Master of Laws (LLM) in International Economic Law

The LLM in International Economic Law Programme is designed to offer students an intensive course of study of the law and practice of cross-border business transactions. Students are trained for practice in key areas such as international sales and finance, M&A (mergers and acquisitions), WTO law and international banking law. Skills training modules ensure that graduates of the LLM in International Economic Law programme are able to conduct both practical work and independent research in relevant subject areas.

CUHK LAW’s LLM in International Economic Law (IEL) Programme has been awarded Targeted Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships by Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee (UGC) from 2021-22 to 2024-25.

Under the Scheme, local students, both full-time and part-time, who are admitted to the IEL Programme in the above intake years are eligible to apply.

Students will be invited to submit applications in due course. Successful students will be required to pay only HK$42,100 and the remaining tuition fees will be subsidized by the fellowship.

For details of the Scheme, please refer to Graduate School’s website.

Welcome to our Faculty and our LLM in International Economic Law!

I would like to provide you with some key information about our Programme.

International Economic Law is one of the most fascinating and dynamic fields of legal study. It encompasses both the conduct of states in international economic relations and that of private companies in cross-border business transactions. Many of the key decisions that affect our daily lives are taken by policymakers, business organizations and non-state actors engaged in this field.

Our LLM in International Economic Law Programme is designed to offer students a comprehensive understanding of the law and practice of cross-border business transactions. Students are equipped with advanced knowledge of the institutions, rules and principles which underpin the modern international economic order. They are also trained to pursue a legal career in key areas such as international sales and finance, M&A (mergers and acquisitions), WTO law, antitrust (competition law), and international banking law. Skills training modules ensure that graduates of the LLM in International Economic Law programme are able to conduct both practical work and independent research in relevant subject areas. Once you join us at CUHK LAW, you will be part of a vibrant intellectual community together with other students from all over the world. You will have access to an exciting programme of events, such as those organized by the Transnational Economic Law and Dispute Settlement (TELDS) group, giving you a unique chance to hear from world-leading scholars and practitioners. We hope that your time with us is only the first step in an exciting and rewarding personal and professional adventure.

See you soon at CUHK LAW!

Professor Sandra MARCO COLINO
Deputy Programme Director (LLM International Economic Law)

Medium of instruction:English
How and when to apply:Applications for 2024 intake are now invited. You may apply through the online application system at the University’s Graduate School webpage.
Admission requirements:

All applicants must fulfill the General Admission Requirements and the English Language Proficiency Requirement prescribed by the University’s Graduate School.

In addition applicants must have:

  • a qualification to practise law in the jurisdiction of the student’s residence; or
  • a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree or a degree of equivalent standing; or
  • a Bachelor’s degree in a non-law subject with substantial law-related working experience.

As many areas of professional activity are related to law, we welcome applications from applicants who work in the areas of commerce, accountancy, social work, public administration, and similar relevant fields.

Applicants whose undergraduate studies were not conducted and assessed in English are required to take an appropriate English language proficiency test and achieve a sufficient score, such as a score of 570 or above in TOEFL (Paper Based Test), 88 or above in TOEFL (Internet-Based Test); Band 6.5 or better in IELTS; or equivalent. The test results must be obtained not more than two years prior to the date of applying to join the LLM Programme.


Full-time: one year (normative study period) – two years (maximum study period).

Part-time: two years (normative study period) – three years (maximum study period).

Campus:The CUHK Graduate Law Centre, 2/F, Bank of America Tower, Central.
Programme requirements:

24 units: including 12 units of required courses and 12 units of elective courses. Students should pass all the assessments with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in order to be recommended for graduation.

Study Sequence:

Full-time mode (1 year)

Year 1
Term One
  • Law of International Business Transactions I
  • Trans-national Legal Problems
  • Elective
  • Elective
Term Two
  • Law of International Business Transactions II
  • World Trade Law
  • Elective
  • Elective

Part-time mode (2 years)

Year 1
Term One
  • Law of International Business Transactions I
  • Trans-national Legal Problems
Term Two
  • Law of International Business Transactions II
  • World Trade Law
Year 2
Term One
  • Elective
  • Elective
Term Two
  • Elective
  • Elective
Delivery mode:

A 3-unit course will usually have three teaching hours per week.

Classes are held during daytime and evenings of weekdays and daytime on Saturdays.

