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Comparative Tort Law


Please note that the following description of the course is only provisional and therefore subject to change.

Admission requirements

  • Background in domestic tort law

  • Sufficient command of English (IELTS 6.5 or higher)


The course on Comparative Tort Law aims at a deeper, comparative understanding of the mechanisms and requirements of tortious liability in counties such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The main topics of the course will be (this is a not exhaustive list !): tort law and protected interests, tort law and contract law, pure economic loss, vicarious liability, defences (contributory negligence, comparative negligence and assumption of risk), causation and damages.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The course on Comparative Tort Law aims at a deeper, comparative understanding of the mechanisms and requirements of tortious liability law in countries such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:
After completion of this course, students will have a better knowledge of important issues of tort law, such as (this is not an exhaustive list !): the compensation of pure economic loss, the approach of liability for the acts of others, the concurrence of tortious and contractual liability and the different theories about causation.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 10

  • Names of instructors: Dr . P.C.J. de Tavernier

  • Required preparation by students: to be announced at the beginning of the course

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam, both cases and theory questions.

  • The retake will be oral (approx. 30 minutes). You will be given 40 minutes for a written preparation.

Submission procedures

Areas to be tested within the exam
The compulsory literature and topics that have been discussed during classes.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

There is no reader, but information about required and recommended literature and case law, as well as some cases to be discussed during the course, will be posted on blackboard before the start of the course.


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.
Exchange students have priority and will be registered for the course first. Any remaining seats will be available for students from Leiden University and other Dutch Universities.

Contact information

  • Coordinator: Dhr. dr. P.C.J. De Tavernier

  • Work address: KOG, Steenschuur 25 B2.43

  • Contact information: Through secretariat

  • Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 7400

  • E-mail:


  • Institution: Institute of Private Law

  • Division: Civil Law

  • Room number secretariat: KOG, room B2.43

  • Opening hours: Front desk Monday to Friday 9:00-13:30

  • Telephone number secretariat: +31 (0)71 527 7400

  • E-mail: