Student guide Faculty of Law A.Y. 2007/08

Contract Law Drafting Techniques
Aim of the course
The course will offer a comparative analysis of different approaches to the Law of Contracts and Commercial Transactions in Europe and in the United States, and it can be regarded as an advanced contracts course. The course will be taught in an interdisciplinary way, using the case method, the comparative analysis and the economic approach to legal rules. After an introduction to the relevant sources of law, major emphasis will be placed on issues related to contract formation, interpretation, conditions, excuse of performance, remedies for breach and the limits of contractual freedom. Students will be encouraged to take an active role in class, to participate in the critical discussion of cases and materials and to work on several issues in small groups. The course is designed to provide students with the intellectual tools needed for understanding and evaluating the economic effects of legal rules and contractual provisions in the competitive environment of the global marketplace.
 1.   The economic foundations of contract law.
2.   Selecting default rules: a transaction cost approach.
3.   Sources of the law of contracts in Europe and in the United States of America.
4.   The enforceability of promises.
5.   Causa, consideration, reliance and the role of formalities.
6.   Contract formation: offer, acceptance.
7.   Preliminary negotiations.
8.   Mistake and misrepresentation: pre-contractual duty to disclose.
9.   The notion of breach of contract.
10. Risk allocation and the effect of changed circumstances.
11. Monitoring performance: good faith and opportunism.
12. Termination and remedies for breach of contract: compensatory damages, punitive damages and penalty clauses.
13. The efficient breach theory.
14. Regulated contracts and consumer protection: the limits of freedom of contract.
In addition to regular classes, the program contemplates a number of lectures held by distinguished guest speakers.
There will be a written exam at the end of the course. Class participation and group exercises will also count for evaluation purposes. Detailed information on evaluation criteria will be provided at the beginning of the course.
Reading list
Gordley, J., (ed.), The enforceability of promises in European contract law, Cambridge U. P., Cambridge, 2001.
Beale, H., (ed.), Contract Law - Casebooks on the Common law of Europe, Hart Pub., Oxford, 2002.
Gillette, C. P., Walt, S. D., Sales Law: domestic and international, Foundation Press, New York, 1999.
Fuller, L. L., Eisenberg, M. A., Basic contract law, West Group, St. Paul, 1996, 6th ed..
Calamari, J. D., Perillo, J. M., The law of contracts, West Group, St. Paul, 1998, 4th ed..
Kötz, H., Flessner, A., European contract law - Vol. 1: Formation, Validity, Content of Contracts; Contract and Third Parties, by Kötz, H., translated from the German by Weir, T., Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997.
Zimmermann, R., Whittaker, S., (eds.), Good faith in European contract law, Cambridge U. P., Cambridge, 2000.