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Private International Law


Where parties do not agree on arbitration, disputes concerning international business transactions may be submitted to state courts for resolution. This raises questions with relation to the competent court, the applicable law and the enforcement of judgments in other states, issues falling within the field of Private International Law (‘PIL’). In principle, Private International Law is primarily part of the national legal system. There are, however, several international institutions, which attempt to codify and modify rules of Private International Law through supranational regimes.

This course focuses on the Private International Law regimes which have been developed by the European Union institutions, in the form of conventions, regulations and case law, and other institutions such as the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The emphasis is on rules of jurisdiction, applicable law regarding contracts and tort, and enforcement of national judgments in other countries. One of the main aims of the course is to thoroughly familiarise the student with Private International Law as a legal science and its main characteristics. Whilst studying the main characteristics of Private International Law, students will be introduced in this course to PIL issues in various fields of law (contracts, torts, etc.), in order to prepare for the specialised courses (of the second semester) in which PIL issues can be explored in a more specific way.


Wendy Rodger
Programme Coordinator LLM (Adv) International Civil and Commercial Law
Office for International Education / Leiden Law School
T: +31 (0)71 527 1228 E:


Professor Sierd Schaafsma T:+31 (0)71 527 6471 E:


Interactive lectures


Written exam


Full degree in law granting access to the legal profession (or equivalent).