LL4S2      Half Unit
E-Commerce Law

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Andrew Murray NAB 6.08

Other Staff Involved: Dr. Martin Husovec


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 60 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.

Course content

This course is to introduce students from a legal background to the specialised legal structure which surrounds e-commerce. The course looks at the specific problems an e-commerce start-up must overcome in order to begin trading, including arranging hosting agreements, designing terms and conditions of service and delivery, and arranging distribution agreements. From here the course will develop to examine the problems of more mature e-commerce businesses including jurisdiction, payment systems (including cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology) and rules on marketing and privacy. Special classes on Online Dispute Resolution and the regulation of gig economy platforms will complete the analysis. The course is designed to act as an interface between ICT law and commercial law and practice in that it examines in detail the close sub-set of online transactions which are clearly commercial in nature.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours in Lent Term. This year teaching will be delivered through recorded online lectures and a mix of both in-person and online classes to accommodate students who are unable to physically be on campus. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Students should submit an essay plan and working bibliography for the assessed essay. All students are expected to contribute to a series of class and online exercises, and to submit one 2,000 word formative essay.

Indicative reading

Murray: Information Technology Law: The Law and Society 4ed (OUP, 2019); Lodder & Andrew Murray (eds) EU Regulation of E-Commerce: A Commentary (Edward Elgar, 2017); Edwards (ed): Law, Policy and the Internet (Bloomsbury, 2018); Tapscott & Tapscott: Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the World  (Penguin, 2016); Kuner: Transborder Data Flows and Data Privacy Law (OUP, 2013)


Essay (100%, 8000 words).

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2019/20: 29

Average class size 2019/20: 29

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills