Law & Language

The Law & Language Center offers the Law & Language Program in Anglo-American and international legal studies in the English language. This program provides students with a unique opportunity to study Anglo-American law in the language of the legal system. It also exposes them to International Law and the Law of the European Union as expressed in English. The purpose of this program is to prepare students for international legal practice and for participation in graduate law programs in English-speaking countries.

The program aims to introduce students to the basic notions of the common law system as well as to acquaint them with some fields of substantive law in England and the United States, or the law of the European Union. Students throughout the program learn about the underlying law and legal system in the original language, allowing them to learn the terminology together with the legal institutions.

The planned timeframe of the Program stretches over 4 semesters. Students are required to complete the Introduction to Anglo-American Law I and Introduction to Anglo-American Law II courses (always offered in the Winter Semester) in order to be admitted to the Program. From then on, they may select the courses they wish from those being offered in the respective semester. The Program generally offers two courses each semester but completion may be faster if students complete the occasionally offered block courses.

In order to complete the Program, students need to pass an Intermediate Exam (written exam) after 4 courses (8 SWS). Intermediate exams are being offered by the Law & Language Center at around the middle of each semester. Intermediate Exams are graded and students receive a "Zeugnis." After 8 courses (16 SWS), students need pass a Final Exam (both written and oral exam). Final exams are being offered by the Law & Language Center at the end of each semester. Final Exams are graded and students receive a "Zertifikat.

Law & Language Zertifikatsprüfung

The Intermediate Examination will take place on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 10:00 - 12:00, SR 308 (Carl-Zeiss-Str. 3.

You must register in person for this exam with Frau David (Lehrstuhl Professor Dr. Burke, Carl-Zeiß-Str. 3, Zi. 1.50). You need to bring copies of all of your Scheine to leave with Frau David. The last date for registration is: Tuesday, Mai 16, 2017 at 15:00.

Änderungen im Law & Language-Programm

Beginnend mit dem Wintersemester 2015/16 werden im Law & Language-Programm Änderungen erfolgen. Die Grundstruktur des Programms bleibt jedoch unverändert.

1. Die bisherigen Einführungsveranstaltungen "Introduction to Anglo-American Law & Language I/II" werden durch die Vorlesung "The English Legal System" ersetzt. Dabei handelt es sich um eine zweiteilige Veranstaltung, sodass nach wie vor 4 SWS zu absolvieren sind. Nähere Informationen unter "Courses".

2. Der inhaltliche Fokus des Programms wird vom Recht der USA auf das Recht von England und Wales verschoben. Die Zwischen- und Abschlussprüfungen werden aber nach wie vor so gestaltet, dass auch Studenten mit "alten" Scheinen die Aufgabenstellungen mit ihrem Wissen bewältigen können.

The following courses for the Law & Language Program are offered in the summer semester 2017:
Times and location will also be announced in Fridolin and on the board of the Chair for International law (1st floor).

Prof. Dr. Burke: Law of the European Union

Monday, 8:00 - 12:00, SR 314


This course will serve as an in-depth introduction to EU law, and can be taken by complete beginners, as well as by students who wish to deepen their knowledge of this subject area. The course will begin with an examination of the birth of the European Economic Community, investigating how progressive decades of integration transformed a free trade treaty system into an international organisation like no other. A key focus will be placed upon the activities of the European Court of Justice and its doctrines of supremacy and direct effect. The constitutional traditions of member states will be examined, and classes will aim to investigate how national legal systems have been affected by the import of European law. The law of the European Economic Area and that of the European Free Trade Association will also be examined, and will be used, alongside Public International law and domestic law, to contextualise the unique nature of EU law. Students will be encouraged to contribute to the seminars.

EU law: Text, Cases, and Materials (Paul Craig and Gráinne de Búrca), Oxford University Press, 5th Edition, 2011

Prof. Dr. Burke: Legal Theory, Philosohy and problem-solving

Monday, 14:00 - 16:00, HS 7


This course will tackle key issues in the field of jurisprudence, that is, legal philosophy. Every legal tradition has its own legal philosohers; its own paragons who are looked to for guidance. The common law tradition is no different in this regard. The jurisprudence of the common law has been underpinned by the development of a 'battle' between positivists and natural lawyers, and the refinements brought forth by either side. This course aims to offer a taste of that process.

Reference will also be had to French philosophers, and to modern concepts such as feminism and ciritical theory that have influenced new streams of jurisprudence.

Students will be presented with problem questions in class, and class participation will be strongly encouraged. The goal of the class will be to turn philosophical principles into practical problem-solving and argumentative techniques.

Lloyd's Introduction to Jurisprudence (MDA Fremman), Sweet and Maxwell Publishing, 8th Edition, 2008

Dr. Swann: Constitutional & Administrative Law

Tuesday, 12:00 - 14:00, HS 7;

Wednesday, 12:00 - 14:00, HS 7


This course explores fundamental elements of British constitutional law and administrative law in England and Wales. Starting with essential tenets of the UK constitutional structure, including the impact of EU membership (and prospectively Brexit), lectures will address various aspects of the constitution and operation of the UK’s legislature and executive before turning to the devolution of power within the UK. In the second half of the course the focus will be on (i) human rights and their protection and (ii) judicial review and other redress for maladministration. The course will highlight diffused and multi-layered accountability for the exercise of power within current British constitutional structures. Across the teaching sessions there will be opportunity both to assess understanding by application to problem scenarios and to deepen understanding of the relevant debates.

AW Bradley, KD Ewing and CJS Knight, Constitutional and Administrative Law, 16th Edition, Pearson (2015)

In addition students should purchase a copy of a statute book, such as Robert G Lee, Blackstone's Statutes on Public Law & Human Rights 2016-2017, 26th edition, Oxford University Press (2016).

