General Courses

Example of Course Description

  • number of ECTS credits
  • type of course
  • number of semester periods per week
  • semester in which german students usually visit this lecture
  • previous knowledge required
  • type of exam

 

Description of course

German Legal History

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h/ WS
  • 1st semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral or written exam

 

Legal History provides an introduction to the development, change and decay of legal institutes, forms and ideas in German history. It focuses on the causes, forces, ideas and philosophical concepts which have influenced the development of the law – and still do. It aims at gaining a deeper understanding of the legal system. The course provides an overview of the history of private, constitutional, criminal and procedural law from the middle ages to the recent past.

Constitutional History of Modern Times

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h/ WS
  • 3rd semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral or written exam

 

Beginning with the situation of the empire at the end of the Middle Ages and ending with the time after the Second World War, the most important periods of constitutional history are presented and discussed in detail.

The course frames on the background and the correlation between the various historical events. The different German constitutions, particularly of the 19th and 20th century, are explained in detail and compared with each other to give the student a better understanding of the current constitution.

Criminal Law History of Modern Times

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 3rd semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral or written exam

 

Based on an overview about the punishment of criminal actions in the early Middle Ages and the genesis of the Criminal Law in the Middle Ages, the following subjects will be treated: The "Peinliche Halsgerichtsordnung" of Emperor Karl V. (carolina), the common Criminal Law, the era of Natural Law and the Age of Enlightenment, the 19th century as well as the developments in the 20th century including times of National Socialism and the former German Democratic Republic (DDR).

Introduction to the English Legal System and Terminology

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 1st semester
  • no prerequisites
  • written exam

 

The first part looks at the developments, the sources, the trial system, the terminology and the legal personnel to provide students with an understanding of e.g. case law, precedent and juries. The historical development of the Common Law and specific terminology (time before and following the Norman Conquest, the Common Law Courts, the spread of Common Law) is dealt with as well as the minor and major sources of law, e.g. custom, law merchant, canon law, books of authority, legislation, case law, EU-law. The different courts, e.g. Magistrates' Courts, County Courts, Crown Courts, High Courts of Justice, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and the trial system (adversarial system and jury) are explained and discussed. Education and function of judges, solicitors and barristers is focussed on as well as the function of law offices and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The second part of the course concentrates on particular areas of law that they might encounter in the students' later working life, e.g. Contract (formation and contents of the contract, void or voidable contracts, end of contract, remedies), Tort (fundamental principles of tortious liability, main torts) and basic principles of Company Law and European Union Law.

The course finishes with a written exam of 90 minutes.

Roman History of Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral exam

 

Subject of the course is the Roman history of law starting with the Early Period until Justinian’s Legislation during the 6th century A.D. The lecture shows the changes regarding the Roman Constitution starting with the kingdom of the eon, followed by the republic and eventually the absolutistic empire of the Late Antiquity. Furthermore, the lecture describes the development and advancement in the area of civil law and criminal law.

Roman Civil Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge in Civil Law
  • oral exam

 

Main topic of the lecture is the Civil law during the classic epoch (1st-3rd century A.D.) The major institutions of roman civil law will be discussed. Thid is an essential prerequisite for understanding of the current German civil law which is widely based on the antique Roman Law.

Methodology of Jurisprudence

  • 5 credits
  • Tutorial
  • 2h /SS
  • Erasmus students can participate in 2nd semester
  • Knowledge of Civil Law, Public Law and Criminal Law
  • written exam 

 

Introduction to legal methodology with reference to intellectual history and constitutional law (with explanations using cases and examples) with mock exams at the end of the semester and the beginning of the next semester.

Modern History of Private Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 4th semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral or written exam

 

The course looks at the history of Roman private law in the Middle Ages and modern times and illustrates the correlation between law and the respective cultural epochs. Medieval scholasticism, the renaissance, the period of enlightenment and the historicism of the last century will be covered as well as the influence of Germanic and canon law and of independent developments.

Introduction to Legal Philosophy

(not running in SS 2016)

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 2nd semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral or written exam

 

Legal Philosophy examines the methodical-systematic general principles of law and jurisprudence. Centred around the correctness and justice of law the course looks at the law’s meaning and purpose, as well as its origin, nature and validity.

The main questions of legal philosophy concern the establishment of positive law, the reasons for its effectiveness, justice and equality in the law and the purpose of law.

 

Introduction to German Law

  • 6 credits
  • lecture
  • 2h/ WS
  • 1 semester
  • written exam

Professors Hans-Heiner Kühne – Alexander Proelß – Thomas Rüfner

The course “Introduction to German Law” is designed for foreign students at the law faculty of the University of Trier. Students will be given an outline of the German legal system and will become familiar with the methodology of German law. The course will be taught in English. Important German legal terms will be explained. The course will emphasize legal methods and the solution of cases.

Prior knowledge of the German language or of German law is not required. However, some familiarity with the law and legal methods in general is expected.

The course in winter semester 2015/16 will comprise 14 units of 90 minutes each. Of the 14 units, six units will be devoted to private law and four to public law and criminal law respectively. Classroom presence is required throughout the course. Upon completion of the course, students may take a written exam. Those who are present in class and pass the test will earn 6 ECTS credits.

The following specific topics will be covered:

 

Public law

·         The German constitution (Basic Law); codes and statutes of administrative law.

·         Constitutional law: Fundamental rights, the federal structure of Germany, the branches of the federal government.

·         Administrative procedure, remedies in administrative law, police law.

 

Private Law

·         Important private law codes and statutes.

·         Contract law: Conclusion of contracts, remedies for non-performance, special rules for the sale of goods.

·         Non-contractual obligations: torts (esp. aquilian liability under s. 823(1) of the civil code, unjust enrichment.

·         Property: Possession and ownership. Transfer of movable and immovable property.

 

Criminal law

·         The Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure; other criminal statutes.