Classes will incorporate a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations and class discussions.

Study options:

Students may take elective courses offered in other LLM Programmes and the JD Programme offered by CUHK LAW subject to availability of places.

Course Exemptions

Additional learning &
development opportunities:

The Sir TL Yang Society


Exchange Programmes

Tuition fees:

HK$6,680 per unit* for a total of 24 units within the normative study period.

Students will be billed at the beginning of each term based on the number of units for which they have registered. Extra fees may be charged for students studying outside the normative study period.

*subject to annual review

Further study options:Master of Philosophy in Law (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy in Laws (PhD)
Student housing:There is a shortage of on campus student accommodation for non-local postgraduate students. When relocating to Hong Kong students are advised they will need to rely on (readily-available) private off-campus accommodation during their studies.

Required Courses:

  • Law of International Business Transactions I
    • This course introduces basic ideas and concepts of the law governing international business transactions. It explains the advantages and disadvantages of non-investment and investment related business transactions and analyses critically how cross-border business activities have developed over the past 100 years and what this means for different concerned parties and societies.
  • Law of International Business Transactions II
    • This course analyses critically legal aspects of cross-border investment activities. It explains the legal framework governing international merger and acquisition activities on the domestic and the public international law level, but it focuses on transactional aspects from the viewpoint of private investors.
  • Trans-national Legal Problems
    • This course covers theoretical and practical legal questions arising out of trans-national scenarios. It introduces and analyses the special issues to be dealt with in this context and the solutions that have been developed on the public international law level and on the level of domestic law.
  • World Trade Law
    • This course introduces students to the legal, business and policy aspects of international trade, focusing on the complex legal framework of the various WTO Agreements as well as recent bilateral and regional trade agreements. This course analyses the legal framework of the WTO by studying the regulatory legal principles of the WTO and how they operate at both the national and international level.

Elective Courses:

  • Business and the Law in Hong Kong
  • Comparative Company Law
  • Comparative Contract Law
  • Comparative Corporate Governance
  • Conflicts in International Commercial Litigation
  • European Union Law
  • Global Issues in Law
  • International and Comparative Energy Law
  • International and Comparative Intellectual Property Law
  • International Commercial Arbitration
    • This course provides students with an advanced knowledge of the advantages, principles, process, and rules of conduct of international commercial arbitration. The course covers the substantive aspects of an international arbitration agreement, the regulatory framework of international arbitration (including national statutes, procedural rules and soft law instruments), issues of arbitral jurisdiction, the arbitral process itself, and the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.
  • International Economic Development and the Law
  • International Economic Law and the Legal Profession
  • International Economic Law Skills
  • International Economics
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Finance and Accounting
  • International Financial and Banking Law
    • This course seeks to identify society’s perception of its economic, social, and other needs with respect to banking and financial regulation, and examines the underlying principles that law has offered to meet these needs. Proceeding from an international and comparative perspective, the course examines the system of financial and banking regulations in selected jurisdictions including Hong Kong and other Asian countries.
  • International Investment Law – Policy and Development
    • This course aims to introduce the students to the public international law standards for the treatment of foreign investments. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of international investment law, through lectures, case study, in-class discussions and group presentations.
  • International Relations
  • International Taxation
  • Investor-State Dispute Settlement
  • Issues in Competition Law
  • Issues of Tax Policy
  • Law and Practice of Investment Arbitration
    • The course is intended to provide an overview of the practice of investment arbitration based upon the development of substantive law, procedural principles and the growth of practice in the field. It is aimed at graduate students who may wish to develop a serious interest in arbitration, as well as those who though not necessarily wishing to pursue the subject in greater detail would like to have an understanding of it so as to complement their knowledge of international law, transnational law, international disputes practice or energy transactions.
  • Merger Control
  • Preferential Trade Agreements: Theory and Practice
  • Principles of Competition Law
    • This course examines the principles underlying international competition law. Students will gain a critical understanding of these historically and culturally formed areas of law and their place in an increasingly globalised society. Students will also develop their problem-solving, legal research, writing, and presentation skills to an appropriate postgraduate level.
  • Shipping Law
  • The Law of Electronic Commerce

Students may select the above LLM in International Economic Law Elective Courses or any other approved courses offered under the JD or LLM Programmes. Students who would like to undertake an independent research project in an area of significant personal interest may choose Independent Research or Independent Research Dissertation. The offering of an elective course in any term will depend on teacher availability and sufficient student interest.

