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Course 2023-2024 a.y.

30613 - INTRODUCTION TO PRIVATE LAW - MODULE 1 (CIVIL LAW)

BGL
Department of Law

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 28

BGL (9 credits - I sem. - OB  |  IUS/01)
Course Director:
FRANCESCO PAOLO PATTI

Classes: 28 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 28: FRANCESCO PAOLO PATTI


Synchronous Blended: Lezioni erogate in modalità sincrona in aula (max 1 ora per credito online sincrona)

Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

The private law of civil law legal systems finds its roots in the institutions of Roman law, which over time were re-elaborated by jurists in the Middle age and finally transposed in the different civil codes of national states. The historical background and the adopted methodology are still recognizable within the civil law legal systems, which present features and peculiarities, which make them different from common law legal systems. The advent of European harmonization has modified the frame of reference and has strengthened the need to consider the global context, especially in shaping the rules that in the future will regulate disruptive technologies. The Course mission is to outline the civil law legal systems’ features of the private law regime from an international perspective, focusing on methods, fundamental legal rules of private relationships, and global challenges posed by new technologies.

CONTENT SUMMARY

GENERAL PART
The point of departure are European continental legal systems, the explanation of the connections with the Roman law heritage, and the peculiar role recognized by jurists. This base knowledge will be used to identify the main sources of law within the civil law legal systems in comparison to common law legal systems. In this context, the fundamental position of civil codes will be particularly highlighted.

 

 

SPECIAL PART
The Course then addresses the institutions of private law, which are of relevance in the global context: legal subjects, contract law, tort law, and property law. The areas of private law are tackled with reference to the rules contained in the main European civil codes (France, Germany, and Italy) and in the main international soft law instruments (PECL, PICC, DCFR).

EVOLUTIONS
The final part of the Course is devoted to the interplay of national and European Union private law and to the challenges posed by disruptive technologies at a global level (eg AI, blockchain technology, robotics). Starting from the doctrine of competition between legal systems, the conclusive part of the Course is devoted to the peculiar challenges posed by the data economy.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the European continental legal systems, including their connections to Roman law heritage and the role of jurists within them.
  • Ability to compare and contrast the sources of law in civil law legal systems and common law legal systems.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the fundamental position of civil codes within civil law legal systems.
  • Acquire knowledge of private law institutions including legal subjects, contract law, tort law, and property law.
  • Apply the rules contained in the main European civil codes and international soft law instruments to analyze issues related to private law.
  • Analyze the challenges posed by disruptive technologies, such as AI, blockchain technology, and robotics, in the context of national and European Union private law, and understand the problems posed by the data economy.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analyze the main sources of law within the civil law legal systems, and compare them to common law legal systems, with an emphasis on the fundamental position of civil codes.
  • Evaluate the legal subjects, contract law, tort law, and property law in the context of the main European civil codes and international soft law instruments.
  • Apply the principles of private law to practical situations and legal cases, and formulate appropriate solutions.
  • Synthesize the interplay of national and European Union private law, and critically evaluate the challenges posed by disruptive technologies at a global level.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the doctrine of competition between legal systems, and apply it to the analysis of legal issues in the context of data economy.
  • Communicate legal concepts and ideas effectively, both orally and in writing, and present logical arguments to support legal positions.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
DETAILS

Within the online lectures, selected topics will be addressed with online classes and lessons will have an interactive nature. The participation of guest speakers will provide unique insights and perspectives from their experience in the legal education or legal profession, enriching the students' understanding of the subject matter. Case studies will offer an in-depth analysis of a specific legal case or scenario to illustrate legal concepts, principles, and their real-world applications. The interactive class activities developed during the course will engage students in various exercises, discussions, simulations or debates, promoting active learning and critical thinking, and enhancing their understanding and application of legal concepts.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, the students’ assessment is based on two main components:

     

    1. Group assignment (up to 3 bonus points) aimed to test the students’ ability to interact in a constructive way and to think critically.
    2. Written exam, consisting in two open questions aimed to assess students’ ability to explain the topics illustrated during the course and to solve a legal problem through the use of concepts explained in class. The exam will also include selected multiple-choice questions aimed at checking the capacity of students to recognize and understand private law legal concepts.

     

    Students can take a mid-term written exam and complete the written exam at the end of the course. In this case the weight is: 50% for the mid-term exam and 50% for the end of term exam. Alternatively, students can take a final written exam that accounts for 100% of the final grade.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The assessment method for non-attending students is based on a final exam in written form consisting in four open questions aimed to assess students’ ability to explain the topics illustrated during the course and to solve legal problems through the use of concepts explained in class. The exam will also include selected multiple-choice questions aimed at checking the capacity of students to recognize and understand private law legal concepts.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    -Pietro Sirena, Introduction to Private Law, last edition, chapters I, II, III, IV, VI.2, VIII from 1. to 1.2.2. and 2., IX, X, XI

    -Jan Smits, Contract Law: A Comparative Introduction

     

    Selected readings that will be announced before the start of the course and indicated or uploaded to the Bboard platform.

    Last change 18/07/2023 16:38