·         The structure of criminal liability: elements of crime, justifications and excuses.

·         Selected criminal offenses: Murder, infliction of bodily injury, theft, fraud.

 

Recommended reading

Michael Bohlander, Principles of German Criminal Law (2009).

Michael Bohlander, Principles of German Criminal Procedure (2012).

David P. Currie, The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany (1994).

Howard D. Fisher, The German Legal System an Legal Language, 4th ed. (2008).

Nigel Foster and Satish Sule, German Legal System and Laws, 3rd ed. (2002).

Anke Freckmann and Thomas Wegerich, TheGerman Legal System (1999).

Volker Krey, German Criminal Law, General Part. Textbook in German and English,
vol. 1
(2002).   vol.2 (2003)

Volker Krey, German Criminal Procedure Law, vol. 1 (2009).

Sabine Michalowski and Lorna Woods, German Constitutional Law: The protection of civil liberties (1999).

Matthias Reimann and Joachim Zekoll (eds.), Introduction to German Law, 2nd ed. (2012).

Gerald Spindler and Oliver Rieckers, Tort Law in Germany (2011).

Gerhard Robbers, An Introduction to German law, 5th ed. (2012).

German codes and statutes in English

English translations of many important statutes are available in print.

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Civil Law

Introduction to Civil Law I

  • 15 credits (will only be allocated by regular attendance of the accompanying tutorial)
  • Lecture
  • 6h /WS
  • 1st semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral or written exam

 

The one-year course is aimed at introducing first-year students to civil law. Selected areas of the first 3 books of the German Civil Code (BGB) are discussed. From the general part the law of legal transactions (paras. 104-231) is looked at in most detail.

The following areas of the general law of obligations are dealt with: interference with the performance of an obligation, contents of contracts, extinction of obligations, transfer of claims, assumption of debts and plurality of creditors and debtors. The lectures on the special law of obligations are mainly concerned with the law on contracts of sale, the law of torts and briefly with the law on unjust enrichment and negotiorum gestio. In the area of the law of property acquisition and protection of possession and ownership will be discussed.

Tutorial to the lecture 'Introduction to Civil Law I' for Erasmus and LL.M. students

  • 0 credits
  • accompanying tutorial
  • 2h /WS
  • 1st semester
  • no prerequisites
  • no exam - certificate will be awarded by regular attendance and collaboration

 

This course is exclusively offered for foreign students of the LL.M.. program and students of the Erasmus program. The tutorial starts parallel to the lecture "Introduction to Civil Law I" in winter semester and will be continued as ‘part II’ in the summer. By means of simple examples of law cases an introduction into the method of solving a case and into substantial civil law is given. This course serves moreover as preparation for a successful taking part in the ‘Tutorial for Beginners in Civil Law’, which is required for foreign LL.M. students. The difficulties of language are particularly taken into consideration by the lecturer.

Seminar for Erasmus and LL.M. Students

  • 10 credits
  • Seminar
  • 2h /WS
  • 1st semester
  • Basic knowledge of private law
  • Coursework and oral presentation

 

The course is aimed at providing the chance of examining a topic in more detail than is possible in a lecture. Therefore each seminar is given a particular heading, for example "contracts of sale in civil and commercial law". Each participant has to prepare a written paper on one of the aspects of the seminar topic and normally has to present this orally in front of the other students. The presentation is followed by a discussion with the speaker. Because of this a seminar is the course in which the students experience scientific analysis in most depth. Students on the LL.M. programme may only take the LL.M. exam if they have successfully participated in a seminar.

Contract Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 3rd semester
  • Knowledge of Civil Law
  • oral exam

 

The principles of the law of obligations form a body of rules which is equally applicable for all kinds of obligations not covered by specific rules. It constitutes one of the fundamental areas of Private Law and is also of some relevance to the public law. Extensive knowledge of the area is essential for the course of studies, the final examination and professional life. The lecture will be based on the introduction into German Private Law and repeat, deepen and supplement the provided material. It will focus on the areas which have not already been extensively covered within the introductionary lecture. Furthermore, the most important contractual obligations as well as their relationship to the basic principles of the law of obligations will be subject of the lecture.

Law of Property

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 3rd semester
  • Basic knowledge of private law and the law of obligations
  • oral or written exam

 

The third book of the German Civil Code (BGB) regulates the legal relations between persons and property, relating to both land and chattels. The most important legal relationship is ownership, but other limited rights also exist, such as a mortgage. The contents of these rights and the questions of how a person can acquire these rights, even from an unauthorised person, or lose them (for example through legal transactions or processing), are the areas of law regulated by the law of property, which are covered in the course.

Family Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 3rd semester
  • Basic knowledge of private law and the law of obligations
  • oral or written exam

 

The fourth book of the German Civil Code (BGB) regulates legal relationships related to marriage and family, including guardianship, curatorship and custody of persons of full age. The course mainly looks at the private law foundations of marital cohabitation, matrimonial property regime, divorce and consequences of divorce, and the law of parent and child.

Law of Civil Procedure I

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge of Civil Law
  • oral or written exam

 

The course covers the trial procedure under the Code of Civil Procedure ("Zivilprozeßordnung").

General principles of procedure, types of actions, the course of proceedings at first instance up to the delivery of the judgement, the various types of judgements and their effect, especially res judicata will be discussed. In addition to this special forms of proceedings - for example default proceedings - and the termination of litigation without judgement - withdrawal of the action, settlement of the main issue, settlement in court - will be looked at. At the end there will be an overview of the remedies of appeal on points of fact and law, appeal on points of law only and appeal on points of procedure.

