JUR1240 – Comparative Private Law (BA)

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

The aim of the course is to focus on the main features of the law of contracts in various legal systems of the world, to show the common features and the main differences. A proper understanding of the relevant legal systems is necessary, first of all, if one is involved in an international legal relationship. However, insight in various legal systems is very useful also to understand and develop one’s own legal system, especially in light of the stronger and stronger internationalization of the legal sources.

A proper understanding of various legal systems assumes that these are studied with the correct method. It is not useful to use one’s own legal categories as a starting point, and look for corresponding rules in the foreign system. Often it will not be possible to find corresponding rules, but the foreign system will achieve similar results by adopting other legal mechanisms, that are peculiar to that particular system.

The course will focus on the contract law of the common law and the civil law legal families (which again are to be divided into Romanistic, Germanic and Nordic systems), with references also to the system of the Former Soviet Union and the process that this is undergoing. Attention will also be devoted to the most important instruments of harmonization of contract law on an international level.

Learning outcome

On completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Appreciate the main features of the contract law of the common law and the civil law legal families, as well as of the most important instrument for the international harmonization of the law of contracts.
  2. Understand the interests and functions underlying the legal rules and legal structures in the respective legal families.
  3. Recognize the different legal techniques that the various legal families adopt to achieve similar results.
  4. Recognize how apparently similar regulations in different legal families may bring to different results.

See ‘Detailed course information’ regarding requirements and syllabus.


Students who are admitted to study programmes or individual courses at UiO must each semester register
which courses and exams they wish to sign up for by registering a study plan in StudentWeb.

International applicants, if you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information
about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

Nordic applicants that are accepted to study programmes or individual courses at UiO can be admitted to this course.


Recommended previous knowledge

Please note that lectures and curriculum for this course is aimed at students at master degree level.

However, the achievement requirements are adjusted for students who take the subject at bachelor degree level.

Overlapping courses

This course is a useful complement to the courses JUR1230 – International Commercial Law (BA), which focuses on the sources regulating international contracts, and JUR1280 – Internasjonal privatrett (in Norwegian), which focus on the question of choice of the applicable law in international legal relationships.



Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all communication during lectures/seminars will be in English, and all literature and auxiliary materials are in English.


4 hour written open book digital school examination

Examination support material

This is an open book digital school examination. You are permitted to use any materials written on paper during the examination. This includes books, lecture materials and your own notes, whether handwritten or printed. There are no restrictions on marking up or highlighting these written materials. No electronic support materials are allowed.

Use of sources and rules for citing. 

The standard rules on cheating and plagiarism which apply to assignments apply also to the written open book examination. This means that you must provide a reference whenever you draw upon another person’s ideas, words or research in your answer to the exam question(s). You cannot copy text directly from textbooks, journal articles, court judgments etc. without highlighting that the text is copied.

Thus, pieces of text quoted verbatim from these and other sources must be italicised or otherwise highlighted so that it is obvious that the pieces of text are quotes.

Example of highlighting in a text:

"Laurent Bailay and Bernard Van der Lande propose to define a mobile payment as a “payment for products or services between two parties for which a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, plays a key role in the realization of the payment”. (European Commission, GREEN PAPER Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments, page 5)"

Failure to cite sources or highlight quotes in your exam answer may be considered as evidence of cheating.

Previous exam papers

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Marking criteria for written examination

This  guide is used by examiners for grading elective courses at the Faculty of Law.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take this exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.


The language for this course is English. Students enrolled in the
Masterprogrammet i rettsvitenskap must pass one
English subject as part of their degree, this course will meet these

This subject is taught at Bachelor's level. The subject is also taught at Master's level (10 ECTS credits), see JUS5240 – Comparative Private Law (discontinued)

Please see the chapter above, regarding overlap. For instances of overlap, credits will be deducted on the subject at Bachelors's level.

Facts about this course

Autumn 2019

This course is discontinued. Students who wish to take this course have the last opportunity autumn 2019. 

Teaching language