Prof. Dr. Burke: Contemporary Problems in Public International Law

Monday, 12:00 - 14:00, SR 125



This course will deal with a number of contemporary issues in public international law in detail, including the management of international watercourses, and large flows of refugees

Literature will be assigned at a later date.

Dr. Swann: Equity and Trusts

Tuesday, 10:00 - 12:00, SR 114

Thursday, 16:00 - 18:00, SR 4119



This course examines the fundamental concepts and principles of Equity, as it applies in the legal system of England and Wales, with a predominant focus on the law of trusts, a central pillar of English property law. After an introduction to Equity, lectures will focus on the nature of the trust, the different types of trust, the essential requirements of an express trust, and the various legal problems that may arise when a requirement is not satisfied. Besides difficulties with private trusts we will address legal issues more specific to trusts in commercial and not-for-profit contexts. In the final third of the course we turn to administration of trusts and remedies for breach of trust. Across the teaching sessions there will be opportunity both to assess understanding by applying the law to problem scenarios and to deepen understanding of the legal debates and settings within which trusts operate.

Graham Virgo, The Principles of Equity and Trusts, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press (2016)

In addition students should purchase a copy of a property law statute book, such as Meryl Thomas (ed.), Blackstone’s Statutes on Property Law 2016-2017, 24th edn, Oxford University Press (2016), which will also be essential for study of Land Law.

Andrew Otto: Tort Law

Blockveranstaltung; Zeit und Ort werden noch bekannt gegeben

The law of Tort tells us when people may recover compensation for an infringement of their rights outside a contracual relationship. In English Law there is no single principle of tort but rather a series of different torts. Tort law is essentially based on Common Law and this will be honoured by focusing on important judgements, most notably the famous case of Donoghue v. Stevenson [1932] AC 562. Classes will depend on student participation (in English of course). Students will need to be fluent in the English language und have an understanding how the Common law functions.

Mark Lunney and Ken Oliphant, Tort Law: Text and Materials, 5th Edition, 2013

Dr. Anna Bara: Law and History of Contemporary Conflicts

Blockveranstaltung; Zeit und Ort werden noch bekannt gegeben

This course examines the origins, causes and outcomes of different types of conflicts, ranging from modern interstate war to ethnic intrastate conflicts. Various dynamics of conflict initiation, intensity, duration, and the potential for resolution constitute the main focus of the study. Though the military aspects of certain conflicts are discussed in terms of impact and outcome, this course does not concentrate on battles and warfare per se. Instead, the political, economic, and ideological background to, influence on, and consequences of, selected conflicts are stressed. World Wars and conflicts related to the Cold War will be highlighted. Other problems of interest will concentrate around the success and failure of collective security, revolutionary and civil wars, the role of nationalism, regional disputes, attempts at “humanitarian” intervention in the post-Cold War period, and the international implications of the “War on Terrorism” since September 2001. The empirical material includes historical, political, organisational, and economic grounds as well as the narratives of the parties involved analysed through the lens of conflict theory. Although the main emphasis is on international conflicts of the XX century, comparative reference will be made to both earlier conflicts and those that have occurred in the beginning of the XXI century.

International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond, edited by Antony Best, Jussi M. Hanhimäki, Joseph A. Maiolo, and Kirsten E. Schulze. Second Edition (London and New York: Routledge, a Taylor & Francis Group, 2008). ISBN 978-0-415-43896-4.

Additional Indicative Reading List

Beckett, Ian. The Great War 2nd ed. (2007)
Geller, Daniel S. and J. David Singer. Nations at War: A Scientific Study of International   Conflict (1998)
Johnson, James Turner. Just War Tradition and the Restraint of War: A Moral and Historical  Inquiry (1984)
Kalyvas, S. N., Shapiro, I., & Masoud, T. E., eds., Order, conflict, and violence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).
Pons, Silvio and Federico Romero, eds., Reinterpreting the End of the Cold War: Issues,    Interpretations, Periodizations (2005)
Schroeder, Paul W. Systems, Stability, and Statecraft: Essays on the International History of   Modern Europe.  David Wetzel, Robert Jervis, and Jack S. Levy, eds. (2004)
Tilly, Charles. “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime” in Bringing the State Back, edited by Peter Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

Additional reading will be supplied during the seminar.



Prof. Dr. Burke: Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition Training

Wednesday, 14:00 - 16:00, SR 129



This course is intended as a key component of the preparation activities for the Jessup Moot Court Team, and will be offered to team members. It will consist of trial pleadings, skills training and guidance on how to write excellent memorials and deal with situations involving mulitsource legal reasoning.

White & Case Jessup Guide

Prof. Dr. Ciarán Burke      Andrew Otto    

Prof. Dr. Ciarán Burke, LL.M.

Room 1.50
Phone: +49 (0)3641/9-42270


Andrew Otto



Dr. Swann


Professor Burke's CV can be found
on the page of his chair.
Andrew Otto teaches English Law within the framework
of the University of London International Programmes
at the University of Passau, Germany. He is a Visiting
Professor at a number of Siberian universities, a regular
guest lecturer at universities in Italy, Spain, France and
the United Kingdom. Before coming to Passau in 2004
Andrew Otto worked briefly with the European Agency
for Reconstruction in Kosovo and from 1998 - 2003 as
lecturer in Law at the University of Warwick. Born in York-
shire and brought up in England, the Netherlands and
Germany, he studied German and European Law in Saar-
brücken where he successfully passed the Second State
Examinations for Lawyers in 1993.
Lecturer in English Common Law