Labour Law

  • 7,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 3h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge of Civil Law
  • oral exam

 

The lecture shall give a review of the German Labour Law. Especially the close interaction of the Collective and Individual Labour Law thereby is of significance. After an introduction to the basic principles of Labour Law follows an outline of the law of collective bargaining and the law of industrial relations. They are the central subject matters of the Collective Labour Law and have a great bearing on the rights and duties in the individual labour relation. However, the focus of the lecture is on the Individual Labour Law that is the law of labour contract and the law on the individual employer-employee relationship. The different questions that the Individual Labour Law imposes – namely from the emergence to the termination of the labour relation – will be treated during the lectures. In the same time, the lecturer will point out the influences of the Collective Labour Law on each of these questions.

Collective Labour Law II

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 7th semester
  • Knowledge of Collective Labour Law I
  • oral exam

 

While the course "Collective Labour Law I" gave a systematic overview of the whole field of collective labour law, in the course "Collective Labour Law II" only a few important or difficult problems will be singled out for intensive examination, e.g. problems of the law of industrial disputes, the law concerning collective bargaining and especially problems of the works constitution. This course should not be taken by students who have no prior knowledge of German collective labour law, as it builds up on the knowledge gained during the course "Collective labour law I".

European and International Uniform Law

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h /SS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge of Private Law
  • oral or written exam

 

Uniform law results in identical legal rules being in force in two or more legal systems. The lecture deals with the creation and application of uniform law. Different instruments for legal harmonization will be discussed. The main focus of the course will be on the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) that has entered into force in more than 80 countries and provides uniform rules for cross-border sales worldwide.

Comparative Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge of Private Law
  • oral or written exam

 

The course introduces the concept, functions and aims of comparative law. It then provides an overview over the legal families of the world – with a special focus on the common law and the continental European systems. Legal traditions, the different legal sources (statutory law or case law) and the respective role of judges, legislators and academics in the process of law-finding will be considered. The main part of the lecture is devoted to the comparison of concrete issues taken from contract, tort and property law (eg contract formation, agency, or vicarious liability). It will include the discussion of original sources and transnational model rules.

Introduction to Private International Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge of Private Law
  • oral or written exam

The main issue of private international law is: Which law is to be applied in a certain case? The lecture “Introduction to Private International Law” gives an overview of how to find an answer to this question.
The lecture focuses on the general rules of private international law. After an overview over the basic principles of this area of law, these rules will be discussed with the help of practical examples. These examples are mainly taken from the law of successions, family law and contract law. Particular attention will be paid to the Europeanization of private international law.

Capital Corporate Law II

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge in Commercial and Company Law
  • oral or written exam

 

The course Corporations I, which is offered in the summer semester, introduces the two most important German corporate forms, the GmbH and the AG. In contrast, Corporations II concentrates on five special areas of corporate law: (1) European company law, (2) Law of corporate groups ("Konzernrecht"), (3) reformation of corporations ("Umwandlungsrecht" i.e., merger, split-up of companies), (4) takeover-law ("Übernahmerecht"), (5) securities law ("Kapitalmarktrecht"). A basic understanding of (not necessary: German) corporate law is required. The course is designed for students specialising in enterprise law, but is open to other law students as well.

Consumer Private Law ( Law of Obligations applied to consumer)

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h/ WS
  • 5th semester

Subjects of the course are special rules about consumer protection (§ 310 BGB) and other contractual obligations where consumers (§13 BGB) and traders (§14 BGB) are involved: 

Doorstep selling and distance selling contracts (§ 312 ff. BGB), sale of consumer goods (§§ 474-479 BGB) etc.

The core area of this lecture is to aquire the special consumer contract provisions.

In regard of the EU directive 2011/83/EU the current Consumer Private Law will change far-reaching. The lecture will deal with both situations- the old legal position as well as the new one.

In-depht Lecture Commercial and Company Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h/ WS
  • 6th semester
  • oral exam

 

The student’s knowledge acquired during the introductory lecture is - inductively supported by case studies – extended. Prerequisite for participation is a prior attendance of the introductory lecture 'Business and Corporate Law'.

European and International Law of Civil Procedure

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • knowledge of civil procedural law
  • oral or written exam

Cross-border civil proceedings are assuming increasing importance due to globalization and the internal market of the European Union. Accordingly, the lecture focuses on key issues of European and international procedural law. Apart from its fundamental principles and sources of law, particular attention will be paid to international jurisdiction, the initiation and implementation of proceedings (including, inter alia, the service of documents and taking of evidence) as well as the recognition and enforcement of foreign decisions. Several legal instruments of EU law will be analysed on the basis of leading case law of the European Court of Justice. The course will also address current developments and the procedural law of the European Court.

Introduction to Civil Law II

  • 10 credits (will only be allocated by regular attendance of the accompanying tutorial)
  • Lecture
  • 4h /SS
  • 2nd semester
  • Participation in the lecture 'Introduction to Civil Law I'
  • oral or written exam

 

For the content of this course: see winter-semester Introduction to Civil Law I.

Tutorial to the lecture 'Introduction to Civil law II' for Erasmus and LL.M-students

  • 0 credits
  • accompanying tutorial
  • 2h /SS
  • 2nd semester
  • Participation in the lecture 'Introduction to Civil Law I + II'
  • no exam - certificate will be awarded by regular attendance and collaboration

 

Tutorial running parallel to the course 'Introduction to Civil Law II': The topics covered in the lectures will be repeated and supplemented, particularly by discussion of cases and examples in small groups and mock exams.

Law of Inheritance

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 4th / 6th semester
  • Knowledge of Civil Law
  • oral or written exam

 

Introduction: the law of inheritance in the social and economic context, constitutional foundations and principles.

Inheritance: transferability by succession of rights and duties. - Appointment of an heir: intestate succession and succession in accordance with a disposition of the deceased. - Exclusion from succession: disinheritance, unworthiness to inherit, renunciation of future inheritance. - Acquisition under the rules of the law of succession: acceptance of an inheritance, disclaimer of an estate. Instructions of the deceased: restriction by reversion or execution of a will, charging with testamentary gift or testamentary burden. - Contents and restrictions of a will: interpretation of wills, invalidity because of unconscionability, restrictions by rights to a compulsory share. - Protection of the heir (claim to an inheritance, subrogation). - Protection of legal relations: certificate of inheritance. - Community of heirs. Liability of the heir for the debts of the estate.

