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2022/2023  KAN-CJURV1043U  Contracts and the Value Chain

English Title
Contracts and the Value Chain

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Second Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Commercial Law, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Jaakko Salminen - Department of Business Humanities and Law
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Business Law
  • Globalisation and international business
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 11-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Understanding the role that contracts have in the rise of new forms of production, such as centralised mass production, global value chains, digital platforms and the circular economy.
  • Understanding the paradox of how new forms of production rely on contractual boundaries to limit liability and, at the same time, utilize new technologies and ideologies of governance to extend the effects of governance beyond these boundaries and throughout the value chain.
  • Gaining knowledge and skills to understand the role of law in shaping economic production.
  • Learning to critically assess the effects of different legal frameworks for balancing production-related interests ranging from economic efficiency to sustainability in the form of social, environmental, cultural and economic externalities.
  • Acquiring practical skills for evaluating the legal effects of different kinds of contractual governance and a toolbox for developing appropriate means of governance for diverse production related contexts and tasks.
  • Understanding the how contracts operate in the transnational space between state boundaries and beyond international law.
  • Gaining critical and pluralistic insight in concepts relevant to modern production, such as the global value chain.
Course prerequisites
bachelor in business law and economics/law
Contracts and the Value Chain:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The course focuses on the interplay of private governance mechanisms, public law and private law doctrine in creating a rapidly developing legal framework in which all forms of economic production are embedded. Hence, the course concerns the foundational role of contracts in forming, governing and regulating global value chains. 


New forms of production, such as global value chains, digital platforms, and the circular economy, have utilized new technologies and ideologies of governance to extend the governance effects of contract far beyond privity. This course introduces the development of these new forms of production and how they are be governed. It also opens up critical and pluralistic discussion over what, for example, a value chain is—should the concept for example focus on the production-side or also cover consumption, as has been proposed in recent legal material.  


The course further elaborates on how contracts can be used to control social, environmental, cultural or economic externalities associated with production. On the one hand, this opens up creative ‘safe-spaces’ for sustainability related private governance initiatives, for example modern slavery or climate change related governance initiatives, regulation, and litigation. On the other, these same mechanisms lie at the heart of developing the economic efficiency of new forms of production through for example open books accounting in production networks. 


The course provides students with knowledge on supply chain management and governance through contract from a legal perspective. It also provides students with an understanding of the shifting parameters of governance through contract and enables students to make informed decisions on the legal consequences of different modes and techniques of organizing production. 


The course is taught as a "study group" which requires a high degree of student involvement in class and between classes. The teaching, cases and reading materials provide the foundation for the one-week project. The project must provide a scholarly analysis of a relevant case in the industry. 

Description of the teaching methods
The course has 24 hours of contact teaching. Between the classes the students must work with cases and tasks and the reading materials, legislation and other legal sources.

The classes are dialogue based. Each class consists of a group exercise focusing on for example the different interests at play in value chain regulation. This is followed by a focused lecture on the course theme. Each lecture is rounded up by a reading workshop where students are expected to analyse and present central readings, which may include contracts (e.g. Maersk's Carbon Pacts), regulatory artefacts (e.g. Maersk's modern slavery statements), or scholarship (e.g. scholarly analyses on transnational sustainability laws).

The final lecture consists of an essay workshop where students will present their course essays for peer debate. After this, essays may still be finalised prior to handing them in for evaluation.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback in class through discussions and peer feedback. In particular, students are asked to read material for classes and prepare for a) group exercises and b) participate in structured, peer-led reading workshops according to pre-determined instructions.

Students are asked to begin working on their final essay before the end of the course. The final lecture consists of an essay workshop where students will present their course essays for peer debate. After this, essays may still be finalised prior to handing them in for evaluation. This is to facilitate students' skills in essay drafting.

Feedback between classes through cases, tasks and other blended activities.

Students are asked to prepare a structured learning diary underlining their key take-aways from each weekly module. Focus is on the two-way relationship between societal developments and legal normativity—students are asked to briefly (max one half typed page per week) reflect on their understanding of the role of the legal norms at heart of each module in relation to new forms of production.

Students may be tasked with take-home activities related to the group exercises that they are asked to hand in prior to the following session. These may involve, for example, short analyses (max one page) of the relationships of actors involved in a governance contract or of regulatory artefacts such as corporate modern slavery statements.

Students receive personal feedback on their learning diaries, the take-home activities and also on their final essay assignments.

Students will also have at their disposal an electronic discussion board open to any discussion related to the course.
Student workload
class participation 20 hours
blended activities 40 hours
cases 25 hours
preparations for classes 70 hours
exam project 50 hours
Expected literature

collection or compendium of articles, cases and other materials

Last updated on 11-02-2022