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Learning Objectives


Objective of the course is to prepare students for the international legal context in which they will operate. They will be provided with fundamental tools that will enable them to understand the mechanisms of law-making process on all levels – legislative, jurisprudential, doctrinal and practical.

To this end, the course aims to achieve the following objectives:

- Acquire knowledge and understanding of the legal process at national level with regard to the European and international context, with the aim of understanding the interconnections between the national legal sources and the European and international;
- Acquire knowledge of the different international actors producing uniform private law, in order to be able to easily understand the various methods and purposes of their legal production;
- Acquire knowledge of the elements that affects the actors' creation of common rules to rightly interpret national, European and international legal contents and understand their impact on societies and markets.


The teaching program aims to provide basic understanding, models and methodology necessary for interpretation of the European and international legal dynamics, such as
- Know differences and similarities between the legal systems in the world;
- Understand what are the reasons for these differences and similarities;
- Know theories and methods of the legal comparison;
- Know and understand the legal dynamics between legal actors in Europe and worldwide;
- Understand the legal process for the creation of uniform private law;
- Understand the purposes behind the legal process and the creation of uniform private law;
- Understand notion and boundaries of the uniform private law.

Through the knowledge and understanding acquired the student must be able to develop skills / abilities for:
- find and independently access information on national, European and international laws;
- interpret and apply these laws on the real business context;
- negotiate contracts with foreigners coming from different legal systems;
- evaluate the conditions of survival and development (quantitative and qualitative) of the groups;
- identify the variables on which to act for the improvement of transnational negotiations’ quality standards.

Students will develop autonomous reflections on various issues relating to legal systems’ interactions on global level. Have the ability to integrate knowledge and manage complexity, as well as to make judgments based on limited or incomplete information, including reflection on the legal process for the uniform private law production related to the application of their knowledge and their judgments. The course approach seeks to link legal aspects to social and economic ones to foster a constructive attitude towards problems through the acquisition of skills and a problem-solving mentality.
For this purposes, during the course students are expected to directly participate in developing, drafting and presenting specific topics regarding uniform private law with the scope of practicing autonomous legal reasoning while applying the theories and methodologies they have been taught.

During the course students are expected to directly participate in developing, drafting and presenting specific topics on uniform private law in order to
- express themselves, in written and oral form, using a technical language appropriate to the interlocutors and the reference context;
- ability to analyze problems, even complex ones;
- relational skills;
- ability to work in groups, manage stress and conflict situations.

The students will learn basic principles and legal science methods with reference to the creation of rules in an international setting – European and international institutions, courts of justice, work groups in an academic setting, law firms in order to be able to
- develop analyses on the issues of global law;
- keep up to date on the evolution and the creation of uniform private law;
- deepen the issues related to the legal process at national, European and international level;
- build and develop a method of study and research suitable to allow the deepening of the knowledge gained.


To understand the contents of the lessons and achieve the educational objectives, it is important that before starting the course the student has an adequate basic knowledge of legal, social and economic dynamics, in particular for what concern the difference between public and private law and the traditional sources of law. Ability to a critical approach. Aptitude for teamwork and knowledge sharing.


(Week #1)
I- Introduction:
1. Social norm
2. Factors of Difference/Similarity between legal systems
3. Anthropology and Sociology of Law
4. Legal Data/Metalegal Data
(Week #2)
II- Legal Language
III. Theories on Legal Transplants (Watson, Legrand, Siems, Galindo)
IV. Comparative Law Methodology
1. Civil Law Tradition and its History
2. Common Law Tradition and its History
(Week #3)
3. Sacco’s Theory on Legal Formants
4. Mattei’s Taxonomy
V. Introduction on Contract Law (Notion of Contract, Juridical Acts and Contracts, Sacco’s example on contract law)
VI. Who creates Uniform Private Law: How and Why do it
(Week #4)
1. European Union
1.1 EU and the Harmonization of the Internal Market
1.2 Regulatory Differentiation in the Internal Market
1.3 EU as International Player
1.4 Instruments of EU external Action
2. Council of Europe
3. Mercosur
(Week #5)
7. Global Rules and Private Actors (New Lex Mercatoria, ECB and ISDA)
8. The Doctrinal Formant as Producer of UPL
8.1. Lando’s Commission (PECL)
8.2. NCCUSL and ALI (Uniform Commercial Code and Restatement)
9. The Judicial Formant as Producer of UPL
9.1. The European Court of Justice
9.2. The National Judge as EU Judge
9.3 The International Arbitration
(Week #6)
VII. Uniform Substantial Law:
1. Consumer Law
2. The concept of Numerus Clausus
3. General Principles in Transnational Instruments
IX. Conflict of laws
1. Alternative among Replacement/Opt-in/Opt-out Approach
2. Application of the Choice of Law Rules


Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich, Comparative Legal Systems, Roma TrE-Press, 2017 (Chapters 7, 8, 9); Katharina Boele-Woelki, Unifying and Harmonizing Substantive Law and the Role of Conflict of Laws, Hague Academy of International Law, Leiden, 2010 (Chapters 1 to 9); Pietro Sirena, Introduction to Private Law, Il Mulino, 2019 (Chapter 3, 4, 7, 8, 10); 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 (except p. 358-384); Ugo Mattei, Three Pattern of Law, Taxonomy and Change in the World’s Legal System, ibid, Vol. 45, 1997, 5-44


Hugh Beale et al., Contract Law, 2nd ed., Oxford, 2010, p. 3-30, and 77-86; Tadas Klimas, Comparative Contract Law, Durham (north Carolina), 2006, p. 1-18; Alain Levasseur, Comparative Law of Contract. Cases and Materials, Durham (North Carolina), 2008, p. 1-26; Ewan McKendrick, Contract Law, 7th ed., Oxford, 2016, p. 3-15; Scherer/Palazzo/Baumann, Global Rules and Private Actors: Toward a New Role of the Transnational Corporation in Global Governance, in Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 16, 4, 2006, p. 505-524; John W. Cairns, Watson, Walton, and the History of Legal Transplants, in Ga. J. Int’L & Comp. L., vol. 41, 2013, p. 637-696; Alan Watson, Legal Transplants and European Private Law, in Ius Commune Lectures on European Private Law, 2, 2000, p. 1-11; Pierre Legrand, The Impossibility of ‘Legal Transplants’, in Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, vol. 4, 1997, p. 111-124; Mathias Siems, Malicious Legal Transplants, in Legal Studies, vol. 38, 2018, p. 103-119; 17) Bart Van Vooren/Ramses A. Wessel, EU External Relations Law, Cambridge, 2014, p. 1-18, 34-54; Isidora Maletic, The Law and Policy of Harmonisation in Europe’s Internal Market, Cheltenham, 2013, p. 6-27, 68-89; 19) Michal Bobek, Of Feasibility and Silent Elephants: The Legitimacy of the Court of Justice through the Eyes of National Courts, in Judging Europe’s Judges ed. by Adams/de Waele/ Meeusen/Straetmans, Oxford, 2013, p. 197-234; Nial Fennelly, The National Judge as Judge of the European Union, in The Court of Justice and the Construction of Europe, The Hague, 2013, p. 61-78; Ole Lando, CISG and CESL: Simplicity, Fairness and Social Justice, in English and European Perspectives on Contract and Commercial Law. Essays in Honour of Huge Beale, edited by L. Gullifer and S. Vogenauer, 2014, 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; Gilles Cuniberti, Conflict of Laws. A Comparative Approach, Cheltenham, 2017, p. 112-131.

Teaching methods


Exam Rules

The written exam is the same for attending and non-attending students and evaluates the overall preparation of the student, the ability to integrate the knowledge of the different parts of the program, the consequentiality of the reasoning, the analytical ability and the autonomy of judgment.
The exam includes a written exam (compulsory). The written exam (90') concerns two/three open-ended questions, each requiring the student to provide his/her so reasoned and elaborated as possible written answer about topics and issues covered during the class. Consistency of the reasoning, clarity of presentation and correctness of the legal language will be evaluated, in compliance with the Dublin descriptors (1. Knowledge and understanding) 2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding; 3. Making judgments; 4. Learning skills; 5: Communication skills. The result of the written exam is the sum of the points in all the parts on a 30-points scale (where the minimum passing grade is 18).
Exam grades can be raised/lowered by 2 extra points if attending students choose to participate in a group project. The project evaluation concerns developing, drafting and presenting a legal topics in team (3-5 persons each team) in order to practice and demonstrate their (written and oral) communication skills in the area of uniform private law. The project evaluation would add or subtract up to 2 points to the result of the written exam.
The exam will be assessed according to the following criteria:
Not suitable: important deficiencies and / or inaccuracies in the knowledge and understanding of the topics; limited capacity for analysis and synthesis, frequent generalizations and limited critical and judgment skills, the arguments are presented in an inconsistent way and with inappropriate language;
18-20: just sufficient knowledge and understanding of the topics with possible generalizations and imperfections; sufficient capacity for analysis, synthesis and autonomy of judgment, the topics are exposed in an inconsistent way and with inappropriate / technical language;
21-23: Routine knowledge and understanding of topics; Ability to correct analysis and synthesis with sufficiently coherent logical argument and appropriate / technical language
24-26: Fair knowledge and understanding of the topics; good analysis and synthesis skills with rigorously expressed arguments but with a language that is not always appropriate / technical.
27-29: Complete knowledge and understanding of the topics; remarkable abilities of analysis and synthesis. Good autonomy of judgment. Topics exposed rigorously and with appropriate / technical language
30-30L: Excellent level of knowledge and in-depth understanding of the topics. Excellent skills of analysis, synthesis and autonomy of judgment. Arguments expressed in an original way and with appropriate technical language.