Non-contractual Obligations

  • 7,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 3h /SS
  • 4th semester
  • Basic knowledge of private law
  • oral or written exam

 

This is a special lecture on restitution, unjust enrichment and negotiorium gestio. All these fields are of particular importance in the theoretical context of the German Legal System. They are difficult to understand and highly controversial in theory and practice.

Law of Civil Procedure II

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Participation in the lecture: 'Law of Civil Procedure'
  • oral or written exam

 

The course is aimed at advanced students who are already familiar with the trial procedure under the Code of Civil Procedure. The first part looks at the law of judicial execution. Prerequisites of execution, the various kinds of singular execution and the appeals against judicial execution will be discussed.

Collective Labour Law I

  • 7,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 3h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Participation in the lecture: 'Labour Law I'
  • oral or written exam

 

Collective Labour Law is referred to as the regulations that give employees the possibility to participate in the regulation of their labour relations. This means that special coalitions (trade unions) or representatives who have been elected by the employees (works council, representatives of the employees in supervisory boards of companies) act on behalf of the employees. The union agreements and the agreements between works council and management thereby are the most important means of design. The lecture shall give a review of the legal basis and the coherences of Collective Labour Law. The first part will cover the law of collective bargaining and the fields of law connected with it (the right of association and the law of trade dispute). The second part presents the law of industrial relations that is the regulation of the employees’ co-determination in the business by establishing works councils. The third part attends to the corporate co-determination that is the co-determination of the employees in the organs of the company ( f. ex. the supervisory board of a German AG or GmbH).

European and International Labour Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Basic knowledge of Labour Law
  • oral exam

 

The European and International legal basis are of increasing importance for the Labour Law. Looking only at the national legal systems delivers an incomplete insight into the coherences of the respective regulations. Particularly at the level of the European Community Law more and more directives interfere with the legal relationships of the parties involved in the labour relation. But also at the level of the Public International Law a series of legal norms, especially the European Social Charter and the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), affect the Labour Law in the national legal systems. The lecture shall introduce these special sources of law and illustrate the interaction with the national legal systems. Furthermore, the lecturer will give a review of the contents of the most important regulations. 

Safeguarding of Credits Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 4th semester
  • Knowledge in Civil Law
  • oral or written exam

 

The safeguarding of credits is a practical very important part of law, that is indeed characterized by a clear focus on the interests in property. The safeguarding of credits are closely related to other fields of law such as the doctrine of legal transactions, the law of obligations and especially to the insolvency law. Credits law shows interaction between the lien regulated by law and the securities which were developed by practice of contract. Following an introduction of the main principles, the most important personal securities (suretyship, guarantee, collateral promise), the physical securities of movable properties and claims (pledge, retention of title, chattel mortgage) and the securities of immobile properties (mortgage, land charge) will be discussed. The current jurisdiction will be taken into consideration and numerous well known cases will be illustrated.

Commercial and Company Law

  • 7,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 3h /SS
  • 4th semester
  • Knowledge of Civil Law
  • oral or written exam

 

Commercial law is the specific private law of businessmen, the sum total of rules relating only to them. These rules are different from the general rules of private law, they include i.e. the registery of companies, agencies and commercial sales. 'Businessmen' in the context of these rules are traders with special qualifying characteristics. However commercial law is not linked to the company as an organisational unit. Companies are associations of individuals which have the qualifications to be traders.

Insolvency Law I/ II

  • 7,5 credits
  • lecture
  • 3h /SS
  • 6. Semester
  • prior knowledge in Company Law
  • oral or written exam

Subjects of the lecture are the theoretical fundamentals and most important practical problems of Insolvency Law. This special field of law is of highest relevands for forensic working lawyers and those giving legal advice as well as for company-lawyers.

Germany is currently facing about 150.000 Insolvency cases per year, 35.000 of them are company insolvences. The field of Insolvency Law does not just include the special legal problems related to the insolvency but as well legal aspects of Commercial and Company Law, Contract Law, Labour Law, Tax Law etc.

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Capital Corporate Law I

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Knowledge in Commercial and Company Law
  • oral or written exam

 

Legal fundamentals regarding the law of Ltd and joint stock company: term and essence; formation; internal organization, legal relations participation, termination; future prospects of EU- Law and international civil law, commutation, group law. 

Law of International Trade

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Knowledge in Commercial and Company Law
  • oral exam

 

This lecture looks at the relevant aspects of international private law for international trade, e.g. contracts, product liability, competition law, security of credit, company law and the European and International Uniform Law. In that context, a focus is set on the CISG. Furthermore, other approaches to unify the law of international trade are discussed, e.g. the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts, the International Law of Standard Terms (e.g. INCOTERMS), and finally, the International Commercial Arbitration.

German and European Insurance Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • prior knowledge in Civil Law
  • oral or written exam

 

The course mainly looks at the German Insurance Contract Law which is regulated in the German Insurance Contract Act (VVG). It covers the contractual relations between insurer and insured. The course also discusses the basics of Insurance Supervision Law and its references to Insurance Company Law. The insurance supervision law regulated in the German Insurance Supervision Act (VAG) is mainly based on European Law. Important parts of the German Insurance Contract Law are also based on European Law. These European foundations will be discussed intensively. 

International Dispute Resolution

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h/ SS
  • 5th semester
  • knowledge of (international) civil procedural law
  • oral or written exam

 

Commercial parties may choose means to settle their disputes other than by court litigation. Among these, international commercial arbitration is of particular importance. The lecture deals with the principles of international arbitration and the arbitration procedure from the conclusion of an arbitration agreement to the enforcement of the arbitral award. The arbitration rules of different arbitration organizations and practical examples will be considered. A look at other means of dispute resolution completes the course.

