30461 - PRIVATE AND BUSINESS LAW
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 13
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
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 regulation 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 better understand their own legal systems and think out of the box.
The course covers the following topics in Private and Business Law.
Private Law. We discuss 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 learning the substantive rules in contracts and torts and applying such doctrinal rules to real cases in the business context. Students are also expected to appreciate the basic distinctions in practice between common law and civil law. Specifically, we will discuss the issues regarding contract formation, pre-contractual liability in the negotiation stage, excuses for non-performance and contractual remedies along with scope of rights protected and the liability basis under tort law.
Business Law. We focus 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 shareholders meeting, 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)
Lectures include in-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.
Students’ assessment is based on a written exam, equally split between Private Law and Business Law (50% each of the final grade), and consisting in closed-ended and 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 (midterm) written exam covering the first part of the course (Private Law) and complete the written exam at the end of the course covering its second part (Business Law). The weight is: 50% for the partial exam and 50% for the end of term exam.
Alternatively, students can take a final, general written exam covering both parts of the course and accounting for 100% of the final grade (50%+50%, as mentioned above).
The detailed structure of the exam is announced at course start. No distinction between attending and non-attending students applies.
The main study materials – in addition to students’ class notes which greatly help prepare the exam – include the slide sets prepared by the instructors, the cases and or/edited notes and other materials uploaded to the Bboard platform, and the textbooks adopted.
The textbooks adopted will be indicated at the start of the course.