of the Crypto Currencies and Assets.

A combination of internet, distributed leger and cryptography has provided a platform for creation of a paradigm which is outside the public domain and sphere. This is in particular true in the context of money and currency where the sovereign control of money and assets have been seriously compromised due to such developments. The emergence of crypto assets and currencies in a very private context has posed a serious challenge to sovereign rules and controls whereas at the same time provided secure private paradigms for private interactions and dealings. The legal challenges include money laundering, tax evasion and weakening of national currencies. It is clear that so long as internet exists, there is no means to completely stop such practices and transactions. However, the governments either nationally or through international cooperation could adopt some legal measures at least to cut the relation between the actual financial network and such virtual currencies. In this session we shall examine the latest developments and national and international regulatory initiatives to contain and control the effects of such phenomenon.  

8. The Application of National, International and Transnational Public Policy in International Commercial and Investment Arbitration.

International commercial and investment arbitration is a convenient choice by the parties to international commercial and investment contracts, which allows necessary flexibility based on contractual arrangements reflected in the choice of substantive applicable law, arbitration procedures and rules, and lex fori. However, this party autonomy faces ambiguous and unclear public policy limits from various jurisdictions related to the parties or the arbitration. The relevance and scope of operation of public policy in its various forms are important factors in issuing an arbitration award recognisable and enforceable in the potential jurisdictions based on international conventions such as 1958 New York Convention or Washington Convention. The identification and classification of national, international and transnational public policy helps arbitrators and other practitioners active in this field to strive towards an arbitration award which will have a higher chance of recognition and enforcement by national courts.         

9. De-risking and Optimal Level of Enforcement of Anti Money Laundering Laws: National and International Perspectives  

At both national and international levels, AML involves various stakeholders with divergent interests and priorities. While there has been some disagreements among various countries on the standards of AML and procedures for implementation of rules and regulations, at the national level, there has not been an easy interaction between regulators and rule makers on the one hand,  and financial intuitions ,on the other hand,  on the cost of implementation. Given the divergence of the interests of financial institutions and bank, the customers and regulators, some discriminating results in the form or overregulation or under-regulation is inevitable. Therefore, a constant revision of AML rules and alignment of the objectives and enforcement procedures are required to avoid injustices such as de-risking by banks, which passes the cost of implementation to some innocent bank customers. 

10. Basel Accord IV: The Evolution of Bank Capital Adequacy Laws and the Dynamic of Regulation and Self-regulation.

Basel accords mark a regulatory evolution demonstrating the progress of regulatory laws on capital adequacy from a very simplistic paradigm of Basel accord I to the most sophisticated regulatory scheme of Basel accord III (and IV). The disappearance of confidence and liquidity in the credit market, where the banks, individually and collectively, provide the credit and liquidity, is the major threat to the financial stability in national and international financial markets. To counter such erosion of confidence and liquidity, the banks are required by law and regulation to preserve and maintain the level of capital reserve proportionate to the risk they are subject to individually (micro) and collectively (macro). The Basel Committee has come up, in a historical context and in each round of revision of the rules on the capital adequacy, with a regulatory regime which corresponds to the latest changes and developments in banking. The novelties of the Basel II and III show a shift from a simple regulatory paradigm of command-and-control nature to a state-of-art interactive regulatory regime in which the market discipline and disclosure of information play an important part. In this session core features of the Basel accords shall be reviewed and discussed.         

The time and Mode of Delivery of the Course
The course will take place online. It will be delivered every Friday from 5 April 2024 to 7 June 2024 between 12:00 to 14:00 (UK-time)

Certificate 
Upon completion of the Course, participants are awarded a Certificate of Attendance to the Course in Law of International Trade and Finance from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (University of London).
 
Course Facilities 
Participants will have online free access of the internationally renowned IALS library (the largest legal Library in Europe and one of the largest in the world).

