Introduction to legal case-solving and mooting

A theoretical and practical training with exercises in the field of international sales law

24.01.2014

Semester 1, 2013/14; Friday, 27.09.2013 - 24.01.2014, 16:00 - 20:00, room B.301 (building B).

Up ] [ Course description ] Downloads ] [ Contents ] [ Bibliography ] [ Links ]

Final note

In January 2014, after the end of the lectures, this website has been finished. It will stay available for the purpose of deepening and repetition. Thank you for your interest and commitment. With best wishes for your future studies, yours Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmitz

Course Description

Lawyers must not only know the law but also be able to handle individual cases exactly and correctly in practice. Hence in many European states the methods and techniques of legal case-solving form an important part of legal education. Numerous rules and customs are taught. Some originate from national legal tradition or are necessitated by the dogmatics of the relevant field of law but most derive from the laws of logic and legal argumentation and therefore apply universally. This approach is particularly highly developed in the German legal tradition. In Common Law countries it does not exist but the well-developed tradition of legal mooting shows similarities and serves the same purpose.

This course will provide an introduction to the methods and techniques of legal case-solving, in particular to the writing of legal opinions on practical cases. The participants will learn and train how to approach an individual case, apprehend thoroughly the facts of the case, work out precisely the exact question to answer, solve the case systematically on the basis of a draft outline, structure the case solution correctly and formulate it accurately. They will get guidelines for the formal design of the case solution and recommendations for a thorough and efficient case-solving. Eventually, they should be so familiar with the strict inherent rules of legal case-solving that they easily discover the weak points and flawed arguments in any case presentation by colleagues, being able to take advantage of that in moots, legal disputes or Court proceedings.

The course will also provide an introduction to legal mooting. Some methods and techniques are similar while others differ because the mooting cases can be especially complex and the teams do not prepare a (neutral) legal opinion or court decision but the (biased...) memoranda of the claimant and the respondent. Besides, the participants will be trained in the skills of oral legal presentation.

The practical cases used for the training will mainly focus on the field of international sales law. Furthermore, short introductions to this field of law will be provided and the self-study of the participants will be supported.

Conditions: The course will be held in English. It is open to students of the 2nd to 4th grade. Participants who attend at least 22 of the 28 lectures and seminaries will receive a certificate of participation signed by the lecturer.

Downloads (PDF files)  

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Course outline

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Contents

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Bibliography

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Diagram 1  (The applicability of the CISG)

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Diagram 2  (Remedies of the buyer under the CISG)

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Diagram 3  (Remedies of the seller under the CISG)

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Introduction to legal case-solving

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Case 1 (introductory case)

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Case 2 (right to repair and avoidance of contract under the CISG; fundamental breach of contract)

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Case 3 (right to damages under the CISG; fundamental breach of contract)

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Case 4 (obligation to pay the price after loss of goods; "battle of forms")

 
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Transparency films presented in the lectures (® just aids for illustration)
- Film 1  (Short introduction to international sales law; concerning § 2) (updated version)

Contents (summary)

Part I: Preparations

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§ 1 Presentation of the course and planning of the activities

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§ 2 Short introduction to international sales law

Part II: Skills in theory

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§ 3 The methods and techniques of legal case-solving

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§ 4  The art of legal mooting

Part III: Skills in practice

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§ 5  Exercises in legal case-solving and mooting

Bibliography (selection)

[A. International sales law] [B. Legal case-solving] [C. Legal mooting]

A. Literature on international sales law

I. Textbooks

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Huber, Peter; Mullis, Alastair: The CISG. A new textbook for students and practitioners, 2007

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Morrissey, Joseph; Graves, Jack: International Sales Law and Arbitration, 2008

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Schlechtriem, Peter; Butler, Petra: UN Law on International Sales. The UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods, 2007

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Schwenzer, Ingeborg; Fountoulakis Christiana; Dimsey, Mariel: International Sales Law. A Guide to the CISG, 2nd edition 2012

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Schwenzer, Ingeborg; Kee, Christopher; Hachem, Pascal: Global Sales and Contract Law, 2012

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Spanogle, John; Winship, Peter: International Sales Law. A Problem-Oriented Coursebook, 2nd edition 2011

II. Commentaries, handbooks and practical guides

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Bridge, Michael: The International Sale of Goods. Law and Practice, 2nd edition 2007

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Flechtner, Harry; Honnold, John: Uniform Law for International Sales Under the 1980 United Nations Convention, 4th edition 2009

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Klotz, James: International Sales Agreements. An Annotated Drafting and Negotiating Guide, 2nd edition 2008

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Kroll, Stefan; Mistelis, Loukas; Perales Viscasillas, Pilar (editors): UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. Article by Article Commentary, 2011

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Ostendorf, Patrick: International Sales Terms, 2010

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Schwenzer, Ingeborg (editor): Commentary on the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG), 3rd edition2010

III. Introductory articles

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Dalhuisen, Jan: The Uniform International Sales Law, 2007

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Huber, Peter: Some introductory remarks on the CISG, Internationales Handelsrecht 6/2006, 228

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Schwenzer, Ingeborg; Hachem, Pascal: The CISG - Successes and Pitfalls, American Journal of Comparative Law 2009, 457

See also the comprehensive bibliographies at the CISG Database (with a large Online collection of scholarly writings and a special Bibliography of CISG materials in Vietnamese) and at Global Sales Law.

B. Literature on legal case-solving

Note that there is no specific literature in English because practical legal case-solving in the way presented in this course is usually not an element of legal education in common law countries. Comprehensive materials in English will be provided by the lecturer.

