What aspects does the programme cover?
The two main pillars of the programme are (1) company law and (2) commercial law.
1. Company law
The company law pillar focuses on the main topics of corporate governance. Issues such as the functioning of the board of directors, shareholder rights and cross-border voting and some aspects of European labour law will be comprehensively discussed. Attention is also given to the EC-directives on the freedom of establishment, national and cross-border mergers, take over bids, representation, supranational companies and the Societas Europaea.
2. Commercial law
The commercial law pillar consists of courses detailing the risks of international trade, how these risks can be allocated (e.g. by utilizing documents of title) and how they may be averted or minimised. Its focus is the individual contracts on which the cooperation between the multitude of businesses involved in an international sale of goods transaction is based as well as the legal foundations of these transactions. Such contracts include contracts of insurance, financing and payment, transport, storage and logistics.
How is the study programme structured?
At the beginning of the programme, you receive an introduction to commercial and company law. You learn how to do independent legal research and how to report your findings through presentations and papers during a 15 EC Research & Writing Skills course. Attendance of the meetings is mandatory. Successful completion of this course is a precondition to being admitted to the master thesis.
The second block is composed of two 5 EC courses, i.e. Commercial Law and International Corporate Governance. The third block is composed of one 10 EC course, Company Law and Restructuring. The fourth block includes one 5 EC bound elective and one 5 EC elective. The fifth and last block consists of two 5 EC courses, Carriage of Goods and Trademark Law, and a master's thesis.
Does the programme have a particular focus?
The Master Commercial and Company Law distinguishes itself from other LL.M. programmes in business law by emphasizing private legal relationships, the balance between commercial law, corporate law and procedural law courses.
Based in the port of Rotterdam, this programme educates legal professionals that are to become well versed in both commercial and company Law. Due to its position in the centre of a large trade hub, the programme can offer students many opportunities for exploration of trade in practice by combining the theory that is taught with on-site workshops.
Within a university, teaching and research are combined. At the master level, you will be brought into closer contact with the research. Ultimately, you will have to conduct scholarly research yourself (in your master's thesis). Both for research and in legal practice, certain academic and practical skills are indispensable.
The general theme of the course Company Law and Restructuring is corporate restructuring in the internal market of the EU and concerns legal as well as fiscal and economic aspects. The course is taught based on the necessary reading materials, case law materials and practical cases. Active participation and discussion of the students are expected and motivated.
Intellectual Property Rights: The course will provide in-depth knowledge of the most important IP rights. The focus will be on patent law (including the protection of biotechnology and software), trademark law (including community trademark law), copyright (including neighbouring rights), database law, design law (including the community design) and trade name law. Some related fields (such as general unfair competition law and advertising law) will also be discussed.
European Private International Law: The course will focus on the general concepts and the application of private international law, and in particular private international law at European Union level and related international conventions. Where relevant, attention will be paid to comparative aspects, for example, common law jurisdiction vs civil law jurisdiction. Instruments to be discussed include those dealing with international jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement, evidence, service of documents, insolvency, and harmonised European procedures (order for payment and small claims), as well as the applicable law to (commercial) contracts and torts.
The course Carriage of Goods is based upon a theme-by-theme approach, whereby the alternative solutions given by the various unimodal transport law conventions (Hague-Visby Rules, Hamburg Rules, CMR, CMNI, COTIF-CIM, and Montreal) are compared and contrasted to provide a more in-depth insight in the various subjects at hand.