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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

This course provides an opportunity to explore in detail the internal and external commercial legal implications of the UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union. On this course we will consider: the external legal implications of the Brexit for the UK’s future relationship with the EU and for the UK’s trading arrangements once the UK has withdrawn from the EU; the legal implications of Brexit on pre-existing commercial legal arrangements; and the effect of Brexit on different types of EU law that currently affect commerce within the UK and will have varying effects post-Brexit.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Jonathan Fitchen

Qualification Prerequisites

  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • LS2026 Eu Institutions and Law (Passed)
  • Legal Studies (Ma Honours) (LX)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course will consist of an introductory lecture of 2 hours followed by six 2 hour seminars and concluding with a 2 hour revision lecture.

It is envisaged that the seminars on this course could include the following representative topics (N.B. it is assumed that Article 50 TEU will already have been triggered before the course starts).

  1. Appreciating the existing external trading arrangements between the UK while part of the EU and the rest of the world: e.g. The EU's common customs tariff, EU anti-dumping rules, EU negotiated trade agreements, the EU and its relationship to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  2. Evaluating the pros and cons of different legal forms that Brexit might take: e.g. the EEA / EFTA option, the Swiss Model, the 'pure' WTO rules option or a new UK model form. The re-emergence of the UK's external competence.
  3. Assessing the legal challenges of Brexit for commercial arrangements and commercial legal relationships that continue in existence after the date of the formal Brexit.
  4. Considering the changes that the different forms of Brexit will bring to existing legal policies, rights and concepts derived from the EU Treaty: e.g. policies of enduring relevance post Brexit (EU Competition Law – which is no longer applicable but remains relevant as it may be applied with extraterritorial effect – and the potential relevance of EU Merger law) and also general legal principles derived from interventions by the CJEU (e.g. State Liability, non-discrimination, effectiveness, and proportionality). 
  5. Assessing the changes that the different forms of Brexit will bring to legal rights derived from:
    • directly applicable EU Regulations that are not implemented in the UK's legal systems via domestic law: e.g. EU private international law plus current and future international alternatives.
    • EU Directives that have been implemented in UK legal systems via domestic laws.   

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt

  • 2000 word essay for LLB students (25%)
  • 2500 word essay for MA Legal studies students (25%)
  • Exam (75%)


  • In the event that a re-sit is required: re-sit of the exam in the following exam diet with the carrying over of the original essay mark.

Formative Assessment




Will be provided on the assessed essay in accordance with the Law School Feedback Policy.

Course Learning Outcomes

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