Criminal Law

Introduction to Criminal Law I

  • 10 credits
  • Lecture
  • 4h /WS
  • 1st semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral or written exam

 

The course offers an introduction to the historic and intellectual foundations of current German criminal law. Furthermore important terminology and institutions of the general part of the Criminal Code are presented in context, i.e. the elements of crime (facts, illegality, culpability), the individual justifications and the reasons for excluding liability.

Criminal Law Special Part I (excluding offences against property)

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 3rd semester
  • Knowledge of the general part of criminal law
  • oral or written exam

 

The course covers the most important offences against legally protected rights of the person (for example life, physical integrity, freedom of movement and of will, honour) and againts legally protected rights of society as a whole (such as offences against the authority of the state, against the administration of justice, against the security of legal dealings when handling documents).

Criminal Law Special Part II (offences against property)

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 3rd semester
  • Knowledge of the general part of criminal law
  • oral or written exam

 

The course consists of a description of criminal acts in the special part of the Criminal Law Code which consist of crimes against ownership and other specific assets, including property as a whole. The relevant regulations are presented in their systematic context and are exemplified by case studies.

Law of Criminal Procedure I

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • prior knowledge of Criminal Law
  • oral or written exam

 

 

This lecture deals with the fundamentals of law of criminal proceedings. In particular the course goes into the field of trial compulsory measures.

 

European and International Criminal Law and Criminal Procedural Law I - 5 credits

  • lecture
  • 2h/WS
  • 5th Semester
  • oral exam

Subjects of the lecture are the fundamentals of European and International Criminal Law and Criminal Procedural Law especially the law concerning application of sentences and its basic principles.

Furthermore it will be looked at the European Union's competences for criminal legislation, the principles of (legal) assimilation and the primacy in application for EU-Law. Another topic will be the interpretation of German Law according to EU-Law.

Criminal Business Law

  • 5 credits
  • lecture
  • 2h/WS
  • 5th Semester
  • prior knowledge in Criminal and Criminal Procedural Law
  • oral exam

 

 

The priorities of this course are set on the formal and the material law on criminal prosecution for tax offenders as well as the deepening of criminal law regarding capital.

The lecture especially deals with the following branches:

·         corruption criminal law

·         insolvency law

·         money market - and balance sheet law with regard to criminal law as well as sanctions concerning white collar crime and the peculiarity of business criminal proceedings.

 

Legal Consequences of a Criminal Offence (Introduction)

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h/ WS
  • no prerequisites
  • oral exam

The lecture starts with an overview of penal theories and the premises of penalties. Thereafter it looks at the different types of penalties such as prison sentence, fines, bans on driving , the basics of sentencing procedure and incidental legal consequences.

The concept of care orders will be discussed as well.

Introduction to Criminal Law II

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 2nd semester
  • Participation in the lecture: 'Introduction to Criminal Law I'
  • oral exam

 

The lecture gives an introduction to elements of the General Part of the German Criminal Code (actus reus and participation in a crime, omission, negligence, concurrence, award of punishment) and a first referral to the Special Part of the German Criminal Code.

Criminal Procedural Law II

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • prior knowledge of Criminal Law
  • oral or written exam

 

 

This lecture mainly looks at the phases of criminal proceedings (preliminary proceedings, interlocutory proceedings, main proceedings) and examinates in particular the permissible compulsory measures of preliminary proceedings. Afterwards the course shows the process of main proceedings and the fundamentals of judgment. Furthermore the lecture deals with subjects like remedies or how to lodge an appeal.

 

European and International Criminal Law and Criminal Procedural Law II 5 credits

  • lecture
  • 2h/ SS
  • 6th Semester
  • oral exam

The second part of the lecture follows up part I held in winter semester.

Topics are the fundamentals of European Criminal Law with special reference to the legal situation according to the Lisbon Treaty of 1.12.2009; the Council of Europe (Europarat) and the European Convention of Human Rights (EMRK), focussing on to the basic principles and the individual guarantees of the Human Rights Convention.

Furthermore the lecture will give an introduction to International Criminal Law paying special attention to the historical development and current functions of the International Criminal Court. The relations between the German Code of Crimes against International Law (VStGB = Völkerstrafrecht) and the Statute of Rome will be looked at as well. 

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Law regarding Tax Offences (Introduction)

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h/ SS

The main emphasis of this lecture are corruption criminal law, insolvency law, money market - and balance sheet law with regard to criminal law as well as sanctions concerning white collar crime and the peculiarity of business criminal proceedings.

Courses

Legitimation of Criminal Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h/ SS

The course offers the opportunity to look closer on questions concerning criminal law such as:

-       medical intervention as bodily harm

-       problems in perpetration of an offence in commission using the internet

-       conviction features etc.

There is also the possibility to write a seminar paper and to give an oral presentation. To have enough time to create the seminar paper, the course will be done in block seminar in the end of the semester.

The object of this course is especially:

-       critical examination of wrong turns in criminal law

-       the deepening of individual dogmatic questions

-       opportunity to obtain the certificate of successful attendance at the seminar

Courses

Public Law

Introduction to Public Law - Fundamental Rights

  • 7,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 3h /WS
  • 1st semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral exam

 

Following the description of the concept and history of fundamental rights and the various levels of guarantee the general principles of basic rights which have been developed by the science of public law will be explained. The problems of who is protected by fundamental rights and who can claim under fundamental rights have to be discussed as to the function and the scope of fundamental rights. The special problems of renunciation and forfeiture of basic rights are also part of the general principles of basic rights and therefore have to be dealt with in this context. Finally an overview is given of the determination of an infringement of a fundamental right in cases of onerous interference with rights of personal freedom. The main part of the course consists of a description of the individual basic rights themselves which are divided into rights of freedom, of equality and of procedure; interferences with basic rights and constitutional justification thereof will be discussed by way of case examples.

