IIMA - Course Catalogue
Frontiers of Business Law
Prof. Akhileshwar Pathak
Course Description & Objectives
Business law has got transformed in the past
decades. Business transactions have come to be done on elaborate standard contract terms. The standardisation has minimised disputes. If a dispute arises, it goes to arbitration under the arbitration terms in the contract. The arbitration award is private and only the disputing parties get to see it. Only some awards get challenged before a court. Most such challenges get resolved at the court of the first instance and not move to a superior court and get reported. As a result, the courts and the public, have very limited idea as to what is going on in business practices.
The obverse side of this, however, is the limited cases which do come up to the superior courts raise exceptional points of law. The judgments in these cases are the frontiers of business law. These have significant impact on all aspects of business. The standard contract terms, in different fields, will get revised to give effect to the judgment. Business practices will be transformed to accommodate the judgment. The judgments are a register of the contemporary business practices, comprehensive analysis and updating of law, and a window to the emergent business practices. Much can be learned from the judgments on law and business practices.
For the commonwealth countries, most of these judgments are coming from the UK Courts. These countries follow the same common law, and draw from the judgments of one another. As UK is the originator of common law, more often, the UK judgments are employed. For the common law countries, English law is the preferred law for international contracts. This makes the UK court judgments directly relevant. In domestic contracts, arbitrators and judges freely employ judgments from other jurisdictions to supplement the local law. Further, business law has a vast canvass. Foreign judgments on regulations of business are specific to that jurisdiction and do not directly extent to other jurisdiction. With this qualification, much can be learnt from these cases too.
The objective of the course is to explore latest significant court judgments from the common law courts and learn on the followings:
- Development of business law and its current position
- Contemporary business practices
- Changing business practices to accommodate the new law
The course will use case discussion, class exercise and group presentations.
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