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Private Air Law


Course objectives
The course aims to provide students with a profound knowledge of topics falling under Private Air Law, including the Warsaw/Montreal system of air carrier liability, third party liability (for compensation with respect to third parties on the ground), rights and securities in aircraft, liability of air traffic controllers, manufacturers and operators of airports and more recent (EU) regulations as well as court decisions.


  • Principles of private international law • Private Air Law Conventions • Warsaw Convention (1929) and the regime of Liability • Montreal Convention (1999) • Freedom of Contracts • Airline liability • Third-party liability • EU Passenger Protections • Case Law

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Define the fundamental principles of private international air law;

  • Explain the rules and their applicability for liability as addressed under private air law;

  • Identify the legal issues pertaining to private air law matters and the most important case law and come with analyses and possible ways of addressing these issues;;

  • Apply private air law instruments and case law at the international and EU level;

  • Solve practical case studies;

  • Undertake an individual research project in the area of private air law.

International Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL)
Law School, Leiden University
Steenschuur 25, 2311 ES Leiden, Netherlands
Postal address: P.O. Box 9520, 2300 RA Leiden, Netherlands
Phone : +31 71 527 8081
Website: www.iiasl.aero
Contact: airandspace@law.leidenuniv.nl

Methods of instruction
Lectures: The course consists of approximately thirty 2-hour lectures.
Required preparation: Students are required to read the applicable chapters from Introduction to Air Law.

The lecturers make good use of debating techniques, which reinforces the student’s knowledge. For the course presentation/paper assessment, students are asked to research a topic of their choice. It requires them to make extensive use of the libraries of Leiden University and other law libraries.

Course materials
Reader and handouts


  • For face-to-face students:

    • Exam – 60%
    • Paper – 40%*
  • Blended learning students will follow the first two weeks of the course and will then work on assignments to be submitted via email. The course is successfully passed if an average of 6 among the assignments is obtained. No exam is required if a weighted average of 6 is obtained for the assignments.

Course requirements
Master degree in law