2024-2025 / DROI2353-1

Private Aspects of International Business Transactions


48h Th

Number of credits

 Master in law, professional focus in economic and social law5 crédits 
 Master in law, professional focus in economic and social law (Droit économique et social, mineure gestion)5 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of Law, Political Science and Criminology)5 crédits 
 Master in management, professional focus in law5 crédits 


Patrick Wautelet

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course offers an introduction to the law of private international relations. It will mainly focus on cross-border commercial operations. This course will consider the following problems:

  • Which court or legal authority has the power to decide the dispute ('jurisdiction')?
  • What law will likely be applied to resolve the dispute (choice of law issues in contract, tort, and other matters)?
  • When will courts and other authorities recognize legislative or judicial determinations made outside Belgium?
  • When will courts provide assistance to foreign legal proceedings?
The course will mainly focus on rules applicable within the EU, with limited attention to other developments (such as the rules adopted by national legislators to deal with private international law issues)

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- identify the relevant issues arising in a cross-border relationship;
- outline the various steps to be taken in providing an answer to the issues arising in the framework of a  cross-border relationship;
- evaluate the strength and weakness of arguments made in the course of legal proceedings relating to cross-border issues;
- identify the contractual mechanisms which could be used to prevent cross-border difficulties from arising;
- formulate a basic strategy in corss-border litigation.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

A good knowlegde of any national private law and a good knowledge of the English language. Students whose command of the English language is insufficient should talk to the instructor before registering. This course requires prior training in law and may not be suitable for students in other fields (economics, politics, etc.). Students without any previous training in law should talk to the instructor before registering.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course will be taught in lecture style. Students may also be given short assignments from time to time. Specific attention will be devoted to discussion of cases decided by national or international courts, in order to illlustrate the rules studied. Students are expected to read assigned cases in order to participate in class discussions.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

The course is structured around various themes. For each theme, the main activity will be a general presentation by the instructor, in the form of a lecture with emphasis on the concepts and key questions. During the lectures, practical cases will be dealt with to illustrate the rules studied. Questions will be fielded to the students and active participation is warmly encouraged. Students may also be asked to solve short assignments at regular intervals. Failure to solve those assignments may result in the inadmissibility to take part in the final examination.

The instructor will make available a detailed handout and a set of learning materials for each session. Additional readings are recommended but not mandatory.

Students willing to explore private international law issues may use Gilles Cuniberti's case book : : Conflict of Laws. A Comparative Approach (2nd ed. published by Edward Elgar in 2022).

Among other books, students looking for background reading may wish to read the Concise introduction to EU private international law (4th edition), written by Michael Bogdan and Marta Pertegás Sender. Among other textbooks which offer a very good overview of the field, one may warmly recommend the following books : Peter Stone's EU Private International Law (4th edition) published by Edward Elgar and Geert van Calster's Private International Law (Hart publishing, 3rd ed., 2021).

Exam(s) in session

January exam session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions ) AND oral exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

Students will be required to participate in a moot court. The moot court will include a written and an oral stage. The moot problem will be closely inspired by recent cases decided by national and international courts. The written stage will require students to write submissions presenting and discussing the arguments made on behalf of a party involved in court proceedings. This will involve independent research by the students, mainly in case law. During the second stage, students will be required to present their arguments before a moot court.

Students will participate in the moot court in teams comprising three students. Teams should be composed by the students themselves.

Further details will be announced during the first meetings.

If a team fails for the course, it may try again to pass the course a during the resit eamination period (August-September). Given that the re-assessement period is likely to involve a limited number of students, no full fledge moot court will be organized. Instead, the students will be required to take an alternative exam. The alternative exam may require students to write an essay, a client memo or any other written document imposed by the instructor.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Not applicable


Questions and observations may be sent to patrick.wautelet@uliege.be or may be asked after each class meeting.

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

voy. la version anglaise
voy. la version anglaise