30461 - PRIVATE AND BUSINESS LAW
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 13
GAIA SILVIA BALP
Class 13: GAIA SILVIA BALP
The course offers an in-depth introduction to Private and Business Law by way of surveying the main issues in current legislation and practice governing individuals and business organizations. The primary aim is to deliver students the basic notions enabling them to understand, discuss and assess the regulatory framework for private and business social relations and transactions, and how it impacts the underlying economic relationships. The course also aims at developing students’ skills to critically analyze the law and get acquainted with its economic and political dimension. The practical goal of the course is to get students introduced to how to negotiate, manage and litigate contracts and transactions, and to how a business in the corporate form is run, as is essential to conduct businesses both domestically and internationally and understand economic policing. From the theoretical point of view, the course considers economic causes and consequences of regulations; and, while primarily focusing on the EU regulatory framework, it includes a comparative law component that helps students to both better understand their own legal systems, and think out of the box.
The course is divided into two parts, covering the following topics.
- Part I – Private Law. After providing a general introduction to the study of law, starting with the basic concepts shared by both Private Law and Business Law, this part of the course discusses some of the essential rules applicable to economic activities, focusing on the interaction between party autonomy and market regulation in business transactions. Attention is devoted to the relationship between the law and the state, the difference between rules and principles and distinctions between common law and civil law. Some specific topics such as natural persons and legal entities then help to tackle the basic problems of contract law. With respect to the latter, the focus is on the life circle of the contract, from its conclusion to its termination.
- Part II – Business Law. The second part of the course deals with Business Law, mainly focusing on the corporation as a legal form enabling business participants to transact easily and cost-effectively through the medium of the corporate entity. Classes cover the corporation’s core legal characteristics, in terms of legal personality, limited liability, transferable shares, delegated management under a board structure, and investor ownership. Against this fundamental backdrop, the course builds on the European regulatory framework relevant to company law to discuss the corporate governance structure of the firm, including the board of directors and the shareholder meeting, the legal capital system and creditor protection, and the company’s financing.
- Explain the basic features of private and business law.
- Understand the principles and rules governing economic activities.
- Identify the issues that can arise in contracts and business transactions and correctly address them from the practical standpoint.
- Explain the legal principles and rules relevant to private and business law.
- Summarize the main features of private, contract and corporate law.
- Identify and discuss the principles and legal rules applicable to economic activities of individuals and business corporations and the rationale therof.
- Develop analytical skills.
- Solve basic legal issues that can arise in business transactions.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
For both parts of the course, lectures include class discussion based on short exercises and/or stylized cases on specific issues to help students familiarize with identifying and applying the relevant legal principles or rules. Class discussion is aimed at encouraging students bring their own views, develop analytical and critical thinking and understand how the topics covered during the course are applied in practice.
- Regular attendance is highly recommended, both in order to more easily familiarize with the issues covered and the analytical tools to be employed to address them, and because taking good class notes is of great help in preparing both parts of the exam.
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
Students’ assessment is based on a written exam, equally split between the Private Law and Business Law parts (50% each of the final grade), and consists mainly of open-ended questions aimed at verifying students’ ability to:
- Describe and explain key concepts of private and business law covered during the course.
- Identify and discuss the rationale of a given principle or rule of law and its application.
- Analyze basic hypotheticals by identifying the relevant issues and come up with a meaningful solution based on the analytical tools covered during the course.
Students can take a partial written exam covering the Private Law part of the course and complete the written exam at the end of the course with the Business Law part. The weight is: 50% for the partial exam and 50% for the end of term exam.
Alternatively, students can take a final written exam covering both parts of the course and accounting for 100% of the final grade (50%+50%, as mentioned above). The detailed strucutre of the exam is announced at course start. Any possible partial distinction between attending and non-attending students is announced at course start. At any rate, such distinction, if any, will not affect the features of the exam as summarized above.
- The main study materials – in addition to students’ class notes which greatly help preparing the exam – include the slide sets prepared by the instructors, the cases and or/edited notes and other materials to be uploaded to the Bboard platform, and the textbooks adopted. The textbooks adopted will be indicated at the start of the course.
- Partial distinctions (if any) in teaching materials for attending and non-attending students are announced at course start.