Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Financial Law LAW4122

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course will offer a simple conceptual scheme for analysing financial law as a whole with specific illustrative examples from various sectors. The ambition of the course is to make the subject accessible as a whole and to offer students a critical understanding of the fundamental regulatory narratives and types of financial positions (i.e. the various methods of transferring credit risk in the financial markets - simple/funded/net/asset backed).


Teaching will consist of 15 two - hours seminars. Seminars 1-10 will be held in the first semester and seminars 11-15 in the second semester.


In preparation for each seminar, a handout will be circulated a week in advance. The handout will consist of three parts: the outline of the topic, a reading list divided into essential, recommended and further reading, and a list of questions. The list of questions intends to stimulate critical thinking over salient aspects of the topic and to allow students the time to better prepare their positions and arguments during the debate in the seminar. Students will be expected to come to the seminar having read the essential readings and having thought over the questions. Seminars will start with a short introduction by the teacher on the topic, linking it with some recent event that has appeared in the news or with an ongoing public debate. From there, the seminar should develop as a discussion of the questions posed in the handout, initiating a state of intersubjectivity with the students. Students will be encouraged to pick up the question that has most intrigued them and to share their views on the topic, assessing whether the existing legal regulation is sufficient and effective and what, if any, problems of coordination with other topics and other fields this regulation or the lack thereof raises. The last 10 minutes of each seminar will be devoted to wrapping up the topic, by highlighting the main points emerging from the discussion, but also stressing such elements that, though important, have not been the object of debate, so as to provide students with a clear perception of the salient aspects of each topic. The aim of this division of time is to give students plenty of time for refining their knowledge of the topic and enhancing their communication and problem solving skills, while at the same time making sure that they do not leave the classroom without an indication of the core rules and principles, over which they will be assessed at the end of the course.


Seminar 1 will provide a conceptual overview of the scheme of the course. This should allow students to start familiarising with the financial legal terminology and jargon, provide a list of basic notions that will be necessary for the learning activities to follow, raise awareness as to the links between law and human concerns and acquaint them with basic texts and electronic resources. In line with these aims, the overview: a) will explain what are the sources of financial law and how financial markets are subject to three regulatory projects that reflect three different (and inconsistent) understanding of the nature of financial market relationships (arm's length, fiduciary and consumeristic); and b) will also introduce to the different categories of financial market transactions.


Seminars 2-10 will describe financial law as a system of risk transfer and how commercial risk is converted into credit risk. In particular, seminar 2 will address the creation and management of credit risk and seminars 3-10 will discuss various financial positions, comparing them under a functional approach.


Seminars 11-15 will assess in the second semester the different regulatory projects and will critically evaluate their strength in the light of the recent law reforms and litigation.

Requirements of Entry

Commercial Law (level 2), Business Organizations (level 2), Obligations (Level 1 and 2)

Excluded Courses





Assessment will be conducted through:

- a 3000 word essay (worth 40% of the final course mark) and


- a two-hour unseen written examination (worth 60% of the final course mark). During the two-hour unseen written examination, students will be invited to answer ONE (out of two) questions from Section A and ONE (out of two) question from Section B. Each of the two answered questions will be worth half of the written examination mark.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No


Course Aims

The course aims at providing students with a thorough and critical understanding of fundamental rules and principles of the Financial Law, making it accessible as a whole, as well as developing their legal skills (communication and problem-solving). In particular the course aims to:

a) introduce the students to the main legal questions concerning the functional connection/convergence between various financial positions and keep them abreast of contemporary developments in financial regulation;

b) give the students a thorough understanding of the sources of Financial Law and obligations arising from contractual positions under different regulatory narratives;

c) give students an insight into the different fora (national/European/international) in which Financial regulation is developed and applied, including international organisations operating at the global and regional level (e.g. FCA, European Commission, Unidroit and BIS);

d) provide students with experience of working in groups and foster group discussion;

e) encourage independent reading;

f) develop research skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


a) identify, describe and critically evaluate the core rules and principles of the discipline;

b) relate and contrast the core concepts of the most important different financial position vis a vis the different regulatory narratives;

c) compare and combine different financial positions and explain the convergence pattern;

d) demonstrate the ability to construe a legal argument in relation to each financial position (i.e. the various methods of transferring credit risk in the financial markets - simple/funded/net/asset backed) and to present it;

e) apply their knowledge to a specific case; in particular, recognise and name the legal issues arising out of specific facts, individuate the type and content of legal principles and rules applicable to them and apply those principles and rules to decide how the case has to be solved.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.