Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module LAW54015: Commercial Fraud

Department: Law

LAW54015: Commercial Fraud

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop a thorough knowledge of the law relating to money laundering both in terms of the criminal law and in terms of asset recovery.
  • to develop a basic understanding of the impact and effect of human rights provisions upon money laundering law.
  • to develop a sound knowledge of English legal rules which respond to fraud in the commercial context.
  • to develop an appreciation of the position of the victim of fraud and an understanding of the remedies available to him.
  • to develop the ability to distinguish between personal and proprietary actions available both to private victims and the State.


  • an examination and analysis of European Money Laundering Regulations and the relevant English statutory provisions relevant to money laundering;
  • an examination of following and recovering misappropriated property or tracing value into substitute assets such as proceeds of sale;
  • an examination of the personal liability at law and in equity of the primary fraudster, those who have received misappropriated property and accessories.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • the laws, treaties and directives governing money laundering;
  • the relevant principles drawn from English statutes, common law and equity which respond to fraud.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the ability to identify and analyze relevant principles which are concerned with tackling fraudulent activity.
  • the ability to explain how these principles would apply in practice.
  • the ability to identify and discuss policy issues which operate in this area.
  • the development of a critical awareness of current challenges in this area.
  • the ability to produce individual research in this area and to consider alternative strategies for combatting fraudulent activity.
Key Skills:
  • understand the complex materials
  • ability to describe accurately and comprehensibly the arguments and analysis of other commentators

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Through an in-depth knowledge of domestic, European and international efforts to prevent money laundering and English civil law remedies concerning recovery of fraudulently obtained property, compensation and stripping of profits;
  • By allowing students to develop a critical understanding of relevant policy issues

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 8 Weekly 2 16
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay. 3000 word 100%

Formative Assessment:

An essay outline for the summative assessment will be marked as formative assessment. Word length 1500.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University