LL4S2      Half Unit
E-Commerce Law

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Andrew Murray

Other Staff Involved: Dr Martin Husovec and Dr Edmund Schuster


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 has a limited number of places and we cannot guarantee all students will get a place.

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 cloud hosting agreements, designing terms and conditions of service and delivery, and arranging distribution agreements. Also examined will be smart contracts and distributed ledger technology.  From here the course will develop to examine the problems of more mature e-commerce businesses including jurisdiction, payment systems (including cryptocurrency) and access to, and ownership of, data. Classes on Online Dispute Resolution and the regulation of platform and sharing economies 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 will have two hours of teaching content each week in Lent Term, either in the form of a two hour seminar or an online lecture and one hour class. There will be 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).

Millard: Cloud Computing Law (OUP, 2013).

Fox & Green: Cryptocurrencies in Public and Private Law (OUP, 2019).

Finck: Blockchain Regulation and Governance in Europe (CUP, 2018).

Cohen: Between Truth and Power: The Legal Constructions of Informational Capitalism (OUP, 2019).

Susskind: Online Courts and the Future of Justice (OUP, 2019).


Essay (100%, 8000 words).

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 51

Average class size 2020/21: 13

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills