940 German & European Civil Law - §008, Fall 2010

Categories: International and Comparative Law

Instructor(s) Esterhaus, Lars, Forster, Wolfgang

Part I: “German Civil Law within
the European Context”
(Lars Esterhaus) The class will give an
introduction to the basic principles of substantive and procedural Civil Law in

, its methods and doctrines. Goal of the class
is to understand basic principles of the German Civil Law System as an example
of Continental European Law. The principle of separation and abstraction,
contract law, property law, tort law, and -- peripherally-- business and labor
law will be covered. This may open comparative views for both students and
instructor and help to understand the way of social, cultural, economic life as
well as the legal structure within the different state systems.  Since

is a member state of the European Union, we
will also address how the German legal system appears within the European
Context.  (Lars Esterhaus is an advanced
research fellow at the office of Professor Dr. Martin Lipp and teaches civil
law for beginning and advanced law students at the

University of
. )


Part II: “European Civil Law - A
historical Introduction” (
Wolfgang Forster) The second-half of this
course addresses the formation of the German civil law within the European
context: Why is it that, on the one hand, German Civil law is to be found in a
codification dating from the end of the XIXth century?  On the other hand, the single most important
influence on today’s German civil law, as on the civil law of any member state
of the European Union, is their so-called harmonization, imposed by a barrage
of EU directives: we will study the history of the European Community/European
Union and the formation of its competences regarding the civil law of its
member states.  The course will tackle
fundamental questions such as the evolution of the legal science, the
pan-European ‘ius comune’, the development of separate civil and common law
systems and the idea of codification of civil law.  (Wolfgang Forster is Professor for civil law
and philosophy of law at the Law Faculty of the

University of
. He teaches philosophy and history of law,
contract law as well as civil law.)

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