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What I like about the International Commercial Law LLM

Date:02 March 2022
Ciaran Dorrian (image courtesy of C. Dorrian)
Ciaran Dorrian (image courtesy of C. Dorrian)

Deciding what LLM to pursue after completing you bachelors is an important decision you have to make if you know you want to specialize for your legal career. Below are some of the factors that led me to choose the International Commercial Law LLM here in Groningen and what I like about the programme.

Why did I choose to study this LLM?

I believe that the International Commercial Law LLM was a programme that presented a great opportunity to learn about commercial law and the role of lawyers in the commercial world. When deciding to pursue this LLM I considered many other master programmes that also intrigued me. Despite these other options, commercial law seemed to be the right choice. The commercial space is forever-evolving and provides ample opportunities for aspiring lawyers to gain a foothold in the legal world. Furthermore, with the globalisation of business and commerce in general, taking a masters concerning commercial law was the logical choice for me.

What specifically do I enjoy about studying this LLM?

I enjoy the differences between studying in this LLM and the LLB (taught here in Groningen). Specifically, I enjoy the smaller classes and lectures that allow students to gain a greater understanding of the subject matter and, therefore, a deeper knowledge that can be applied in future professional scenarios. Furthermore, I believe that the comparative element allows students to sample many different legal systems which can be applied when dealing with future international commercial disputes. In addition to this, I appreciate that this programme focuses more on national systems instead of international legal bodies (which was more of the focus in the LLB).

Which courses have I enjoyed the most so far? 

I thoroughly enjoyed the course International Commercial Dispute Settlement Law as this course was extremely insightful with regard to the ins and outs of commercial arbitration. Moreover, the course was graded using a group project and presentation in conjunction with a 5000-word paper. This requirement to conduct a group project provided a different dynamic towards grading that is usually present in the Faculty of Law. Additionally, the writing of a paper was extremely interesting and gave students the chance to learn about an area of commercial arbitration in a deeper manner. Notwithstanding this, the presence of Dr. Niek Peters was an incredible opportunity for students to learn from an experienced and knowledgeable professor who is an expert in his field.

What will I be writing my thesis on and how did I decide on this topic?

I have decided to write my thesis on the effect of “smart contracts” on the commercial space. Furthermore, this thesis will seek to analyse the definition of “smart contracts”, the regulation of smart contracts and the future for commercial law, and the utilisation of smart contracts. I chose this topic due to my interest in blockchain technology and smart contracts. Moreover, I believe that “smart contracts” are a technological innovation that may change the way that commercial business is conducted globally. In addition to this, technological innovation has always been an interest of mine and the opportunity to write a thesis on future technological developments presents an opportunity that could not be missed.

Who would I suggest this LLM to?

I would suggest this LLM to most students due to the quality of education provided by the programme. However, it would probably be more beneficial to provide a description of students that would enjoy this programme. As previously mentioned, the commercial space presents an excellent opportunity for aspiring lawyers to gain a future career. Therefore, I believe that students who are interested in becoming a solicitor in the future should definitely consider pursuing this LLM. Moreover, the programme allows students to gain a multinational perspective as many courses compare and contrast national legal systems. Students that display a commercial edge will be more than stimulated and fulfilled by the content of the course. If you see yourself aiming to participate in the commercial world from a legal standpoint, I firmly believe that this is the programme for you.

- Ciaran Dorrian, Ireland,  International Commercial Law LLM  student


Interested in more information about our International Commercial Law programme? You can ask questions directly to the Faculty by filling out our  information request form.