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Course 2020-2021 a.y.

30428 - INTRODUCTION TO THE LEGAL SYSTEM - MODULE 1

All Programs
Department of Law

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 21 - 22

BIEF (6 credits - II sem. - OBBC  |  IUS/01) - BIEM (6 credits - II sem. - OBBC  |  IUS/01)
Course Director:
PIETRO SIRENA

Classes: 15 (II sem.) - 16 (II sem.) - 17 (II sem.) - 18 (II sem.) - 21 (II sem.) - 22 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 15: DOMENICO DI MICCO, Class 16: FRANCESCA BARTOLINI, Class 17: FABIO SAGUATO, Class 18: FEDERICO MOTTOLA LUCANO, Class 21: FRANCESCO MEZZANOTTE, Class 22: FRANCESCO PAOLO PATTI


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

The course provides a general introduction to the study of law, starting with the basic concepts of jurisprudence. The expected goal is that students become acquainted with the fundamentals of private law both at the domestic and the international level. Particularly, the course deals with some of the essential rules applicable to economic activities and focus on the interaction between party autonomy and market regulation in business transactions. The expected goal is that students learn how to tackle and discuss legal problems and gain a good command of the terminology of private law. The course adopts an international perspective and highlights the main differences between civil law and common law jurisdictions in the context of the Western legal tradition. The aim is to provide a guidance on issues of international relationships in which the applicable law can crucially influence the economic outcome of a transaction. In this regard, also European private law is taken into consideration, with a specific focus on the rules aiming to protect consumers vis-à-vis professionals. In the final part of the course, small groups of attending students are given an assignment. The expected goal is to train students in addressing legal issues by drawing up a memorandum and/or a presentation.

CONTENT SUMMARY

General part:

  • Law and the state.
  • National laws and private international law.
  • Rules, principles, and (families of) legal systems.
  • Civil law and common law.
  • European law.
  • Private and public law.
  • Sources of law.
  • Uniform law: the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).
  • Soft law and trends of supranational law: Principles of European Contract law (PECL), Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR), UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (PICC).

Special part:

  • Natural persons and legal entities.
  • Contracts.
  • Consumer protection.
  • Torts and civil liability.
  • Property.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Illustrating the general principles and rules applicable to the most important branches of private law.
  • Identifying the main differences in civil and common law of contract, tort, and property.
  • Describing the relevant issues related to international contracts.
  • Explaining the impact that legal rules can produce in the market and on the behavior of businesses and consumers.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Using the terminology of civil and common law.
  • Assessing legal rules from a social and economic point of view.
  • Drawing up a document dealing with legal issues and presenting it orally.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
DETAILS
  • Guest speakers will speak about their own field of expertise in class or give separate lectures. 
  • Exercises will involve research of printed and/or electronic legal resources.
  • Case studies will be illustrated and discussed in class.
  • Group assignments will consist in drawing up a memorandum supported by a PwP presentation.
  • Interactive class activities will consist in discussing memoranda and peer evaluating them.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x  
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • Attending students must take two partial exams: partial and end-of-semester. Each of them consists of multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions. 
      • The program of each partial exams for attending students is comunicated in class.
      • The registered grade is the average between the grades of the two partial exams. For students who actively participate in classes, the average may be increased by 1/30 points and, on top of that, up to 2/30 points for group assignments.
      • Students failing to pass either of the two partial exams, have to take a general exam, consisting of multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions. 
      • The program of the general exam for attending students is indicated in the section on teaching materials for attending students (see below). Exams are purported to verify that students have achieved a certain knowledge of: the general principles and rules applicable to the most important branches of private law; the main differences between civil law and common law of contract, tort, and property; the relevant issues related to international contracts; and the impact that legal rules can produce in the market and on the behavior of businesses and consumers.
    • Group assignments are purported to verify that students have achieved the necessary skills and abilities to: use the terminology of civil and common law; assess legal rules from a social and economic point of view; and draw up a document dealing with legal issues and to present it orally.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • Non-attending students must take two partial exams: partial and end-of-semester. Each of them consists of multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions. The registered grade is the average between the grades of the two partial exams.
    • The program of the partial exam for non-attending students is the following: Sirena, Introduction to Private Law, 3nd edn, il Mulino, 2021, Chapters 1–6. The program of the end-of-semester partial exam is the following: P. SIRENA, Introduction to Private Law, 3rd edn, il Mulino, 2021, Chapters 7–11; P. SIRENA, 'The Contracting Parties' Choice of European Soft Law: Its Validity and Limitis', available on the Bboard platform. The parts of the text that are printed in a smaller font and indented, as well as the footnotes can be read for sake of information but must not be covered for evaluation purposes.
    • Students failing to pass either of the two partial exams have to take a general exam, consisting of multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions. 
    • The program of the general exam for non-attending students is indicated in the section on teaching materials for non-attending students (see below).
    • Exams are purpoted to verify that students have achieved the knowledge of: the general principles and rules applicable to the most important branches of private law; the main differences between civil law and common law of contract, tort, and property; the relevant issues related to international contracts; and the impact that legal rules can produce in the market and on the behavior of businesses and consumers.

    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Attending students are responsible for the teaching material discussed in class and available on the Bboard platform, as well as for the following parts of P. Sirena, Introduction to Private Law, 3rd edn, il Mulino, 2021: Ch. 3, Ch. 4, Ch. 5, Ch. 6, Ch. 7 (paras 1–3.2), Ch. 8, Ch. 9 (only paras 1 and 5), Ch 10 (except for para 4.3), Ch 11. The parts of the text that are printed in a smaller font and indented, as well as the footnotes can be read for sake of information but must not be covered for evaluation purposes.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Non-attending students are responsible for both the following textbooks:

    • P. SIRENA, Introduction to Private Law, 3rs edn, il Mulino, 2021, Chapters 1-11. The parts of the text that are printed in a smaller font and indented, as well as the footnotes can be read for sake of information but must not be covered for evaluation purposes.
    • P. SIRENA, 'The Contracting Parties' Choice of European Soft Law: Its Validity and Limitis', available on the Bboard platform.
    Last change 14/12/2020 09:25