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Profileringsvak Comparative Civil Procedure


Admission requirements

  1. Bachelorvak Burgerlijk Procesrecht (Civil Procedure) or foreign equivalent, or one year of practical experience with civil litigation
    1. Proficiency in English
    2. Bachelor Degree (Dutch or other)


This course will introduce students to comparative and transnational law of civil procedure, with special emphasis on United States, German, English and Dutch law, and will focus on cross-border disputes in matters of significant societal importance as well as procedural complexity.

The course is designed primarily for advanced students who aspire to a career in international legal practice, including as litigators at global law firms, in-house counsel for businesses operating internationally or human rights organizations, and judges, as well as policy-makers and scholars of comparative law and civil procedure.

The course is based on case studies and a variety of written materials. Students will analyze and discuss statutory rules, court opinions (case law) and scholarly writing, and apply their newly gained knowledge and insights to real-life problems and policies of international dispute resolution.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

The purposes of the course are to: (i) gain a thorough understanding of the similarities and differences in procedural rules and approaches to litigation and dispute resolution between the U.S. and European legal systems, and (ii) based on these comparative legal perspectives, learn and understand strategic decision-making in sopisticated international litigation.

Achievement levels

At the end of this course, students will:

  • understand the differences between various civil and common law systems of civil procedure

  • understand the practical advantages and disadvantages of different sets of procedural rules from the parties’ perspectives

  • have a firm understanding of the nature and complexity of cross-border litigation

  • make intelligent strategic choices between domestic and foreign, single and multi-jurisdictional, parallel and successive, primary and ancillary litigation

  • learn how to benefit from the advantages, and minimize the disadvantages, of multi-jurisdictional litigation, and

  • evaluate issues of cross-border litigation from a legislative and policy perspective.

Students will also:

  • have improved their analytical and problem-solving skills

  • have improved their advocacy and legal writing skills


Lectures: Monday at 11h00-13h00
September 2, September 9, September 16, September 23, and September 30, 2013
Seminars: Friday at 9h00-11h00 or 11h00-13h00
September 6, September 13, September 20, September 27, and September 30, 2013
(Because of Leidens Ontzet the faculty will be closed on October 3 and October 4. Check Blackboard to see when the last seminars will take place.)

See propedeuse of bachelor en master.

Mode of instruction


Number of lectures: 5


Number of seminars: 5 (2 hours)
Required preparation by students: For each week’s work students are required to (i) review designated course materials, and (ii) answer 3-5 review questions one day in advance of the scheduled seminar meeting.

Students are expected to participate in discussion of the materials and solutions to hypothetical problem situations.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • a 2-hour written examination (closed book: no notes or course documents)

  • 2 written assignments (papers)

  • participation

Submission procedures

Via E-mail (except exam)

Areas to be tested within the exam

Reader and additional written materials; lectures and seminars discussions; subject matter of written assignments.


More information on this course is offered in “Blackboard”:

Reading list

Mandatory course materials
Reader Comparative Civil Procedure

Recommended course materials
To be determined


By sending an email to C.P.L.van Woensel

Contact information


  • Instituut: Private Law

  • Division: Civil Law

  • Secretary: KOG, C.202

  • Hours: Mon – Fri 9-13.30 uur

  • Telephone number: 071-527 7381

  • E-mail:

Remarks None.