Fees 
The fee for this course is £500 for each participant. This includes tuition, Course materials, access to the IALS library, and access to the encrypted dedicated webpage with additional Course materials (VLE). 

If you would like further information about the course, please contact the Course Director and lecturer Dr Mahmood Bagheri (email is the preferred option): Mahmood.bagheri@sas.ac.uk 


Last day to register and pay 29 March 2024


Details about how to join the virtual event will be circulated via email to registered attendees closer to the event date.


































































1. Conflict of Laws and International Reach of National Economic Regulations


This session touches up fundamental rules related to the international commercial and financial contracts in terms of the procedures for the determination of the governing law to any dispute through the jurisdictional and substantive conflict of laws rules. The relevant rules and cases shall be examined in the context of English and European conflict of laws rules. However, the scope and extent of the application of the provisions of the governing law is subject to determination of the legitimate application of national regulatory public law rules under the international law or relevant conventions. Given the growth of national economic regulation and globalisation, the international application of national regulatory law to an international context is a very common practice and has become a contentious legal issue due to the resistance to the practice of some countries seeking the application of their economic regulation in other countries extraterritorially.


2. Recent Developments related to Letters of Credits and Bank Guarantee and the Evolution of UCP and URDG Rules 


For facilitation of international trade, banks offer two crucial services without which international trade would face serious challenges and obstacles. The facilitations of the cross-border payments through issuance, confirmation, negotiation and advice of the letter of credits is the cornerstone of the international trade. The international trade and investment is also dependent on banks’ involvement in terms of issuance of various kind of bank guarantees which allows the counter parties enter in contracts in particular EPC and loan agreements. However, given the complex contractual nature of the letters of credits and bank guarantees, disputes and lawsuits regarding the rights and obligations of the issuing and confirming banks, the applicant and beneficiaries as well as the rights and obligations of the buyers, sellers in the context of bank guarantees and letter of credits are abundant and recurrent. While barely a country has any rule about the rights and obligations of the parties to the letter of credits and bank guarantees, there has been a good collection of banks usage and practices by international chamber of commerce culminating to UCP and URDG rules which are regularly revised and updated. The scope and extent of application of UCP and URDG rules in parallel to the relevant national and international laws as followed and applied in some judicial and arbitration practices constitute the core of discussions in this session.


3. Legal Aspects of Foreign Investment by National Wealth Funds and Central Banks 


The governments, central banks and sovereign wealth funds are major players in international money and securities markets and take part in lending and borrowing capacities in various forms.
Sovereign entities such as central banks and sovereign wealth funds are major and important players in the international financial and money markets. Investment by sovereign wealth funds in some host states received mixed reactions, whereas some host states have been suspicious about the genuine commercial intention of the foreign wealth funds, the contribution of the funds in rescuing the markets from crisis and recession has been always welcomed. In any event, the legal nature of such investment and the relevance of the sovereign/commercial qualification of such investment has been subject to hot debates. The question concerns the extent that rules of private markets are applicable to such sovereign investment and financing.
 
4. International Project Finance and Nexus of Contracts: None Recourse and Privity of Contracts.


International finance, in principle, consists of corporate finance or project finance. The latter is the most common mode of financing which could involve either issuance of debt and equity securities or loan. In this session you will be provided with a general background of this method of financing and the regulatory and contractual aspects of project finance with some practical examples. In a further step, in this session we shall touch up one of the most important aspects of project finance arrangements in terms of creating third party rights for the financiers in various contracts entered into between the project company (borrower) and contractors, off takers and other companies which may enter into any kind of contracts with the project company. In this session the scope and validity of such third party rights clauses shall be examined under English law and UNIDROIT Rules on the third party rights.  


