Studying Law at RomaTre

Academic Year 2019-2020

Spring Semester (March 1 - May 31, 2020)

Course

Private Comparative Law 2020

Prof. Noah Vardi



7 CFUs - ECTS
(Wednesdays 8.30-10 Room 5,
Thursdays 4-5.45 Room 5,
Fridays, 4-5.45, Room 4)
Email: noah.vardi@uniroma3.it
(see website for office hours)

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;
-guest lectures by Visiting Professors and experts on specific topics


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

 

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