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Bringewat, Peter:  Methodik der juristischen Fallbearbeitung. Mit Aufbau- und Prüfungsschemata aus dem Zivil-, Strafrecht und öffentlichen Recht, 2nd edition 2013

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Butzer, Hermann; Epping, Volker: Arbeitstechnik im öffentlichen Recht. Vom Sachverhalt zur Lösung. Methodik – Technik – Materialerschließung, 3rd edition 2005

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Muntjewerff, Antoinette: Learning Legal Case Solving with the Computer Program PROSA, 2000 (about a computer program developed in the nineties at the University of Amsterdam to facilitate legal case-solving)

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Pense, Uwe: Methodik der Fallbearbeitung. Juristische Klausurtechnik für Studium und Examen, 2nd edition 2009 (methodological instructions with regard to case-solving examinations)

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Schimmel, Roland: Juristische Klausuren und Hausarbeiten richtig formulieren: Methodik und Fallbearbeitung, 10th edition 2012

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Schwacke, Peter: Juristische Methodik. Mit Technik der Fallbearbeitung, 5th edition 2011

In some countries, there are also many collections of practical cases and case solutions in the individual fields of law ("Fälle und Lösungen", "cas pratiques", "travaux dirigés", "casos prácticos" etc.).

C. Literature on legal mooting

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Bahrych, Lynn; Rombauer, Marjorie Dick: Legal Writing in a Nutshell, 4th edition 2009

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Campbell, Sean: Mooting, 2012 [Kindle edition]

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Crowne-Mohammed, Emir; Hashim, Mohammed; Kierstead, Shelley: The Essential Guide to Mooting. A Handbook for Law Students, 2010

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Hill, Jeffrey: A Practical Guide to Mooting, 2009

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Ketovs, Aleksejs; Vīkis, Romāns: Do's and Don'ts of Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, 2011

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Korzen, John: Make Your Argument. Succeeding in Moot Court and Mock Trial, 2010

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Murray, Michael; Sanctis, Christy de: Advanced Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy. Trials, Appeals, and Moot Court, 2nd edition 2009

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Pope, David; Hill, Dan: Mooting and Advocacy Skills, 2nd edition 2011

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Snape, John; Watt, Gary: How to Moot. A Student Guide to Mooting, 2nd edition 2010

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Walker, Janet: The Vis Book. A Participant's Guide to the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration, 2008

Links

A. Links related to international sales law

Aufzählung

Sources of law: United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) of 1980 (html / pdf with explanatory note / Vietnamese translation by Trung tam WTO, see also status of ratification), Convention on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods of 1974, as amended 1980 (pdf with explanatary note), UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of 1985, as amended 2006

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Institutions: United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), CISG Advisory Council (CISG-AC) (private organisation of scholars giving opinions to promote a uniform interpretation of the CISG), International Bar Association (IBA) (issues guidelines and recommends rules for intern. arbitration)

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Cases: Cases on the CISG (CISG Database, also presented by articles), Search for cases/Most recent cases (Global Sales Law)

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Online articles: Introductions to the CISG (CISG Database), Online collection of scholarly writings (CISG Database); see also the Opinions and Declarations of the CISG Advisory Council (scholarly opinions)

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Bibliographies: International Sales Law Bibliography (CISG Database) with special Bibliography of CISG materials in Vietnamese , Bibliography (Global Sales Law), UNCITRAL Consolidated Bibliography, part II and part III (2008 - 2013)

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Internet compendiums: CISG Database (Pace Law School, New York), Global Sales Law (including CISG-Online, ed. by Ingeborg Schwenzer)

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More special websites: at wtocenter.vn (Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry), UN Audiovisual Library of Intern. Law and the network of CISG websites

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Resources concerning special questions: Gusztáv Bacher, Remedies of the Buyer under the CISG, 2008; Peter Huber, CISG - the structure of remedies, 2007, CISG Database; Rudolf Welser; Irene Welser, Legal Remedies in Case of Breach of Contract by the Seller under the CISG, 2006

B. Links related to legal case-solving

Aufzählung

Note that there are few specific internet resources in English because practical legal case-solving is usually not an element of legal education in common law countries. The common theoretical "case studies" are something different.

Aufzählung

Own materials: Course "Practical Case-solving in European Law", Spring Semester 2012 (with a methodological introduction, 10 cases with extensive case solutions, and examination schemes); see also my general website (with numerous cases on European Union law and German constitutional law, fundamental rights and administrative law).

Aufzählung

Materials of other lecturers: Thomas Hoffmann (simple cases on German private law, case on German law of obligations). See also the comprehensive case compendiums in German language of Klaus Grupp/Ulrich Stelkens, Saarheimer Fälle zum Staats- und Verwaltungsrecht (112 cases on German constitutional and administrative law) and Markus Heintzen/Heike Krieger, Hauptstadtfälle (ca. 80 cases on public international law, European Union law and German constitutional and administrative law).

C. Links related to legal mooting

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Introductions and practical guides to legal mooting: Victoria Ailes; Benjamin Wood: An introduction to mooting, MootingNet (UK), How to prepare a Moot Court Competition (ECSL), James Welsh, Mooting Guide & Skills Video For Law Students (video at You Tube), Mooting Manual (Univ. of Queensland), Tips on Oral Advocacy (Duke Univ.)

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Important moots and moot courts: Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vienna), Willem C. Vis (East) International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Hong Kong), Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (Washington D.C.), World Human Rights Moot Court Competition (Pretoria), International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot Competition (Pace Law School), Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court

 

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