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Updated A.Y. 2018-2019

The phenomenon of globalization was possible through technology advancement and web revolution. Geopolitically it started with the European unification with continuously wider competencies and increasingly members after the fall of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989, and continued with the open policy of China sanctioned by its adhesion to the WTO in 2001. Legal systems are the result of the evolution of societies. Actually, they are not confined within the boundaries of national States due to cross-border mobility of people, goods, services and information. This had increased the openness of legal systems to external influences of various nature, such as economic, social, cultural, and strictly normative. Nowadays we are facing an incredibly increase of ‘non-national’ legal systems beside traditional systems.

The aim of this course is to enlighten the interplay between traditional legal systems and the ‘non-national’, supranational legal systems. Law is the product of history, social and economic developments, intellectual and legal culture, mentality and ideology, philosophy and religion, language. To understand deeply and globally the complex eco-system in which the law is immersed, the so-called ‘law in action’ and its dynamics (players, instruments, purposes), it is required an introduction to the comparative methodology before approaching the main issue concerning uniform law. This subject will be discussed starting from the differences between unification, harmonization and conflict of law and arriving to the analysis of some practical cases.

Learning should be an active and self-motivated experience. Accordingly, class members are expected to contribute with substantive comments during the class. Students who passively listen to lectures are unlikely to absorb the comparative methodology, develop their critical thinking and expand their personal knowledge system. Therefore, learning Uniform Private Law is best accomplished when students are provided not only with theory, but also with practical experiences like presentation and discussion of topics and cases, accompanied by lectures provided by guests, experts and practitioners in different fields.

The final grade of the course is composed by grades on contribution during the class attendance and written exams.

Textbook: Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich, Comparative Legal Systems, Roma TrE-Press, 2017 (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9); Katharina Boele-Woelki, Unifying and Harmonizing Substantive Law and the Role of Conflict of Laws (Chapters 1 to 9).

Teaching materials: Rodolfo Sacco, Legal Formants: A Dynamic Approach to Comparative Law, in The American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 39, 1991, 1-34 and 343-401; Ugo Mattei, Three Pattern od Law, Taxonomy and Change in the World’s Legal System, ibid, Vol. 45, 1997, 5-44; Christian Twigg-Flesner, Some Thoughts on Consumer Law Reform: Consolidation, Codification or a Restatement?, in English and European Perspectives on Contract and Commercial Law. Essays in Honour of Huge Beale, edited by L. Gullifer and S. Vogenauer, 2014, 67-83; Ole Lando, CISG and CESL: Simplicity, Fairness and Social Justice, ibid, 237-249; Stefan Vogenauer, ‘General Principles’ of Contract Law in Transnational Instruments, ibid, 291-318; Christian von Bar, The Numerus Clausus of Property Rights: A European Principle?, ibid, 441-454.

Students in regular attendance are exempted from some parts of the textbooks.

Computers, IPads, smartphones, etc. are permitted in class for the sole purpose of taking notes. Connecting to the internet during class for any reason beyond the immediate scope of the course (or legitimate emergency) is strictly prohibited. To record the lectures is not allowed.