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Comparative Law and Digitalization

Course Level

intermediate - advanced / 3rd - 4th year

Course Language


Course Classification

This is a Themis course. It is also open to non-Themis students.

Contact Hours

2 hrs per week


5 (if course has been attended regularly and exam has been passed)


This course will be taught at irregular intervals. It will be available rather in the summer term than in the winter term.

Teaching Mode

This course is being taught online. Students have to be available during the course hours indicated in the electronic course catalogue.

Time Schedule

please see our electronic course catalogue

Content of this Course

The subject's main objective is to allow the student to acquire a panoramic view of different legal systems, enriching the notion of law and demonstrating that the ways of conceiving and solving legal problems vary throughout the different legal systems, which allows visualizing the contingent nature of law and its understanding as a social and changing phenomenon.

The study of Comparative Law, together with the habits of research and reading of various materials, prepares the student for a better understanding of the legal culture and legal systems of other countries. Consequently, it facilitates study abroad and international legal practice.


Introduction. Comparative Law as an academic discipline

  • Comparative Law as a method and as a science
  • Macro-comparison: Analysis of legal systems
  • Micro-comparison: Analysis of singular institutions
  • Functional comparison as the main method of the discipline
  • The functions of Comparative Law
  • Comparative Law as a necessary tool in the Digital Age

Legal families

  • Grouping in families
  • Romanist Family
  • German Family
  • Common Law
  • Mixed systems
  • Islamic Law
  • Legal Systems in transition
French Law. Structure and institutions
  • Historical evolution
  • The Civil Code and codification
  • From individualism to the collective spirit
  • The duality between Civil Law and Commercial Law
  • Judicial system and rules of procedure
  • The influence of French Law
German Law. Stucture and Institutions
  • Historical evolution
  • BGB
  • The revitalization of Law through general clauses
  • The duality between Civil and Commercial Law
  • Judicial system and rules of procedure
  • Institutions characteristic of German law: the principle of abstraction
  • The influence of German law
Common Law. Structure and Institutions
  • Historical evolution
  • The duality of the system: Common Law and Equity
  • Sources of Law: legal rule and precedent against legislation, Secondary sources: Custom and Restatements
  • Rules of procedure
  • Som of the institutions characteristic of Common Law: Consideration, Parol Evidence Rule, Ultra Vires Doctrine, Punitive damages, Class Action, etc.
  • North American Law
Comparative Law in Practice: Contract Law
  • The harmonization of contract law
  • Binding nature of contractual obligations
  • Formation of the contract
  • Contract validity
  • Interpretation
  • Changes occurring in the contractual relationship
  • Non-compliance
  • Consequences of breach
  • Blockchain technology and Smart Contracts
Comparative Law in Practice. International Sale of Goods
  • United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (Vienna 1980)
  • Scope of application
  • General principles
  • Conclusion of the contract of sale
  • Rights and obligations of the parties
  • Transmission of risk
  • Non-compliance and its consequences
Comparative Law in Practice. The Law of Torts
  • Introduction
  • The causal relationship
  • The objective notion of fault
  • Strict liability
  • Responsibility for others
  • Exoneration causes
  • Plurality of causes of the damage
  • Compensation for damage
  • Tort Law and New Technologies: liability for AI and liability for autonomous vehicles
Comparative Law in Practice: Immigration from Maghreb and Familiy Law
  • Configuration of marriage in Islamic Law
  • Polygamy in Islamic Law
  • Dissolution of the marriage bond: Islamic repudiation
  • The Islamic Kafala
Legal policies. The search for "better solutions" to social problems
  • The relationship between Comparative Law and other legal and non-legal disciplines
  • Comparative Law and Public International Law
  • Comparative Law and EU Law
  • Comparative Law and Private International Law
  • Comparative Law and Economic Analysis of Law
  • Comparative Law and Sociology
  • Comparative Law and Philosophy
  • Comparative Law and History

Restricted Enrollment

no (that means that everyone who signs up for this course in time can take part in this course)

Course Registration

via Campus Management

Please sign up for this course under the module "Study Program for Exchange Students - Module 23".

registration period: 2 April 2024, 9 a.m. - 3 May 2024, 12 p.m. (midnight) 

De-Registration from this Course

via Campus Management

regular drop period: 2 April 2024, 9 a.m. - 3 May 2024, 12 p.m. (midnight) 

After the regular drop period you can only drop this course with a valid cause until 14 days prior to the exam. Please contact the International Office at the Law Department if you have to use this option.

Type of Exam

final written exam

Exam Period

probably in the last week of the lecture period. Academic Calendar

Registration for the Exam

Students will automatically be registered for the exam when they sign up for this course.

De-Registration from the Exam

Students who drop this course via Campus Management are automatically de-registered from the exam. Students who do not drop this course via Campus Management and do not take the exam, are going to finish this course with a non-passing grade (0 points).

Grade Release

via Campus Management