Option in civil law is
The course involves a deep comparative study of contract law, and is aimed equally at students with a common law or a civil law background, and indeed from any jurisdiction, within or outside Europe. The first is extremely relevant to legal practice.
It concerns the implications of existing legislation and case-law emanating from the organs of the EU for national private laws of Member States.
Within the UK, the understanding of the implications of EU law for English private law has a particular contemporary significance in light of the decision in the referendum that the UK should leave the EU. Although the full repercussions of that referendum are yet option in civil law is be worked out, the broader question of the impact of EU law on national private laws remains.
European Private Law therefore combines issues from at least three branches of legal scholarship, ie European Law, national Private Law and Comparative Law. The course attempts to combine these disciplines by approaching particular problems from a European point of view as well as from the angle of various national private laws, thus necessarily adopting a comparative approach.
The main part of the course consists of eight seminars devoted to a number of specific substantive issues taken from the law of contract, one of the core areas of private law in Europe and beyond.
These are studied, as far as possible, with reference to primary materials, ie legislation and case law. Examples from national legal systems will mainly be drawn from English, French and German law.
If, however, another legal system offers an interesting and original solution, this will also be taken into account. All the required reading is in English.
This approach already indicates that the course does not aspire to cover the whole of contract law with all its, say, constitutional and procedural implications, in all European legal systems, but is necessarily of a more topical nature, with a focus on selected core jurisdictions.
The search is for — common or diverging — solutions to legal problems arising in all legal systems including EU law and various proposals for further harmonisation, and taking into account reforms within national systems, notably the reform of the German law of obligations in and the reform of the French law of contract in Learning outcomes: to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding in the area of comparative contract law, in a European context, and to discuss and assess critically at an advanced level the legal and policy issues arising therefrom.
Participants may expect to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of contract law, basic knowledge of the major European traditions in this area of the law, the ability to master a wide range of strongly heterogeneous sources, and an awareness of harmonisation projects at EU level.