Professor Lutz-Christian WOLFF is Dean of the Faculty of Law and Wei Lun Professor of Law. He specializes in International and Chinese Business Law, Comparative Law, and Private International Law. He has studied, worked and conducted research in a number of jurisdictions, including mainland China, Taiwan, and the USA. He is admitted to practice in England & Wales and in Germany. Professor Wolff is frequently invited to work as consultant with multi-national companies and law firms on investment projects in the Greater China region. His books include The Art of Law Teaching (Springer, 2021), The Law of Cross-Border Business Transactions – Principles, Concepts, Skills (2nd ed., Wolters Kluwer 2016), and Mergers & Acquisitions in China: Law and Practice (5th ed., Wolters Kluwer 2015).

Professor Chin Leng LIM is the Choh-Ming Li Professor of Law and practises with a leading London commercial set. He is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London and an Honorary Senior Fellow of the British Institute of International & Comparative Law. His research interests include International and Comparative Law, especially commercial and investment arbitration, the commercial conflict of laws and international economic treaties. His books include The Cambridge Companion to International Arbitration (editor, Cambridge, forthcoming); Lim, Ho & Paparinskis on International Investment Law and Arbitration (Cambridge, 2018); and Alternative Visions of the International Law on Foreign Investment (editor, Cambridge, 2016). His writings have been cited by appellate courts, bar associations, in a legislative inquiry and in Royal Commission and International Law Commission reports.

Professor Bryan Christopher MERCURIO is the Simon F.S. Li Professor of Law. He specialises in international economic law (IEL), with particular expertise in the intersection between trade law and intellectual property rights, free trade agreements, trade in services, dispute settlement and increasingly international investment law. Professor Mercurio is co-author of one of the most widely used textbooks on WTO law (3rd ed., Hart Publishing, 2018) and co-editor of the leading collection on bilateral and regional trade agreements (2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2016). Prior to academia, Professor Mercurio worked both in government and private practice. He remains a frequent consultant and advisor to governments, industry associations and law firms on a wide range of trade and investment matters and has extensive experience in negotiating free trade agreements and in assisting governments with the technical aspects of drafting services schedules for market access commitments and reservations.

Professor Peter Frederick RHODES is a Professional Consultant and Professor of Practice in Law specialized in professional legal education. In the ten years immediately before joining the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Peter was responsible for lawyers’ professional development in law firms in New Zealand, Hong Kong and the United States. Peter has also taught at universities in Canada, the United States and Hong Kong. He was Dean of the Faculty of Law at Hong Kong University for six years. He has also served as a member of the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong, the Inland Revenue Board of Review and the Academic Advisory Board of the Asian Institute of Financial Law.

Mr. Paul Joel SCHMIDT is a Professional Consultant with CUHK LAW. He has extensive experience in all aspects of PRC intellectual property practice, both contentious and non-contentious. He is experienced in managing large trademark portfolios, including Apple’s and Warner Bros.’, and he has helped a number of foreign brand owners achieve PRC “well-known” trademark status. He has overseen the acquisition of very high-profile marks and directed the recovery of numerous stolen marks. With respect to enforcement, Mr. Schmidt has successfully prosecuted numerous administrative, civil and criminal IP cases in the PRC. He is the architect and prime mover behind Michael Jordan’s naming rights case against Qiaodan Sports (“喬丹體育”). A number of the maters he has help direct have been chosen as model cases either by the Supreme People’s Court or the QBPC (“Quality Brands Protection Committee”).

Professor Sandra MARCO COLINO is an Associate Professor specialized in competition law, merger control, EU law, law & economics, telecommunications, and technology (including the digital economy). She joined the Faculty in 2010 and is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development (CFRED), and the Director of the Summer Schools on EU Competition Law at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium). In July 2015, Prof. Marco Colino was appointed Non-Governmental Advisor (NGA) to the International Competition Network, and in September 2016 she joined the Academic Board of the law firm Dictum. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, she was a Lecturer at the University of Glasgow (UK). She is also the author of various books, including the leading textbook Competition Law of the EU and UK (8th ed., Oxford University Press, 2019) and the monograph Vertical Agreements and Competition Law (Hart, 2009).

