Comparative Private Law (2018/2019)

Course code
4S00332
Name of lecturer
Marco Torsello
Coordinator
Marco Torsello
Number of ECTS credits allocated
9
Academic sector
IUS/02 - COMPARATIVE PRIVATE LAW
Language of instruction
English
Period
2° periodo di lezioni - aprile/maggio 2019, 2° periodo di lezioni - febbraio/aprile 2019

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

This course provides students with legal notions and concepts necessary to understand the meaning, reach and scope of application of legal rules in the private sector from a transnational and comparative perspective.
The expected learning outcomes are:
(A) Knowledge:
1. Using comparative methodologies in the analysis of private law matters so as to measure similarities and differences between the main legal systems;
2. Identifying the law applicable to a transnational private relationship, by selecting between national and supranational legal sources;
3. Arranging the national solutions adopted as regards the law of property, contract and torts in accordance to the different models that characterize different legal traditions;
4. Acquiring the basic legal tool necessary to practice the legal profession in a transnational context.
(B) Skills:
5. Utilizing the freedom granted to party autonomy in order to efficiently select the law applicable to a given relationship on the basis of a comparative analysis of the solutions adopted in different legal systems;
6. Transposing legal concepts from one legal system to another with an emphasis on the conceptual differences in legal notions that appear to be similar;
7. Predicting and guiding the process of identification, interpretation and application of foreign law before national courts.

