Studying Law at RomaTre

Academic Year 2020-2021

Spring Semester (March 1 - May 31, 2021)

Course

Private Comparative Law 2021

Prof. Noah Vardi



(Wednesdays 8.30-10; Thursdays 4-5.45; Fridays, 4-5.45)

Course description 
The course aims at introducing students to comparative methodology and conducting a comparative analysis of some key institutions of private law (contract and torts), with special focus on the common law/civil law convergence; on the process of Europeanisation of private law; and on some of the key challenges for private law posed by technological developments (e.g. blockchain and smart contracts).
The following topics will be covered in the course:
  • An introduction to comparative law, its methodology and functions; comparative law and European private law; the use of comparative law in a globalized legal environment
  • Comparative contract law; from the traditional theories of the civil and common law systems to the main challenges posed by crossborder transactions and new technologies; interdisciplinary approaches to contract
  • Comparative tort law; the role and function of tort law in contemporary society; protected interests and challenges of tort law

Course Learning Objectives
 
  • To introduce students to important aspects of foreign law;
  • To introduce students to the comparative methodology in the study of law;
  • To provide, through the study of foreign law, a better understanding of national law;
  • To develop tools whereby students may identify relevant issues of comparative law and know-how to begin analysing and researching them, and may approach normative, jurisprudential and doctrinal sources of foreign law;
  • To develop critical skills of analysis and interpretation in relation to comparative methodology and foreign law.
     
Course Learning Activities

During the course the activities will be divided as follows:
- frontal lectures;
-presentations assigned to students that are meant to support the lectures and encourage interactive student participation;
- case simulations

Assessment tools
Student evaluation will be based on class work (class participation, presentations given
during the semester) and on a final written exam.

Attendance policy
Class attendance is compulsory.


Course materials
A selection of readings from various sources will be used. These include:

Module I (introduction):
-G. Samuel, “Comparative law and its methodology”, in D. Watkins, M. Burton (Eds.), Research Methods in Law, Routledge, 2017, pgs.122-145;
-M. Siems, “New Directions in Comparative Law”, in M. Reimann and R. Zimmermann (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, 2d ed., Oxford University Press, 2018, pgs.852-873

Module II (contracts):
-B. H. Bix, “Theories of contract law”, in P.G. Monateri (Ed.) Comparative Contract Law, Research Handbooks in Comparative Law, Elgar Publishing, 2017, pgs. 7-17;
-H. Kötz, “Comparative Contract Law”, in M. Reimann and R. Zimmermann (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, 2d ed., Oxford University Press, 2018, pgs. 903-931;
-J.H.M. van Erp, “The Pre-Contractual Stage”, in A. Hartkamp, M. Hesselink, E. Hondius et al. (Eds.) Towards a European Civil Code, 4th.ed., Kluwer Law International, 2011, pgs. 493-513;
-O. Lando, “Non-Performance (Breach) of Contracts” in A. Hartkamp, M. Hesselink, E. Hondius et al. (Eds.) Towards a European Civil Code, 4th.ed., Kluwer Law International, 2011, pgs. 681-697

Module III (torts):
-M. Bussani, M. Infantino, The many cultures of tort liability” in M. Bussani-A. Sebok (Eds.), Comparative Tort Law- Global Perspectives, Elgar Publishing, 2015, pgs.11-38;
-J. Gordley, “The architecture of the common and civil law of torts: An historical survey” in M. Bussani-A. Sebok (Eds.) Comparative Tort Law- Global Perspectives, Elgar Publishing, 2015, pgs.173-200

Excerpts of relevant cases will also be provided to students.


Draft Course Schedule
 
 
Date Topic
1. Thurs. March 11th Introduction to the course;
introduction to comparative law
2. Fri. March 12th Methods of private comparative law;
functions, aims, trends
3. Wed. March 17th Contract law from a comparative perspective; interdisciplinary approaches to contract
4. Thurs. March 18th Theories & functions of contract; evolving notions of contract
5. Fri. March 19th Foundations & requirements of contract in different legal systems: consent, cause, consideration, form
6. Wed. March 24th Continued: ascertaining the content of contracts
7. Thurs. March 25th Illegal & immoral contracts; contracts and personality rights
8. Fri. March 26th Class discussion & presentations
9. Wed. March 31st Pre-contractual liability: theories and developments in the civil law and common law legal traditions
10. Thurs. April 1st Continued: pre-contractual liability; theories of estoppel
11. Wed. April 7th Class discussion & presentations
12. Thurs. April 8th Non-performance of contract
13. Fri. April 9th Continued: remedies for breach of contract
14. Wed. April 14th Supervening events- frustration and impossibility        
15. Thurs. April 15th Continued: hardship
16. Fri. April 16th Introduction to blockchain & Smart contracts
17. Wed. April 21st  The boundaries between contract & tort; case study- medical malpractice
18. Thurs. April 22nd Introduction to tort law
19. Fri. April 23rd Models of tort law;
common law/civil law tradition;
torts and protected interests
20. Wed. April 28th Negligence and strict liability
21. Thurs. April 29th continued
22. Fri.  30th Class discussion and presentations
23.Wed. May 5th Causation
24. Thurs. May 6th Pure economic loss
25. Fri. May 7th Class discussion and presentations
26. Wed. May 12th Product liability
27. Thurs. May 13th Torts & alternative schemes of compensation
28. Fri. May 14th overview and final revision for the exam

Downloads:

02/02/2021
Noah Vardi
 PCL2021

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