91365 - Foundations Of Private Comparative Law

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Marina Timoteo (Modulo 1) Angela Carpi (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Legal Studies (cod. 9062)

    Also valid for Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Legal Studies (cod. 9062)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course unit, students: - know the regulatory comparison patterns applicable to different legal regimes linked to the macro-areas of private law; - are familiar with the regulatory models and common elements of the specific subjects of comparative law; - can thus elaborate thematic comparison models and synoptic tables, also to envisage solutions which could be applied in different national legal orders.

Course contents

The course is divided into two modules of 15 hours each.

The course program is organized as follows:

1 Introduction to comparative law

2. The Common law system

2.A. The British Model

2.B. The US Model

3. The civil law system

3.A. The French Model

3.B. The German Model

4. Mixed Jurisdictions

5. Micro-comparison: Contract Law

6. Micro-comparison: Tort Law

7. Micro-comparison: Property Law


Rodolfo Sacco, "Legal Formants: A Dynamic Approach to Comparative Law" (I and II), in American Journal of Comparative Law, n. 39 vol 1 and 2, 1991.

William Tetley, "Mixed Jurisdiction: Common Law v. Civil Law (Codified and Uncodified)", in Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 60 n. 3, 2000, pp. 676-738.

Michele Graziadei, "Comparative Law as the Study of Transplants and Reception", in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law Edited by Mathias Reimann and Reinhard Zimmermann, 2006-2012, pp. 441-485.

Teaching methods

The course follows an interdisciplinary approach, aimed at the direct involvement of the students, combining the classic frontal lessons with the study and critical analysis of some case law that have played a central role in the definition of the rules and in the evolution of the legal systems. The reading of some fundamental texts for the framing of normative contexts and the various legal processes and the vision of some films that represent the legal experiences of common law, in its main expressions, will also be included as teaching methods.

The participation to to course is compulsory for students of Legal Studies degree. The intensity and continuity of participation to the course will be assessed by the professors at the beginning of each class

Assessment methods

The evaluation takes place through a final exam, which ensures the acquisition of the required knowledge by conducting an oral examination.

The oral examination consists of an interview with the teacher or the assistants of the teacher.

The examination is designed to appreciate the level of understanding and mastery of the comparative method in the study of private law topics, as well as the ability of active working with the fundamental rules of the different systems. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the issues addressed, and in particular the ability to capture the dynamic aspects of private law topics, in a comparative perspective, gathering similarities and differences, influences and cohesion, will be evaluated with marks of excellence. The knowledge of the topics covered in the course that is mainly mnemonic and notional and that will lead to an oral colloquium not well supported by reasoning of synthesis and analysis of the issues, and the using an organic and correct language but not always appropriate, will lead to an average pass outcome; training gaps and / or inappropriate language, albeit in the context of a minimal knowledge of the exam material, will lead to just enough mark; training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the texts, will be adversely evaluated.

In order to sit for the exam, registration through the electronic platform "Almaesami" is required, in compliance with mandatory deadlines (usually 7 days before the date set for the examination). Those who do not succeed with the enrolling by the due date, are required to report promptly (and in any case before the official closing of the registration lists) the problem to the school's secretary office. The professor, evaluated the problem, will decide about the admission to sit for the exam.

Registration via email and out of the terms, will not be accepted.

The course will be held in the first semester and therefore students who have chosen the course in the current year will be able to sit for the exam starting from the month of January.

Only students that are regularly enrolled, that paid all the due university taxes will be able to sit for the examinations. Under no circumstances it will be possible to sit the examination and proceed with the registration not simultaneously.

For Legal Studies Master students: please consider that Foundations of Private Compcarative Law is a module of the course Foundations of Comparative Law, that includes two different parts (Foundations of Private Comparative Law and Foundations of Public Comparative Law). The mark is only one and will be the result of the average of the two parts of the course. Therefor, in order to obtain the final mark, the students should sit for both parts.

Teaching tools

During the course, additional materials (ie, judicial decisions, academic writings and videos) will be made available for student. Moreover, experts will be invited to hold lectures.

The course materials will be made available on the "virtuale" platform. The access to the platform is granted with the UNIBO credentials.

Office hours

See the website of Marina Timoteo

See the website of Angela Carpi


No poverty Quality education Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships for the goals

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.