1 – Introduction to International Law
State A came into existence following a lengthy civil war that resulted in dramatic political, economic, and social upheaval. As part of the changes brought about in State A, the government nationalized property belonging to Company Q, but paid Company Q no compensation for the property. The owners of Company Q, all State A citizens, who had fled to State B during the course of the civil war, have now commenced legal action in a State B Court claiming that they are the true owners of the property. They petition the Court to grant them title to the property or to order State A to fully compensate them for its wrongful taking.
Should Company Q's owners’ petition be granted? Discuss.
2 – State Responsibility
Head Co is incorporated in State G but the majority of its shareholders are nationals of State H. In 1982, Head Co obtained a mining concession in State Z that was valid for 40 years.
In 2008, Head Co set up a subsidiary called Sub Co in State Z to take over this mining concession. Head Co has not transferred the ownership of this mining concession to Sub Co. In 2013 there was major political change in State Z and a consequence of this change in government was that all existing mining concessions, including the one held by Head Co, were terminated.
State Z refuses to pay any compensation to Head Co arguing that Head Co is no longer the true owner of the mining concession as it has allowed Sub Co to exploit this concession since 2008.
State G has brought action against State Z and both States have agreed to submit to an International Tribunal to resolve this dispute.
(a) Will the International Tribunal rule in favour of State G? Discuss.
(b) Would your answer be different if State H decided to take action on behalf of the majority shareholders in Head Co? Explain.
3 – Dispute Resolution
Farmer buys a tractor from Retailer in State X for use on Farmer’s farm in State Y. Later, Farmer sues Retailer to get back the purchase price of the tractor claiming that it does not work as promised. This legal action is commenced in State Z. The Court has been asked to determine the law it should apply in deciding whether or not Retailer breached the contract.
Which law should the Court of State Z apply?
4 – The Multinational Enterprise
I company is a large American company that makes computers. It controls approximately 65% of the market in the European Community. It refuses to share the patents and copyrights it owns for the operating system software that controls its computers and so thereby not allowing other manufacturers to make computers that are compatible with I’s computers.
Would I company’s actions be in violation of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union? Would its actions be in violation of American anti-trust laws?
5 – Intellectual Property
Whopper Co is a manufacturer of gumballs. The technology and know-how to manufacturer gumballs is well known in the scientific and engineering community in Whopper Co’s home State.
Whopper Co decided recently to expand into State X and to introduce gumballs to a market that has never seen them before. Before doing so, Whopper Co filed for a patent in State X. The State X patent office examined the application on its form, searched the local records to determine if the technology was well known locally and found that it was not and so issued a local patent to Whopper Co.
Now Bubble Co, a local State X company, has begun manufacturing and selling gumballs in State X that are identical to those being manufactured and sold by Whopper Co.
Whopper Co brings action for infringement of patent rights in State X and Bubble Co counter sues arguing the patent should not have been granted. Who will win and why?
6 – Trade in Goods
The Snicker Co is the largest manufacturer of cookies in State F and decided 2 years ago to enter the cookie market in State G. Several small companies in State G manufacturer cookies but the market in State G has been very small.
When Snicker Co entered State G’s market it undertook a widespread advertising campaign to promote cookies. The campaign involved the publication of coupons in newspapers that allowed purchasers to buy Snicker Co’s cookies below their actual cost.
Due to the success of this advertising campaign, the sales of all cookies in State G, including those sold by local manufacturers in State G, have more than tripled.
However, State G’s cookie makers are not impressed by Snicker Co as their market share has fallen from 100% to 30% in the last 2 years. Both States F and G are members of the WTO.
Should State G impose anti-dumping duties on Snicker Co? Explain.
Question 7 – Contracts for International Sale of Goods
On 1 February 2020 the Seller in State C offered to sell to the Buyer in State D 20,000 electric clothes driers at $200 each. On 5 February 2020 this offer letter was received by the Buyer. The Buyer wrote a letter of rejection of this offer expressing in the letter that the price was too high. This letter of rejection was mailed the same day.
On 8 February 2020 the Buyer changed their mind and telephoned the Seller to advise the Seller that they had accepted their offer contained in the letter of 1 February 2020.
On 10 February 2020 the Seller receives the letter of rejection dated 5 February 2020.
The Seller does not think he is obligated anymore to sell to the Buyer as the letter of rejection predates the date of the telephone call to accept the offer.
(a) Assuming both States C and D have ratified the Convention for the International Sale of Goods, is there a contract between the Buyer and Seller?
(b) Would your answer change if the Buyer made the telephone call on 11 February 2020, and not the 8 February 2020, to advise their acceptance of the offer?
8 – Transportation of Goods
Tom Tago is a local Adelaide book publisher and wants your advice about what his contractual obligations are in respect to two new sales orders he has made.
The first sales contract is with Bill Baxter, a book distributor in London, who has requested a FOB port of Adelaide trade term on the sale of 100 boxes (with each box containing 24 books) with the goods to be shipped on the MV Enterprise. The second contract is with Howard Host, a book distributor in Auckland, who has requested a CIF Auckland trade term for the sale of 50 boxes (with each box containing 24 books).
Advise Tom as to what his obligations are for each sale contract and when title to the goods passes and what rights the buyers have for each contract.
9 – Transportation of Goods
S Company in State S agreed to sell 700 television sets to B Company, a wholesaler, in State B for $ 140,000. S and B companies both expressly agreed that B would not pay for the television sets until B both received and sold the merchandise in State D. They also agreed that the merchandise would be shipped CIF Portstown in State D and that Incoterms 2020 would be used. S arranged to ship the goods with the Z Carrier shipping line. S loaded the goods onto a trailer and delivered the goods to Z’s freight depot. Several days later, the trailer was discovered to be missing and later still it was found abandoned and empty.
B, the buyer, then sued Z. The carrier shipping line challenged B’s standing (right) to sue because it said that the original contract said that B had no liability to pay for the merchandise until after it was received and sold by B.
Z argued, it was the seller S who should have brought the legal proceedings, not B. Is Z correct?
10 – Financing
Importers Pty Ltd (Importers) in State A contracted with Overseas Exporters Plc (Overseas Exporters) in State B to purchase 50 crates of army surplus boots in assorted sizes.
Importers secured an irrevocable letter of credit from Home City Bank in State A that named Overseas Exporters as the beneficiary. The credit required Overseas Exporters to produce a bill of lading naming the bank as the consignee (plus other appropriate documents) in order for it to collect payment on the credit.
When Overseas Exporters placed the crates aboard a carrier for shipment, it received the required bill of lading and other documents. Importers then learned that Overseas Exporters had filled the crates with rubbish - not boots.
Importers promptly notified Home City Bank of this and asked the bank not to pay Overseas Exporters on the letter of credit. The bank refused. Importers has now commenced legal proceedings to prevent the bank from making payment.
Should a Court grant Importers request? Discuss.