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Commercial and international commercial law

Engaging with the broad reach of commercial law

Building a deeper knowledge and understanding of modern commercial transactions.

Our vision

We encourage the scholarly study of, and research into, commercial law and, more generally, the operation of law in a commercial context. We aim to build deeper knowledge and understanding and to participate in the continuing development of a coherent legal framework for modern commercial transactions.

Our work

Our work is wide-ranging, reflecting the broad reach of commercial law and drawing on contract law, tort law, personal property law, secured transactions law, insolvency law and equity. The work is frequently comparative in nature and often deals with cross-border transactions and disputes. In the context of a domestic common law system balancing statute and case law, our research typically adopts a rigorous doctrinal approach directed at resolving contentious legal issues arising in modern commercial law practice.

Our impact

Our research informs debate within the academy and the legal profession and beyond. We make our research available in many ways including through the publication of books and articles in national and international journals; through participation in national and international conferences; through engagement with the legal profession and the business sector more broadly; and through undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.

Our researchers are engaged in these areas of interest:

  • implied obligations and good faith, construction and interpretation of contracts and damages and penalties (Professor Elisabeth Peden)
  • contract and personal property law, with particular focus on formation and privity of contract and assignment of contractual rights (Professor Greg Tolhurst)
  • the impact of tort reforms on the fundamental elements of negligence actions and the liability of wrongdoers, and the developing law of privacy and equitable breach of confidence (Professor Barbara McDonald)
  • the operation of personal property securities legislation and the role of equitable doctrines such as set-off, marshalling and contribution (Professor Sheelagh McCracken)
  • the impact of statute in allocating risk in commercial law, particularly in personal property and insolvency legislation, and the operation of clearing houses and payment systems (Professor John Stumbles)
  • the law relating to the exploration, extraction and sale of natural commodities such as oil and gas, and the development and use of renewable energy sources (Dr Penelope Crossley).

Our experts