5. The Place of Good Faith and Contract Law Rules in International Securities Transactions.


In recent years the international private securities markets have been expanding and get more popularity due to the desire to avoid regulatory environment by both investors and issuers for various reasons. In the absence of protective regulatory laws, the investors are relying on the contractual remedies and protections. In this session, we shall review major national and international contract law regimes which could provide the necessary protection for investors through appropriate default rules such as good faith and duty of disclosure of information. In the absence of such contract law default rules, the investor (buyer of securities) needs to undertake extensive due diligence and rely on the contract terms. The session shall review some major legal systems with different approaches to the issue of good faith and in particular in the context of private securities transactions.


6. The Effectiveness and Legitimacy of FATF Recommendations: The Politics and Dynamics of Rule Making and Rule Taking in International Fight against Money Laundering.


Money laundering is a global and public harm and yet there is no consensus conceptually among all countries around the world on this issue and the means of tacking it. Whereas money laundering is now increasingly gaining an international dimension and in fact it is booming due to international markets and the gap left in national laws and regulation, creating an ideal opportunity for money launderers to conduct their business. Therefore, an effective combat of money laundering and terrorist financing could not be achieved unless there is an effective international cooperation. However, not all countries have the same interest and same perception on what should be considered as money laundering and what should be the response.  The diversity of views and interests may undermine the efforts for global schemes to fight money laundering. FATF and the associated international conventions have been considered as the most effective initiatives in this respect but its seems that in practice due to divergence of views and interests, and despite the imperative force of FATF, many countries either do not follow the recommendations or simply fake the rules and recommendations. This session addresses compliance challenges in implementation of FATF recommendations. 


7. The Limits of National and International Regulation of the Crypto Currencies and Assets.


A combination of internet, distributed leger and cryptography has provided a platform for creation of a paradigm which is outside the public domain and sphere. This is in particular true in the context of money and currency where the sovereign control of money and assets have been seriously compromised due to such developments. The emergence of crypto assets and currencies in a very private context has posed a serious challenge to sovereign rules and controls whereas at the same time provided secure private paradigms for private interactions and dealings. The legal challenges include money laundering, tax evasion and weakening of national currencies. It is clear that so long as internet exists, there is no means to completely stop such practices and transactions. However, the governments either nationally or through international cooperation could adopt some legal measures at least to cut the relation between the actual financial network and such virtual currencies. In this session we shall examine the latest developments and national and international regulatory initiatives to contain and control the effects of such phenomenon.  


8. The Application of National, International and Transnational Public Policy in International Commercial and Investment Arbitration.


International commercial and investment arbitration is a convenient choice by the parties to international commercial and investment contracts, which allows necessary flexibility based on contractual arrangements reflected in the choice of substantive applicable law, arbitration procedures and rules, and lex fori. However, this party autonomy faces ambiguous and unclear public policy limits from various jurisdictions related to the parties or the arbitration. The relevance and scope of operation of public policy in its various forms are important factors in issuing an arbitration award recognisable and enforceable in the potential jurisdictions based on international conventions such as 1958 New York Convention or Washington Convention. The identification and classification of national, international and transnational public policy helps arbitrators and other practitioners active in this field to strive towards an arbitration award which will have a higher chance of recognition and enforcement by national courts.         


9. De-risking and Optimal Level of Enforcement of Anti Money Laundering Laws: National and International Perspectives  


At both national and international levels, AML involves various stakeholders with divergent interests and priorities. While there has been some disagreements among various countries on the standards of AML and procedures for implementation of rules and regulations, at the national level, there has not been an easy interaction between regulators and rule makers on the one hand,  and financial intuitions ,on the other hand,  on the cost of implementation. Given the divergence of the interests of financial institutions and bank, the customers and regulators, some discriminating results in the form or overregulation or under-regulation is inevitable. Therefore, a constant revision of AML rules and alignment of the objectives and enforcement procedures are required to avoid injustices such as de-risking by banks, which passes the cost of implementation to some innocent bank customers. 