Law of Constitutional Procedure

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h /WS
  • 1st semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral exam

 

The Federal Constitutional Court has a decisive influence on constitutional law in the Federal Republic of Germany. The proceedings in which it decides have become especially important: Petitions to the Constitutional Court, judicial proceedings on the constitutionality of laws, actions of one public body against another and disputes between the Federal State and the 'Länder'.

The aim of the course is to present an overview over the proceedings of constitutional procedure and especially the function of the Federal Constitutional Court.

General Administrative Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester

Following an introduction to the tradition of administrative law and its position in the German legal system the constitutional foundations will be discussed. The sources of administrative law as the basis of the administration bound by law are explained and the various kinds, their different binding characters and their hierarchy are described. Emphasis is placed on administrative acts and administrative procedure, including administrative enforcement. Part of the course covers the law on the organisation of administration and the law on public property; finally an overview is given over the basic principles of legal protection under administrative law and the law on state liability.<//span>

Planning Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge of General Administrative Law
  • oral exam

 

The course covers the objects of the law on the planning of building projects and the law of building regulations. Regarding the planning of building projects emphasis is placed on zoning legal protection, planning defects and their legal consequences, regulation of the use of land, instruments for the protection of plans and the legal protection of adjoining owners. All this is looked at on the basis of the planning law code. As far as the law on building regulations is concerned the course will deal with questions of accident prevention and building inspection and especially with questions of building permissions, notice of building works and powers of intervention of the building inspectorate. These areas will be looked at on the basis of the Rhineland-Palatinate building regulations.

Local Government Law

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge of the principles of public law
  • oral or written exam

 

The course provides an overview over local government law, using the example of the Rhineland-Palatinate local government code: Local self-administration, fields of operation, spheres of activity, supervision, the constitution of a local authority, institutions of a local authority, local authority economy, budgetary principles.

Social Law I (Introduction to the Social Law and Social Security Law)

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h/ WS
  • 6th semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral exam

 

This lecture deals with the terminology and sources of law regarding social law, the importance of the constitution in respect to social law, the general rules applying to social security law (SGB I, IV), as well as legislation referring to compulsory health insurance (SGB V).  Further topics are administrative procedures from a social law perspective (SGB 10), and the status of legal protection within the social law (SGG). The principal of benefit in kind is the focus of health insurance law (SGB V) and the law regarding fund doctors poses as an example for the provision of performance law.

Climate Change Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge of General Administrative Law
  • oral exam

 

The lecture deals with questions of Environmental Constitutional Law and the proceedings relating to Environmental Law.

 

Law of Emission Control and Recycling Management

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge of General Administrative Law
  • oral exam

 

 

This lecture focusses upon federal regulations in the Federal Imission Control Act (Bundesimmissionsschutzgesetz) and the Recycling Management Act (Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz).

Furthermore questions of Hazardous Substances Law and Radiation Protection Law will be highlighted.

The Waste Management Law deals with the legal requirements of recycling management and its standards set by European Union Law.

It will be looked closely at the different categories of waste, the obligation to make waste available and the governmental competences for encroachments upon infringements.

European Union Law 

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge in State Law
  • oral exam

 

This lectures is aimed to give an overview of the organs, methods of work, and general principles of the law of the European Union. Emphasis is placed upon the development of the law especially due to the eminent influence of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, e.g. precedence over national law, direct applicability of directives, questions of liability.
In addition, the different acts of law of the European Communities and the legal protection of its citizens are dealt with, as well as current legal developments. The relationship between European Law and the law of the Member States will be part of the lecture, too.

Basic Principles of Public International Law

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h /WS
  • 3rd semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral exam

 

The lecture gives an introduction to public international law and is complementing the lectures about German Public Law and EU-Law with an international dimension. The public international subject in point of law, its fondation, the relation between Public International Law and National Constitutional Law is described and an overview about several subjects of regulation is given.

In-depth lecture European Law 

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge in European Law
  • oral exam

 

In this lecture, areas which could only be presented in an overview within the obligatory subjects program will be covered in depth. Among these areas are:

· (Fundamental) Freedoms and fundamental rights
· Institutional questions

In-depth lecture Public International Law 

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 5th semester
  • Knowledge in Public International Law
  • oral exam

 

This lecture is based on the obligatory lecture “Basic Aspects Public International Law” and can therefore deal with special areas of Public International Law in detail:

· Rights and obligations of States as well as State responsibility
· Public International Law concerning economic Questions (WTO)
· The law governing international organizations
· Settlement of international disputes

Public Law

  • 10 credits
  • Lecture
  • 4h /SS
  • 2nd semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral or written exam

 

The course offers an introduction to Public Law and mainly looks at the structure and position of the constitutional institutions, the basic principles of the electoral system and the law relating to political parties; furthermore the fundamental provisions of the Basic Law relating to the structure and the aims of the state, the distributions of competencies and the legislative process are covered.

Law of Administrative Procedure

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 4th semester
  • Knowledge of the principles of public law
  • oral or written exam

 

Illustration of the structure of an action in administrative law with emphasis on the typical procedural and legal issues. Emphasis is placed on the various types of action in administrative law, the delimitation of public and private law litigation and the necessity of a violation of the plaintiff’s personal rights to create an admissible claim.

Law of State Compensation

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 4th semester
  • Knowledge of the principles of public law
  • oral or written exam

 

The course looks at the instruments of Public Law to breaches of the relevant provisions by public bodies. Examples are used to illustrate claims to forbearance or elimination, elimination of consequences and compensation according to the principles of public liability.