Syllabus

The course will cover the following topics:
1) Object and methodology of comparative law;
2) National law, conflict of laws and legal unification;
3) Comparative contract law: formation and fairness of the contract;
4) Comparative contract law: performance and warranties;
5) Comparative contract law: breach and supervening events;
6) Comparative law of torts: liability for fault;
7) Comparative law of torts: strict liability;
8) Comparative law of property and IP law;
9) Comparative law of competition and market regulation.
TEACHING METHODS:
Classes will be based on lectures (with use of slides), as well as group discussions and analysis of contract clauses and domestic and foreign cases, so as to instruct students on how the knowledge acquired through the course can be applied in individual cases.
LANGUAGE OF THE COURSE:
The course will be taught in English. However, students will be given the opportunity, at their discretion, to prepare the exam on texts and materials in Italian and to seat the final exam in Italian.
READINGS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY:
The mandatory coursebook for students willing to prepare the exam in English is the following one:
- J. GORDLEY - A.T. VON MEHREN, An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Private Law. Readings, Cases Materials, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN: 9780521681858.
The mandatory coursebooks for students willing to perpare the exam in Italian are the following ones:
- A. CANDIAN E A. GAMBARO (a cura di), Casi e Materiali per un corso di diritto privato comparato. Le tradizioni di Common law e Civil law, Giappichelli, Torino, 2° ed., 2015, ISBN: 9788892102545;
- G. ALPA, M.J. BONELL, D. CORAPI, L. MOCCIA, V. ZENO-ZENCOVICH, A. ZOPPINI, Diritto privato comparato. Istituti e problemi, Laterza, Bari, 3° ed., 2018, ISBN: 9788842099543.
In addition to the mandatory coursebooks, students may avail themselves of the following bibliographical reference for optional additional references with respect to the individual topics covered by the course identified above:
1) Object and methodology of comparative law:
- P.G. MONATERI (ed,), Methods in Comparative Law, Edward Elgar, 2012;
- T. EISENBERG, G.B. RAMELLO, Comparative Law and Economics, Edward Elgar, 2017.
2) National law, conflict of laws and legal unification:
- G. CUNIBERTI, Conflict of Laws. A Comparative Approach. Text and Cases, Edward Elgar, 2017;
- M. REIMANN, Comparative Law and Private International Law, in M. REIMANN, R. ZIMMERMANN (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 1397;
- J. BASEDOW, International Economic Law and Commercial Contracts: Promoting Cross-Border Trade by Uniform Law Conventions, Unif. L. Rev., 2018-1, p. 1.
3) Comparative contract law: formation and fairness of the contract:
- J.M. SMITS, Contract Law. A Comparative Introduction, Edward Elgar, 2nd ed., 2017, Part II, III;
- A. FRIGNANI, M. TORSELLO, Il contratto internazionale. Diritto comparato e prassi commerciale, Padova, 2010, p. 155-264;
- H. BEALE, "Surprising" or "Unfair"? Controls over Standard Terms, in UNIDROIT (ed.), Eppur si muove: The age of Uniform Law. Essays in honour of Michael Joachim Bonell to celebrate his 70th birthday, Unidroit, 2016, vol. II, p. 975.
4) Comparative contract law: performance and warranties:
- J.M. SMITS, Contract Law. A Comparative Introduction, Edward Elgar, 2nd ed., 2017, Part IV, V;
- A. FRIGNANI, M. TORSELLO, Il contratto internazionale. Diritto comparato e prassi commerciale, Padova, 2010, p. 265-348;
- S. ROWAN, Remedies for Breach of Contract: A Comparative Analysis of the Protection of Performance, Oxford University Press, 2012.
5) Comparative contract law: breach and supervening events:
- M. SCHMIDT-KESSEL, K. MAYER, Supervening events and force majeure, in J.M. SMITS (ed.), Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Edward Elgar, 2nd ed., 2012, p. 839;
- A. FRIGNANI, M. TORSELLO, Il contratto internazionale. Diritto comparato e prassi commerciale, Padova, 2010, p. 349-438;
- P. MAZZACANO, Force Majeure, Impossibility, Frustration & the Like: Excuses for Non-Performance; the Historical Origins and Development of an Autonomous Commercial Norm in the CISG, Nordic J. Comm. L., 2011-2, p. 46.
6) Comparative law of torts: liability for fault:
- M. BUSSANI, A.J. SEBOK (eds.), Comparative Tort Law. Global Perspectives, Edward Elgar, 2015;
- G. WAGNER, Comparative Tort Law, in M. REIMANN, R. ZIMMERMANN (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 1003.
7) Comparative law of torts: strict liability:
- G. HOWELLS, Product Liability, in J.M. SMITS (ed.), Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Edward Elgar, 2nd ed., 2012, p. 716;
- E. BATTESINI, Tort Law and Economic Development: Strict Liability in Legal Practice, in Latin Am. & Iber. J. L. & Econ., 2015-1, 2.
8) Comparative law of property and IP law:
- M. GRAZIADEI, L. SMITH, Comparative Property Law. Global Perspectives, Edward Elgar, 2018;
- S. VAN ERP, Comparative Property Law, in M. REIMANN, R. ZIMMERMANN (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 1043;
- T. TAKENAKA, Intellectual Property in Common Law and Civil Law, Edward Elgar, 2013.
9) Comparative law of competition and market regulation:
- R. VAN DEN BERG, Comparative Competition Law and Economics, Edward Elgar, 2017;
- D.J. GERBER, Comparative Antitrust Law, in M. REIMANN, R. ZIMMERMANN (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 1193.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
James GORDLEY - Arthur T. VON MEHREN An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Private Law. Readings, Cases Materials (Edizione 1) Oxford University Press 2006 9780521681858
Albina CANDIAN, Antonio GAMBARO Casi e Materiali per un corso di diritto privato comparato. Le tradizioni di Common law e Civil law (Edizione 2) Giappichelli 2015 9788892102545
Guido ALPA, Michael Joachim BONELL, Diego CORAPI, Luigi MOCCIA, Vincenzo ZENO-ZENCOVICH, Andrea ZOPPINI Diritto privato comparato. Istituti e problemi (Edizione 3) Laterza 2018 9788842099543

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam, consisting of an oral discussion, aims at verifying the level of achievement of the learning objectives previously identified. The final grade will be based as for 2/3 on the evaluation of the knowledge indicated in the expected learning outcomes and as for 1/3 on the evaluation of skills. In particular, as for the knowledge, one question will deal with with comparative methodologies in the analysis of private law and/or with the legal approach to the assessment of the law applicable to cross-border relations; another question will deal with one of the substantive private law matters encountered in class (property, contract and torts) as well as with the relevance of comparative law for the legal profession. As to the relevant skills identified in the learning outcomes, a last question will aim at evaluating the student's ability to use party autonomy on the basis of a comparative analysis of the relevant legal rules.

Teaching aids

Documents

STUDENT MODULE EVALUATION - 2017/2018