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Private air law


The course deals with Private Law notions, with 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 legislation as well as court decisions, especially US case law. Taking into account the relevance of US court cases for the development of private international law the course is co-taught by Mr. G. Tompkins, a leading litigation lawyer in the US and one of the drafters of the 1999 Montreal Convention. In the context of this course, special attention is paid to the subject of aircraft financing. Special attention will be paid to consumer protection measures in the EU (the application of EU regulation 261/2004 on denied boarding, cancellation and delay of flights); the principal international conventions (Geneva 1948; Cape Town 2001) and financial transactions pertaining to aircraft and parts of aircraft will be addressed, in particular by Mr. B. Crans (a practicing lawyer) and Prof. P. Honnebier.


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 7671
Fax: +31 71 527 7600
Contact: Wouter Oude Alink, “”


The course will consist of approximately 25 lectures. The lecturers make good use of debating techniques, which reinforces the student’s knowledge. In the course practical, students are asked to research and compare cases and country or region-bound differences by writing papers and presentations, using different forms of media. It requires them to make extensive use of the libraries of Leiden University and other law libraries. In addition, they can rely upon the extensive network and relations of the Institute in order to resolve liability cases, pertaining to liability in International Air Transport, which enhances their communication and networking skills.

Students may also participate in the private air law moot court competition, see the course “Moot court competition” for more information.


Syllabus and handouts


  • For face-to-face students, the course is assessed by means of an oral presentation, a written paper and a written exam.

  • Blended learning students will follow the first two weeks of the course and will then work on assignments to be submitted via internet. No exam is required if an average of 6 is obtained for the assignments.


Master degree in law


Wouter Oude Alink at