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Private International Law


Disclaimer: This course has been updated to the best of our knowledge at the current time of publishing. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the fluctuating changes in lock down regulations all information contained within this course description are subject to change up to 1 September 2020.
Due to the uncertainty of the Covid 19 virus after 1 September 2020, changes to the course description can only be made in the event of strict necessity and only in the circumstances where the interests of the students are not impinged. Should there be a need for any change during the duration of the course, this will be informed to all students on a timely basis and will not be to the prejudice of students. Modifications after 1 September 2020 may only be done with the approval and consent of the Faculty Board.


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.


Programme Coordinator LLM (Adv) International Civil and Commercial Law
Office for International Education / Leiden Law School


Dr. Laura van Bochove

T:+31 (0)71 527 8086 / E:


Online: interactive and pre-recorded lectures


Written exam (100%)
The retake of the written exam may be (partially) an oral exam. It will be up to the discretion of the examiner to decide on the form of the retake.


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