Course 2023-2024 a.y.

50242 - COMPARATIVE PRIVATE LAW

Department of Law

Course taught in English

Student consultation hours
Class timetable
Exam timetable
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (9 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  IUS/02)
Course Director:
PIETRO SIRENA

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: LUIGI BUONANNO


Synchronous Blended: Lessons in synchronous mode in the classroom (for a maximum of one hour per credit in remote mode)

Suggested background knowledge

In order to feel comfortable with this course, it is recommended that students are already familiar with the fundamentals of Private Law and Public Law.

Mission & Content Summary

MISSION

Students are expected to acquire a working knowledge of the main features of the common law and civil law systems (and other legal traditions), the 'common core' of European private law, and the main instruments of uniform private law. The General Part of the course aims to present the cultural and historical background of the Western legal tradition and to illustrate the goals and methodology of comparative law. The concept and content of a ‘common core’ of European law will be discussed on the basis of the ‘principles’ that have been collected to enshrine it; attention will also be paid to the projects of a European civil code. The sources of uniform private law will be discussed, in particular the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (PICC) and the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). An overview on African laws will be provided as well. The Special Part is aimed to carry out a comparative analysis of the main institutions of private law, with particular emphasis on contract, tort, unjustified enrichment, and property.

CONTENT SUMMARY

General Part

-          History, functions, and aims of comparative law

-          Methodology of comparative law

-          The Western legal tradition: cultural and historical backgrounds (common law and civil law systems)

-          The ‘common core’ of European private law: the Principles of European Contract Law (PECL) and the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR). The projects of a European civil code

-          Uniform law (United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sales of Goods - CISG; UNCITRAL; UNIDROIT)

-          Overview on African laws

 

Special Part

-          Comparative contract law

-          Comparative tort law

-          Comparative law of unjustified enrichment

-          Comparative property law

 


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING

At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Correctly identify the main features of the legal systems belonging to the Western legal tradition and gain some acquaitance with the laws of African countries
  • Understand the perspectives of a codification of European private law
  • Describe the legal instruments directed to apply foreign private law, uniform private law and the principles of European law in contract drafting, litigation and arbitrations

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING

At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Assess costs and benefits in applying foreign private law, uniform law and the principles of European law, compared to domestic law
  • Consult the sources of foreign private law, uniform private law and European private law while conducting a research of statutes, cases and academic literature
  • Draft and present memoranda predicting the outcomes of a case between legal systems and explain such outcomes

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)

DETAILS

  • Guest speakers will speak about their own field of expertise in class or give separate lectures. 
  • Exercises will involve research of printed and/or electronic legal resources.
  • Case studies will be illustrated and discussed in class.
  • Group assignments will consist in drawing up a memorandum supported by a PwP presentation.
  • Interactive class activities will consist in discussing memoranda and peer evaluating them.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  x x
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
x    

ATTENDING STUDENTS

In order to evaluate whether the above-mentioned learning outcomes have been achieved, students will be assessed in the following manner: 

 

-          Ongoing evaluation (for attending students): group assignment + presentation in class.

 

-          Ongoing evaluation (for attending students): a student’s grade – based on the ongoing evaluation – can be increased up to 1 full point for active participation in class.

 

-          Attending students must take two partial exams: partial and end-of-semester. Each of them consists of 27 multiple-choice questions (alternatives: a, b, c, d; --> there is solely one correct answer to each question) and 2 open-ended questions.

The registered grade is the average between the grades of the two partial exams.

The program of each partial exams for attending students will be communicated in class.

 

 

-          Students failing to pass either of the two partial exams, have to take a general exam, consisting of 27 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-ended questions

 


NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

-          Non-attending students will be assessed based on two partial exams: partial and end-of-semester. Each of them consists of 27 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-ended questions. The registered grade is the average between the grades of the two partial exams.

 

-          Students failing to pass either of the two partial exams have to take a general exam, consisting of 27 multiple choice questions and 2 open ended questions.

 

Student assessment will be grounded on the written exam and will gauge how well students understand and can illustrate the solutions and legal problems faced by legal systems that are taken into consideration within the program.


Teaching materials


ATTENDING STUDENTS

  • General Part

1) P. Sirena, Introduction to Private Law (3rd edn, il Mulino 2019): chapters I (paras. 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 6, 7); II (paras. 1-5); III (paras. 1, 2, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 4, 5), VIII (paras. 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.3, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3); IX (paras. 1-5); and X (paras. 5, 5.1, 5.2). The parts of the text that are printed in a smaller font and indented can be read for sake of information but must not be covered for assessment purposes. The same applies to footnotes.

 

2) Mathias Reimann and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds), Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (2nd edn, Oxford, 2019):

-          Chapter 1, Donahue “Comparative Law Before the Code Napoléon”

-          Chapter 11 – Jansen “Comparative Law and Comparative Knowledge”

-          Chapter 14 – Dannemann “Comparative Law: Study of Similarities or Differences?”

-          Chapter 20 - Zimmermann “Comparative Law and the Europeanization of Private Law” (paras I; II, II.1, II.2, II.3, II.4, IV.1, IV.2; IV.3; IV.4; IV.6; IV.7)

-          Chapter 23 – Bennett “Comparative Law and African Customary Law”.

 

 

 

  • Special Part

3) Mathias Reimann and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds), Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (2nd edn, Oxford, 2019):

-          Chapter 33 – Kötz “Comparative Contract Law” (paras I.1, I.2, II.1, II.2, II.3, IV.1, IV.2, VI, VII, VIII)

-          Chapter 35 – Visser “Unjustified Enrichment in Comparative Perspective” (paras I, II, III (a, b, c, d, e)

-          Chapter 36 - Wagner “Comparative Tort Law” (paras I, II, IV.1, IV.2, IV.3, IV.4, VII, VIII, XIX)

-          Chapter 37 - Van Erp “Comparative Property Law” (paras I, III.1, III, III.1 [a, b, c], III.2 [a, b, c], IV).

 

All students are responsible for the teaching materials discussed in class and available on Blackboard.


NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

1) P. Sirena, Introduction to Private Law (3rd edn, il Mulino 2019): chapters I-II-III-IV-VII-VIII-IX-X.

         

2) Mathias Reimann and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds), Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (2nd edn, Oxford, 2019):

-                  Chapter 1, Donahue “Comparative Law Before the Code Napoléon” (to be studied in its entirety)

-                  Chapter 11 – Jansen “Comparative Law and Comparative Knowledge” (to be studied in its entirety)

-                  Chapter 14 – Dannemann “Comparative Law: Study of Similarities or Differences?” (to be studied in its entirety)

-                  Chapter 20 - Zimmermann “Comparative Law and the Europeanization of Private Law” (paras I; II, II.1, II.2, II.3, II.4, IV.1, IV.2; IV.3; IV.4; IV.6; IV.7)

-                  Chapter 23 – Bennett “Comparative Law and African Customary Law” (to be studied in its entirety)

-                  Chapter 33 – Kötz “Comparative Contract Law” (to be studied in its entirety)

-                  Chapter 35 – Visser “Unjustified Enrichment in Comparative Perspective” (to be studied in its entirety)

-                  Chapter 36 - Wagner “Comparative Tort Law” (to be studied in its entirety)

-                  Chapter 37 - Van Erp “Comparative Property Law” (to be studied in its entirety)

 

Last change 12/09/2023 16:59