Curriculum Guide · Courses
Comparative Law: Focus on EU and US
Professor Franz Werro
J.D. Course 079 (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
This course consists of an introduction to legal comparison based on an inquiry into European private law. The course is divided into two parts. The first part presents the functions and aims as well the method of comparative law in general. After an overview of the legal systems in the world, the course provides a comprehensive introduction to the basic features of the civil law system as contrasted with the common law tradition in Europe and in the United States. It also shows how some of the differences between the two systems are being dealt with by new instruments such as the Vienna Convention on Sales, the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts and the Principles of European Contract Law. While the course focuses on substantive law issues, in the fields of contract, tort, property, it also examines some structural issues -- such as the court systems, the education of lawyers and the role of judicial review. The second part of the course aims at providing an analysis of the trends towards denationalization of private law in Europe as it results from the impact of EC legislation on national law. Special attention is devoted to the link between private law and the formation and the functioning of markets, particularly the Single Market in Europe, but also to the cultural and linguistic obstacles that come up in the process. Overall, the course aims at providing a practical introduction to issues of European law faced by American lawyers, and the use of foreign law to advocate change in U.S. law. Further it will show how legal comparison is a means for thinking about the law in broader terms.
Students may not receive credit for both this course and the upperclass courses, Comparative Law or Comparative Law: Focus on EU and US.
In Spring 2017 this course will meet on a condensed schedule on the following days: 1/18, 1/23, 1/25, 1/30, 2/1, 2/6, 2/8, 2/13, 2/15, 2/23 (Monday classes meet), 2/27 and 3/1. This course will also meet on Friday, 1/27, 11:10 a.m. - 1:10 p.m.