Corporate and commercial law has always required specialised skills and knowledge, even more so when business transactions are multi-jurisdictional. In recent times, globalisation and digitisation have been added to the mix, making international business law one of most complex, compelling and fast-evolving practice areas in the legal spectrum. This CUHK programme is perfectly designed to equip students and practitioners with the expertise and awareness required to succeed in this challenging legal field.

The practice of commercial law has always been global, and is more so today, as technology and travel have brought business into closer proximity than ever.  Partnering with clients as they navigate challenges in times of transformative change requires knowledge that is cross discipline, disruptive and imaginative.  There are many subjects in the LLM degree in International Economic Law which reach across subject boundaries.  Together these subjects provide a broad knowledge set which will enliven and enrich what students already know, and which will be beneficial from multiple perspectives in the future holistic servicing of clients in the legal practice.

The IEL programme aims to organize visits to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), headquartered a short walk from CUHK’s Graduate Law Centre in Central, Hong Kong. This allows students to have a first-hand perspective on the inner workings of one of the leading providers of alternative dispute resolution services in the region and globally and learn from the experience of different professionals engaged in this area of legal practice.

For newly admitted students/applicants

For current students

The below four courses are CEF reimbursable courses under the LLM in International Economic Law (IEL) Programme. IEL students may claim reimbursement for taking the below courses commencing between 14 December 2021 and 13 December 2025, subject to the fulfilment of the requirements prescribed by Government’s Labour and Welfare Bureau.
  • Law of International Business Transactions I #
  • Law of International Business Transactions II #
  • Trans-national Legal Problems #
  • World Trade Law #
# This course has been included in the list of reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund. The mother course (Master of Laws in International Economic Law Programme) of this module is recognised under the Qualifications Framework (QF Level [6]).


Yes. However, you can only study one programme at a time. Therefore, if more than one of your applications are successful you must choose only one programme.

No. The application fee once paid is not refundable.

Yes. Any application received without the payment of the application fee will not be processed until the application fee is received.

Yes. Students may apply for admission before completion of a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) provided that they are in the final year of study. In this situation any offer will be made subject to the condition that all requirements for graduation in the Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and for admission to the LLM programme are satisfied prior to commencing the LLM programme.

Yes. You can apply for admission to join a LLM programme before fulfilling the English Language Proficiency Requirement, but you must fulfill the Requirement and provide documentary proof prior to commencing the LLM programme. Any admission offer will be made conditional on you fulfilling the English Language Proficiency Requirement.

No. The Hong Kong Immigration Department has advised that in general it is unlikely that they will issue student visas to non-local applicants who intend to study part-time in Hong Kong. Therefore non-local students are strongly advised to study full-time in order to facilitate their student visa applications.

Your official university transcript and confidential recommendations should be sent directly from your university and referees to CUHK LAW in sealed envelopes.

CUHK LAW selects applicants on the basis of academic merit. CUHK LAW welcomes applications from applicants around the world based upon the philosophy that diversity enriches the learning environment.

No. However, applicants who do not possess a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) obtained in Hong Kong or in an English-speaking country are required to fulfill the English Language Proficiency Requirement of the LLM programmes.


No. On receipt of formal offers students will need to make their own arrangements for the payment of the deposit should they wish to accept.

Meanwhile, eligible local applicants may apply for financial support under Non-means-tested Loan Scheme from the government.

Overseas students may check with organizations, government authorities etc, of their home countries if there is any financial support available.

For information on other scholarships, please click here.

Application materials are disposed of after the end of each admission exercise. New applications will be processed independently.

Newly admitted students are required to pay the tuition fees on or before the payment due date stated in the debit note in the admission package. Current students will receive a debit note at the beginning of each term, and are required to settle the tuition fees on or before the payment due date.

Students who have not completed the programme requirements within the normative study period may apply to postpone the expected graduation date by submitting the Application Form for Change of Expected Graduation Date to CUHK LAW. The maximum extension is up to one year. The application is subject to the approval of CUHK LAW. The academic status of those students studying outside the normative study period will become “continuing”. Extra tuition fees may be charged for continuing students and the fee level for continuing student is subject to annual review.

Applicants should refer to the website of the Immigration Department for details concerning employment during study.

Tel: (852) 3943 4310
Fax: (852) 2994 2505
Address: Faculty of Law
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, New Territories
Hong Kong

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