Police Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 4th semester
  • Knowledge of General Administrative Law
  • oral or written exam

 

The lecture gives an introduction to police law as one branch of special administrative law. The course deals mainly with the structure and responsibility of police authorities as well as their tasks and powers of intervention. Both the unlisted actions of the police and those which are listed as standard measures will be discussed starting from the comprehensive clauses of paras. 1 and 9 of the Police Code of Rhineland-Palatinate. Emphasis is placed on the principle of proportionality as the most important limit of police actions under the rule of law.

The historic origins and development of police law will also be dealt with.

Social Law II (Special part of the Social Security Law)

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Knowledge in Social Insurance Law
  • oral or written exam

 

This lecture ties in with the lecture on Social Law I and deals with:
- compensation insurance law (SGB VII),
- promotion of employment (SGB III),
- basic assurance for job seekers (SGB II),
- pension funds (SGB VI),
- social long term care insurance (SGB XI) and
- European Social law

International and European Environmental Law 

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Knowledge in Environmental Law
  • oral exam

Topics of the lecture are the environmental aspects of Public International Law and the Environmental Law of the EU.

In a general part the lecture looks at the fundamental principles which are relevant in both International and European Environmental Law, like development, main actors, legal sources and competences. The more special part of the lecture deals with the protection of the individual media in International and European Environmental Law: protection of waters and oceans; protection of air, ozone defense shield and climate; protection of bio-diversity and species; rules concerning waste and dangerous substances.

Moreover, the International Environmental Law is put into context to the general Public International Law especially concerning the liability for environmental damages, the peaceful settling of disputes as well as the relation to Human Rights, armed conflicts and the trade.

Infrastructure Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Knowledge in Environmental Law
  • oral exam

 The lecture focusses to the authorization for encroachment according to Nature Conservation Law as well as the specific character of the proceedings in Nature Conservation Law known in Germany as "Huckepack"-proceedings.

 

A part of the lecture is dedicated to laws pertaining to water and especially to questions of rights to use waters and to the development of waters.

 

Technical Law

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • no prerequisites
  • oral exam

 

This lecture gives an introduction to the law of technical safety.

It intends to point out the special structure of regulations in this field of law where state laws are complemented by private technical rules (engineering rules). This is exemplified by selected laws, i.e. „Geräte- und Produktsicherheitsgesetz“ (Product Safety Law).

A strong focus will be on legal problems concerning technical standardization both on a national and a European level.

Special areas of European Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Knowledge in European Law
  • oral exam

 

The topic of this lecture are the fields of politics in the European Union.

Special areas of Public International Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /SS
  • 6th semester
  • Knowledge in Private International Law
  • oral exam

 

This lecture presents and provides closer insight to special areas of Public International Law. Particularly the following areas can be considered:

- Human Rights Protection

- The Law of the Sea

- International Criminal Law

- Humanitarian Law

European and International Unity Law

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h /SS

Further information will follow.

Income Tax Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS

 

 

Income tax is a levy that is imposed on the income of an individual person. It comprises the declared financial power of the taxpayer during a certain period and is orientated on the precept of taxation according to the individual capacity to pay. Income tax is regarded as the “Queen of taxes”. It forms the essence and basis for a fiscal law education. After giving a brief insight into the historical development, this lecture will initially discuss the meaning and essential basics. Thereafter, it will deal with personal income tax liability, the various categories of income and the different ways of income determination in detail. In this context, emphasis is placed on cash basis accounting (Tax Accounting Law is object of a discrete lecture). Finally, the various deduction positions of earned expenditure (advertising costs and business expenses) as well as private deductions and discounts (special expenses, extraordinary expenses) will be intensely discussed.

 

Sales Tax Law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS

 

 

Sales tax is measured against tax revenue the second important tax and concerns as general consumption tax almost every economic exchange of goods and services. The historical development will be initially discussed in the lecture and the essential basics in contrast to the income tax will be emphasised. Sales tax is a harmonised tax relevant to Union Law and in this respect the lecture offers also strong reference to the European Law. The individual criteria of sales tax will be explained in detail, especially the definition which is relevant for the characteristic of a taxable person and the requirements for a taxable transaction (supply of goods or services). Individual criteria of tax exemption, the special features for determination of the assessment basis as well as the various tax rates will be introduced. Then the focus will be on the right to input tax deduction. The lecture is topped off with statements to the International Sales Tax Law.

 

Introduction to Corporate Law

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h /WS

 

 

The lecture imparts the necessary knowledge for the comprehension of the company taxation in Corporate Law. For this purpose, basic principles of the Limited Liability Company Law and the Stock Corporation Law are presented and, in particular, questions of capital raising and maintenance as well as the internal structures of private limited company and AG (public limited company) are discussed. Furthermore, the lecture gives an overview of the Group and Transformation Law. Finally, the International and European Company Law will be discussed. For this, the lecture will deal in particular with the requirements for the activities of foreign companies in Germany and the possibility of cross-border transformation.

 

 

Accounting law

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS

 

 

The lecture presents the basics of book-keeping and balancing according to commercial and tax law. The emphasis is placed on the treatment of rules of the individual financial statement under German Commercial Law. Besides, the lecture introduces the system of the international accounting according to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IAS/IFRS) and gives an overview on national rules for the consolidated financial statement. Finally, Tax Accounting Law will be discussed in detail. The various types of tax profit determination will be introduced thereby and the parallels and differences between the legal commercial and tax accounting will be worked out.

 

Inheritance and Gift Tax Law

  • 2,5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 1h /WS

 

 

The lecture provides an introduction to the German Inheritance and Gift Tax Law. After an overview of the constitutional basics and the development of the inheritance and gift tax, the treatment of the individual taxable facts of acquisition with particular consideration of the backgrounds according to inheritance and family law is on the focus of the lecture. Furthermore, the course gives an overview of tax evaluation rules as far as they are of significance for the inheritance and gift taxes. Finally, the tax exemption rules and in particular the special provisions for business assets are discussed in detail.

