0064 Introduction to the Law of International Commerce and International Private Law
Prof.Dr. Bernhard A. Koch
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/20/23 to 09/21/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Friday 11/17/23 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.3.01
Saturday 11/18/23 09:00 AM - 02:30 PM D3.0.225
Friday 12/01/23 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.3.05
Saturday 12/02/23 09:00 AM - 02:30 PM D3.0.225
Friday 12/15/23 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM Online-Einheit
The class will analyze private law problems of cross-border transactions, starting with a brief introduction to the differences of legal systems and advantages and challenges of forum shopping. Harmonization of private law is the next topic, dealing more specifically inter alia with the examples of the UN Sales Convention, the Unidroit Principles of International Commercial Contracts and the Incoterms. Past and current efforts of harmonizing contract law within the EU will also be presented. Selected aspects of contract law will be discussed from the perspective of various national systems as well as the Sales Convention, the Principles of European Contract Law, and the Unidroit Principles of International Commercial Contracts. The second half of the class will be devoted to conflicts of laws that may arise in business settings, and how the Rome I and II Regulations in particular resolve these.
Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the course, students will understand the basics of cross-border contracting and in particular problems of conflict of laws (Internationales Privatrecht). The Convention on the International Sale of Goods (UN-Kaufrecht) will be compared to other international instruments.

Attendance requirements

Students are supposed to attend at least 75% of all in-class sessions. Since the class will be taught on two weekends (Friday & Saturday), missing one day may already consume the remaining 25%. Some of the topics addressed in class are not covered by textbooks, so attendance is crucial to understand the materials. Two quizzes will be held at the end of the first and of the second weekend respectively (in the afternoon). The final exam will be a combination of essay questions and be open-book.

Teaching/learning method(s)
Powerpoint presentations with in-class discussion. The slides will be made available in advance. Optional reading will complement the explanations in class if needed.

There will be two single-choice quizzes at the end of the first and of the second weekend. The results of theses two quizzes will each be worth 15% of the final grade (so 30% together). The remaining 70% of the final grade will be determined by your performance in the final exam, which will be open book. Details will be explained in class.

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

Students are expected to already understand basic concepts of contract law. 


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Recommended previous knowledge and skills
Basic knowledge of contract law
Availability of lecturer(s)
Please contact me by e-mail at!
Materials for both weekends are available for download under "Learning activities" in the "Study & Practice" section. Should the class be held online, video recordings of presentations will also be put online.
Unit details
Unit Date Contents

Introduction, harmonization of private law (presentation of key players and important achievements so far)


Selected aspects of contract law in a comparative perspective


Conflict of laws I (introduction, contract conflicts)


Conflict of laws II (contract conflicts ctd, tort law and unjust enrichment, property law)


Final exam (or on one of the two following Fridays should students so decide)

Last edited: 2023-06-19