Studying Law at RomaTre

Academic Year 2021-2022

Spring Semester (March 1 - May 31, 2022)


Private Comparative Law 2022

Prof. Noah Vardi

(Thursdays 4-6.45; Fridays, 4-6.45)

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 (provided to registered students) will be used. These include:
Excerpts of relevant cases that will be discussed in class will also be provided to students.

Draft Course Schedule
N.B. please note this is a draft schedule, subject to changes
Date Topic
1. Thurs. March 10th Introduction to the course;
introduction to comparative law
2. Fri. March 11th Methods of private comparative law;
functions, aims, trends
3. Thurs. March 17th Contract law from a comparative perspective; interdisciplinary approaches to contract;
Theories, functions, and evolution of contract
4. Fri. March 18th Foundations & requirements of contract in different legal systems: consent, cause, consideration, form
Class discussion & presentations
5. Thurs. March 24th Formation of contracts
6. Fri. March 25th Requirements of contracts (consideration & cause)
Continued: ascertaining the content of contracts
Class discussion & presentations
7. Thurs. March 31st Pre-contractual liability: theories and developments in the civil law and common law legal traditions
Continued: theories of estoppel
8. Fri. April 1st Non-performance of contract
Class discussion & presentations
9. Thurs. April 7th Continued: remedies for breach of contract
Supervening events- frustration and impossibility    
10. Fri. April 8th Continued: hardship
The boundaries between contract & tort
Class discussion & presentations
11. Thurs. April 14th Introduction to blockchain & Smart contracts
12. Thurs. April 21st Introduction to tort law
13. Fri. April 22nd Models of tort law;
common law/civil law tradition
14. Thurs. April 28th torts and protected interests
15. Fri.  29th Negligence and strict liability
Class discussion & presentations
16. Thurs. May 5th Causation
17. Fri. May 6th Pure economic loss+
Class discussion & presentations
18. Thurs. May 12th Product liability
Torts & alternative schemes of compensation
19. Fri. May 13th overview and final revision for the exam


Noah Vardi
 PCL 2022 flyer

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