Course 2009-2010 a.y.



Department of Legal Studies

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 15 - 16
BIEM (6 credits - II sem. - OB)
Course Director:

Classes: 15 (II sem.) - 16 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

This course has three goals. The first goal is to provide students with a comparative overview of selected business law topics. The focus of comparison is on selected problems that students are most likely to encounter in international commercial and cross-border business transactions involving foreign companies or domestic companies doing business abroad. While lessons use a comparative approach, discussions focus on distinctions between the U.S. common law and Continental European systems. A second goal of the course is to make students more familiar with reasoning methods of international and particularly common law lawyers and businesspersons, in contrast to that of traditional civil law systems. This methodological component is essential to understanding the differences between systems, but also provides a basis from which new substantive legal issues can be explored and understood during future professional activities. Finally, the course provides some basic cross-cultural business skills training. Students have an opportunity to apply the substantive law learnt though in-class debate and negotiation exercises.

Course Content Summary

  • General Introduction: Methodologies of comparative studies and comparisons of legal methodologies.
  • Contracts: The sources of contract law, the objective theory of assent, offer and acceptance, consideration, interpretation and the parole evidence rule, performance, breach, damages and defenses in comparative perspective with the Convention for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).
  • Business Torts: Deceptive and unfair trade practices, trade libel, intentional interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, products liability and strict liability.
  • Intellectual Property: Copyrights, patents, trademarks, geographic indications and selected international and cross-border.
  • Business Organizations: forms and formation of business enterprises, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation and cross-listing of securities insider trading.
  • Antitrust: Agreements that create restraints on trade, monopolies, and regulatory competition between the EU and the U.S.
  • Bankruptcy: liquidation, reorganization and cross-border bankruptcies.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

One written midterm exam, which is optional. One compulsory written exam (at the end of the semester) consisting of a combination of multiple choice questions, short answer questions.


The following materials will be compiled by the instructor and made available at the beginning of the course:

  • Selected U.S. and European cases, statutes, regulations and legislative sources.
  • Selected excerpts from law journals, articles and treatises. 
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 26/03/2009 15:51