 

Fiscal Code

  • Lecture
  • 2h/ SS
  • 5 credits

 

 

 

The fiscal code rules the “general part” of tax law and includes the law of tax liability and tax procedure law in particular. Taxes apply to a special administrative law which is largely parallel to the general administrative law. A central term is – as in general administrative law – the administrative act. The procedural part of the lecture deals with inter alia its efficiency and the correction of faulty assessments. Particular attention shall be paid to the category of tax assessments. There are difficult conditions for these special tax administrative acts which take account of an increased legal validity. The law of tax liability, the procedures of survey and enforcement as well as the opposition procedure as out-of-court remedy belong to the further content of the lecture. Finally, the proceeding before the Fiscal Court according to the FGO (Code of Fiscal Court Procedure) is presented in fundamentals.

 

European and International Tax Law

  • Lecture
  • 2h/ SS
  • 5 credits

 

 

The International Tax Law rules cases with foreign aspects, such which apply to the scope of several national tax codes. As the internationalization of the economy grows, but also by the increasing cross-border mobility of people, many tax cases are affected therefrom; especially Corporate Tax Law cannot be practiced without the appropriate knowledge. The lecture deals with the causes of international double taxation as well as national and international regulations for the splitting of taxation powers between the countries. A second focus of the lecture is on the guidelines of European Treaties for national Income Tax Law. The emphasis here is on the fundamental freedoms of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union as well as on the significance of the state aid rules for tax credits particularly in the field of company taxation.

 

Corporate Tax Law

  • Lecture
  • 2h/ SS
  • 5 credits

 

 

The lecture presents the company taxation in Germany. It depends on the legal form. While German corporations are subject to corporation tax, partnerships are neither taxable entity to income tax nor to corporation tax. Rather, the partners of partnerships are liable to income tax just as individual entrepreneurs. The lecture deals with the taxation of the various legal forms and thereby, it considers also the taxation of shareholders. Moreover, the trade tax will be introduced. The last part of the lecture discusses the company split-up as a special problem and gives an overview on the Transformation Tax Act.

 

FFA I Anglo-American Law

English Legal System and Terminology

  • 5 credits
  • Lecture
  • 2h /WS
  • 1st semester
  • written exam

 

The first part looks at the developments, the sources, the trial system, the terminology and the legal personnel to provide students with an understanding of e.g. case law, precedent and juries. The historical development of the Common Law and specific terminology (time before and following the Norman Conquest, the Common Law Courts, the spread of Common Law) is dealt with as well as the minor and major sources of law, e.g. custom, law merchant, canon law, books of authority, legislation, case law, EU-law. The different courts, e.g. Magistrates' Courts, County Courts, Crown Courts, High Courts of Justice, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and the trial system (adversarial system and jury) are explained and discussed. Education and function of judges, solicitors and barristers is focussed on as well as the function of law offices and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The second part of the course concentrates on particular areas of law that they might encounter in the students' later working life, e.g. Contract (formation and contents of the contract, void or voidable contracts, end of contract, remedies), Tort (fundamental principles of tortious liability, main torts) and basic principles of Company Law and European Union Law.

The course finishes with a written exam of 90 minutes.

American Common Law Legal Research

  • lecture
  • 5 credits
  • 2h/ WS
  • 1st Semester
  • written exam

 

This course introduces the students to the American Common Law legal system, including the concept of dual sovereignty ( federal and state parallel government systems, including the courts) and the concept of "precedent," which means that prior court decisions in legal cases have the same force of law as codes within that legal jurisdiction. The course then shows the students how to research the law - particularly case law - in the multiple jurisdictions in the United States. The research is done on line, in classes of 12-13 students, using Westlaw and other on-line search engines suchas FindLaw and GoogleScholar.

Grading in this class is based on a first quiz, which counts for 20-25% of the final grade and is an in-class test lasting a maximum of 50-60 minutes, plus a final exam, which counts for the other 75-80% of the final grade and is a "take-home" test requiring the students to research several legal questions from clients, just as they might do in a law firm.

English Law and Terminology 

  • lecture
  • 5 credits
  • 2h/ SS
  • 2nd Semester
  • written exam 

In the summer semester ‘English Law and Terminology’ is part 2 (of the previous winter semester’s  part 1) with the topics of Constitutional Law, where the nature of the constitution and constitutional principles are analysed. Equity and Trusts looks at the historical development as well as the maxims and remedies. Contract Law deals with important elements like formation, contents, remedies etc. Tort Law includes an understanding for the main torts, eg defamation, nuisance, trespass and negligence.  Company Law and Commercial Law look at business enterprises, how they can be organised and their relationship respectively.  European Law deals with the history, sources and looks at substantive EC law. These are weekly tutorials, 90 minutes each. As well as regular attendance the students are obliged to give a presentation on a chosen legal topic  (by the student/s and/or the tutor)  either as an individual or in a group of maximum 4 students.

 

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American Legal Writing

  • lecture
  • 5 credits
  • 2h/ SS
  • 2nd semester
  • written exam

 

This course quickly reviews the concepts of dual sovereignty and precedent (originally presented in the research class) and then focuses on how to carefully read and interpret American case law and use the principles gained from the cases to analyze a legal question. The course then provides in-depth coverage of the structure for the legal analysis in a common law jurisdiction. Such an analysis forms the major part of the student's final exam, which is writing a "Legal Memorandum," using the same form that would be required in an American law firm.

Grading in this class includes a first exam, a take-home test, which counts 20-25% of the final grade and requires the students to answer questions about several cases to test the students' abilities to closely read and understand a case opinion. The final memo, which counts for the other 75-80% of the final grade, is a take-home test in which the students get a "client file," similar to what they might get from a supervising lawyer in a firm, and they must write a "Legal Memorandum" providing an objective analysis of the client's legal question.