30614 - INTRODUCTION TO PRIVATE LAW - MODULE 2 (COMMON LAW)
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 28
Synchronous Blended: Lezioni erogate in modalità sincrona in aula (max 1 ora per credito online sincrona)
This is a foundational course in common law private law. Students will extensively study core common law private law subjects such as contracts, torts, and unjust enrichment. Common law refers to the legal traditions where laws are primarily made by judges through precedents. In this course, students will study main private law doctrines in English and American common law. We will also draw comparison with similar doctrines in civilian jurisdictions such as France, Italy and Germany. The comparative study is carried out through studying similar cases decided in different jurisdictions. The teaching method will be the Socratic methods as commonly seen in American Law Schools. Students are required to read assigned cases before each class and be prepared to discuss the facts, doctrinal issues, the reasoning behind the rulings, and other possible arguments in class.
3. Common law contracts ( the bargain principle, battle of forms, pre-contractual liabilities, mistake, fairness, impossibility, change of circumstances, remedies)
4. Common law torts (scope of rights protected including pure economic loss, insults, privacy, liability bases including intention, negligence and strict liability)
5. Common law unjust enrichment
Analyze given factual scenarios and spot the correct doctrinal issues.
Apply the doctrinal rules to the facts and predict case outcomes.
Critically evaluate the inconsistencies between the cases and the tension between doctrines.
Draft memos predicting the outcome of cases governed by common law.
Advise clients on some fundamental issues in common law contract law and torts based on facts.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Individual assignments
Students are required to write a research-focused writing assignment based on either a doctrinal research question or a factual scenario. This should be a paper that is logically coherent, supported by scientific sources and, preferably, challenges the prevailing views.
There is one open-book general exam at the end of the semester. There will be three open-ended questions each worth 8 points and seven multiple choice questions each worth 1 point. Students can bring in any books and notes but will not have access to internet during the exam.
In addition, students may earn up to 3 points for a writing assignment and up to 3 points for actively participating in class discussions.
Law of obligations part of J. GORDLEY, H. JIANG, A.T. VON MEHREN, An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Private Law: Readings, cases, materials (2nd edn, CUP 2021).
Excerpts from Lon Fuller, Melvin Eisenberg, Mark Gergen, Basic Contract Law (10th edition, West 2018)
Additional materials will be uploaded to the blackboard