10. Basel Accord IV: The Evolution of Bank Capital Adequacy Laws and the Dynamic of Regulation and Self-regulation.


Basel accords mark a regulatory evolution demonstrating the progress of regulatory laws on capital adequacy from a very simplistic paradigm of Basel accord I to the most sophisticated regulatory scheme of Basel accord III (and IV). The disappearance of confidence and liquidity in the credit market, where the banks, individually and collectively, provide the credit and liquidity, is the major threat to the financial stability in national and international financial markets. To counter such erosion of confidence and liquidity, the banks are required by law and regulation to preserve and maintain the level of capital reserve proportionate to the risk they are subject to individually (micro) and collectively (macro). The Basel Committee has come up, in a historical context and in each round of revision of the rules on the capital adequacy, with a regulatory regime which corresponds to the latest changes and developments in banking. The novelties of the Basel II and III show a shift from a simple regulatory paradigm of command-and-control nature to a state-of-art interactive regulatory regime in which the market discipline and disclosure of information play an important part. In this session core features of the Basel accords shall be reviewed and discussed.         


Course structure and organisation   


This compact course offers a unique combination of state-of- art topics related to legal aspects of most recurring issues in contemporary international trade and finance. The themes of the course have been strategically selected to equip the participants with the knowledge, insights and skills necessary to face the latest challenges in the field of trade and finance.    
 
The course consists selected subjects related to the rapidly changing international trade and finance law. The topics covered in this course include both a general discussion on recent case law and legislative developments related to jurisdictional and substantive conflict of laws rules and specific themes such as project finance, the place of public policy and economic regulations in international commercial arbitration, regulation of crypto currencies and assets, sovereign debt and sovereign investment, de-risking and optimal level of application of anti-money laundering laws and regulation, evolution of capital adequacy. 
The teaching offered in 10 sessions and each session lasts two hours. The participants shall be given the teaching handouts and teaching materials via a secured online system. You are expected to go through the handouts and seminar questions before attending lecture/seminars.  
 
There is no single textbook covering the whole course, however relevant articles and other texts, which can be found either via web or in IALS library, will be recommended. You will be given, in advance, detailed handouts for each session and a reading list of course materials, which we will cover in each session. 


What are the benefits for the participants?
The course aims to:  


1. Introduce you to the principles and theories that underlie the field and the role of law and regulation in dealing with the most topical legal challenges facing governments, businesses, markets, regulators and legal and business professionals  
2. Stimulate broader strategic thinking about the goals of international commercial and financial law issues and corporate and financial regulation and how it affects business strategy and overarching public policy, with an analysis of the economic and legal principles applied to practical cases.
3. Assist you in developing the skills in legal analysis and compliance with laws and regulation required for a dynamic career related to the law, regulation and practice of financial markets in an international context.
4. Widen your knowledge of corporate, financial regulation, and international and comparative aspects of trade and financial law.
 
Who Should Take this Course?


1.Banking and securities markets regulators 
2.Practitioners practicing in the areas of financial and commercial law
3.Commercial and investment banks 
4.Compliance officers of banks  
5.Pension funds managers 
6.Arbitrators and commercial law litigators 
7.Legislation drafters and government officials 
8.Officials from international financial institutions and organisations 


The time and Mode of Delivery of the Course
The course will take place online. It will be delivered every Friday from 5 April 2024 to 7 June 2024 between 12:00 to 14:00 (UK-time)


Certificate 
Upon completion of the Course, participants are awarded a Certificate of Attendance to the Course in Law of International Trade and Finance from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (University of London).
 
Course Facilities 
Participants will have online free access of the internationally renowned IALS library (the largest legal Library in Europe and one of the largest in the world).


Fees 
The fee for this course is £500 for each participant. This includes tuition, Course materials, access to the IALS library, and access to the encrypted dedicated webpage with additional Course materials (VLE). 


If you would like further information about, please contact the Course Director and lecturer Dr Mahmood Bagheri (email is the preferred option): Mahmood.bagheri@sas.ac.uk 




Last day to register and pay 29 March 2024


Details about how to join the virtual event will be circulated via email to registered attendees closer to the event date.