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I) Profileringsvak: Comparative Civil Procedure


Admission requirements

  1. Proficiency in English
  2. Bachelor Degree (Dutch or other) or final year of Bachelor.
  3. Bachelor course Civil Procedure/Burgerlijk Procesrecht or foreign equivalent, or one year of practical experience with civil litigation.


This course will introduce students to comparative and transnational law of civil procedure, with special emphasis on United States, German, English and Dutch law, and will focus on cross-border disputes in matters of significant societal importance as well as procedural complexity. The course is designed primarily for advanced students who aspire to a career in international legal practice, including as litigators at global law firms, in-house counsel for businesses operating internationally or human rights organizations, and judges, as well as policymakers and scholars of comparative law and civil procedure. Both Dutch and foreign students are welcome and encouraged to register for this course. Maximum numbers of students: 25. The course is based on case studies and a variety of written materials. Students will analyze and discuss statutory rules, court opinions (case law) and scholarly writing, and apply their newly gained knowledge and insights to real-life problems and policies of international dispute resolution.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The purposes of the course are to:

  • (i) gain a thorough understanding of the similarities and differences in procedural rules and approaches to litigation and dispute resolution between the U.S. and European legal systems, and

  • (ii) based on these comparative legal perspectives, learn and understand strategic decision-making in sophisticated international litigation.

Achievement levels
At the end of this course, students will:

  • understand the differences between various civil and common law systems of civil procedure;

  • understand the practical advantages and disadvantages of different sets of procedural rules from the parties’ perspectives;

  • have a firm understanding of the nature and complexity of cross-border litigation;

  • make intelligent strategic choices between domestic and foreign, single and multi-jurisdictional, parallel and successive, primary and ancillary litigation;

  • learn how to benefit from the advantages, and minimize the disadvantages, of multi-jurisdictional litigation, and

  • evaluate issues of cross-border litigation from a legislative and policy perspective.

Students will also:

  • have improved their analytical and problem-solving skills

  • have improved their advocacy and legal writing skills

Mode of instruction


  • Number of lectures/seminars: 10 (2 hours)

  • Required preparation by students: For each week’s work students are required to (i) review designated course materials, and (ii) answer 3-5 review questions one day in advance of the scheduled seminar meeting.

  • Students are expected to participate in discussion of the materials and solutions to hypothetical problem situations.

  • All assignments have the status of so called practical assignments.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • 3 written assignments (papers) = 90 % (every paper = 30%)

  • participation (10 %)
    If necessary, students with a failing final grade may write one, or if necessary to obtain a passing grade, two substitute papers.

Submission procedures

  • Via E-mail

Areas to be tested within the exam

  • Reader and additional written materials; lectures and seminars discussions; subject matter of written assignments

Reading list

Mandatory course materials

  • Reader Comparative Civil Procedure

Recommended course materials

  • To be determined


  • Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis. Your registration for this course will give you access to the digital learning environment Brightspace.

Contact information


  • Instituut: Private Law

  • Division: Civil Law

  • Secretary: KOG, C.2.43

  • Hours: front desk: Mon – Fri 09.00-17.00 uur

  • Telephone number: 071-527 7381

  • E-mail: