Electronic Commerce Law

Course summary

This course aims to provide you with an in-depth look at the legal issues surrounding electronic commerce, including business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), and consumer to consumer (C2C) forms and digital applications to support the sharing economy, creative processes and the public sector.

It will review (a) traditional legal issues surrounding business in an electronic format and the challenges of the advent of digital technologies, concerning particularly the identification of jurisdiction, the formal validity of electronic transactions, security and authentication, contract formation and electronic payment systems, and online consumer protection issues; (b) digital convergence and content regulation, the impact of online advertising, search engine functionality and marketing; (c) the legal discipline of technological applications in the contexts of the public sector, smart cities and open democracy; and policies to support and enable digital tools to the advantage of creative industries and economic growth.


  1. Introduction to electronic commerce
  2. Jurisdiction
  3. Contracts and signatures
  4. Consumer protection
  5. Finance, payments and virtual currencies
  6. Content and advertising
  7. Search engines
  8. E-commerce for the public sector and digital public service delivery
  9. The sharing economy, innovation and the creative industries
  10. ICT for development

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should:

  • be familiar with basic principles, concepts and perspectives in respect of e-commerce;
  • have formed critical views on the law of e-commerce and its development, including the case for or against a greater degree of international harmonisation;
  • have evaluated and critically assessed the impact of the principles considered on individuals and businesses, from academic, practical and technological perspectives;
  • have formed a critical view on the possible divergence and convergence of e-commerce with other areas of business; and
  • be able to express and defend these views in oral discussion and in writing.


4000-word essay (60%); assessed course work (20%); participation in online activity (20%).

Terms and conditions

Please note the University reserves the right to make variations to the contents of programmes, including the range of courses offered, and the available choice of courses in any given year may change.

Find out more about the University's terms and conditions