Comparative Contract Law

This seminar is designed for both US students and foreign LL.M. students. It is an advanced course in US contract law, since it reexamines from a comparative perspective basic contract doctrines studied in the first-year course. In looking at how other legal systems deal with some of the basic doctrinal issues, we can come to a fuller understanding of our own rapidly changing doctrine. In this connection we look back at some of the history of development of both common law and civilian doctrines. In addition, we focus particularly on the Convention on International Sale of Goods, a major American statute since 1988, which by default displaces the UCC in NAFTA and most other international sales transactions. The CISG is basically a code of comparative sales contract law, incorporating extensively terminology and concepts familiar to Europeans, but difficult for US lawyers and judges to work with. The CISG is expanded in the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts to cover all contracts, and we use this as a basis for comparison as well. The growing case law in which American and foreign lawyers have been applying this transnational contract law is considered. For American students, no foreign language is required, though a paper topic can be chosen which will afford an opportunity to work with original foreign language sources if the student desires. Some special extra sessions for LL.M. students will be scheduled to review the basic US contract doctrine relevant to topics we will be considering. Paper topics will be chosen at the third session, a bibliography and outline will be due after six weeks, and a rough final draft is to be submitted by the end of the tenth week to allow time for individual conferences and revision of the draft. During the last four sessions, groups of students will distribute material they have found in the course of their research, and lead class discussions about their paper topics. 
Credits: 3

Type: SEM

Does this course satisfy the writing requirement? Yes

Does this course satisfy the skills requirement? No

Additional information: Requires paper.