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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 Montreal Convention and Warsaw regime of liability, third party liability, EU passenger protection, ATC liability, and aviation product liability. A specific subject within this course is Aircraft Financing, to which at least eight lectures are dedicated covering the Geneva Convention, the Cape Town convention including the aircraft protocol and, financial transactions pertaining to aircraft and part of aircraft, aircraft leasing and aircraft repossession. As part of the Aircraft Financing lectures a moot negotiations session will be organised in cooperation with a law firm, an airline and an aircraft financing firm in which students can participate.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this course, students:

  • have thorough knowledge and understanding of the key issues of private air law;

  • know the most important case law in the area of private air law;

  • can explain the rules and their applicability for liability on the international and EU level;

  • can explain the various legal issues pertaining to liability as addressed under private air law and come with analyses and possible ways of addressing these issues;

  • can apply the rules to cases;

  • can solve practical case studies;

  • are able to 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

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

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%

  • Presentation – 20%*

  • Paper – 20%/40%*
    *Students choose whether they give the presentation for Private Air Law of for Public Air Law. For the course they choose to give the presentation for, the presentation and the paper each count for 20% of the final grade. For the course the student only writes a paper, this paper counts for 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