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European Private International Law in a Global Context



Basic knowledge of civil law.


In disputes about international contracts, international torts , international divorces, etcetera, the rules of Private International Law (PIL) play an important role. PIL is in essence national law written for international situations: the circumstance that situations have a relevant connection with more than one legal system adds an international dimension to the legal process, which may be found on three levels. Rules of PIL include (1) rules of jurisdiction (in order to prescribe the conditions under which a national court (e.g. a Dutch court/a French court/…) is competent); (2) rules of applicable law (in order to determine for each class of cases the particular system of law (e.g. Dutch law/French law/…) by reference to which the rights of the parties must be ascertained); and (3) recognition and enforcement (in order to specify the circumstances in which a foreign judgment can be recognized and enforced). Sources of PIl can be found at both an international and a national level: there are several international institution which attempt to codify and modify rules of PIL through supranational regimes.

The course focuses on the PIL-regimes which have been develop by the EU institutions, in the form of conventions, regulations, directives and case law. In fact, in order to create an area of freedom, security and justice in civil matters, the EU has already employed a considerable number of legal instruments dealing with issues of jurisdiction, applicable law and recognition and enforcement.

The course examines rules of PIL in some specific areas, such as international employment contract, international law, international company law, international divorces, international law regarding names. Some of the underlying themes presented during the course are: do we need different rules of PIL for European and non-European cases? Should the EU aim for “full faith and credit” of decisions between the Member States?

The purpose of the course is to make students aware of the problems PIL deals with, to provide methods and rules to solve some of the issues in the field of PIL, and to enable students to evaluate European PIL in a context of globalization.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
See description

Achievement levels
See description


Please check the timetable

Mode of instruction


  • Number of interactive (2 hour) lectures: 10

  • Names of lecturers: dhr. I. Curry-Sumner

  • Required preparation by students: Will be indicated in the Reader and announced during the classes

Assessment method

_Examination form(s

  • Written examination

Submission procedures

Areas to be tested within the exam
Indicated in Reader plus additional material made available at the lectures



Reading list

  • See the reader


  • European Private International Law in a Global Context

Recommended course materials

  • See the reader


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Veerle Van Den Eeckhout

  • Work address: KOG, room C2.12

  • Contact information: by appointment

  • Telephone number: 31 71 5277430

  • Email:


  • Institute: Private Law

  • Department: Civil Law, section Private International Law

  • Room number secretary: KOG, room B2.41

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00 – 12.00

  • Telephone number secretary: 0031 71 5277421

  • Email: