LAW10430 French Private Law 1

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module constitutes an introductory course to French Private Law in year 1 of the BCL Law with French Law and BCL/ Maîtrise programmes. It is designed to provide students with a good understanding of the main features of civil law. Substantively, the course falls into 3 sections: 1. Notions de Droit Civil. 2. Personnes, Droit de la Famille, Incapacités. 3. Biens. It is taught in French and closely reflects the way law is taught in French universities. In order to prepare the students for their studies in France (Level 3 for BCL Law with French Law students and Levels 3 and 4 for BCL/ Maîtrise students), the course puts strong emphasis on French legal methodology and examination techniques. This module uses Brighstpace.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

1. Explain the basic features of the French Civil Law system.
2. Conduct research in the field of French Civil Law using primary sources (notably the French Civil Code) and secondary sources in French.
3. Use French legal terminology through the study of French law materials and cases.
4. Write a Commentaire d’Arrêt (Case Note).
5. Write legal opinions using the French ‘plan’ system (two sections, two sub-sections).

*[Note: this course merely introduces the methodology of the Dissertation Juridique (Essay), which is considered in more detail in French Civil Law II LAW20360)].

Indicative Module Content:

Titre I – Notions de droit Civil :

-Le droit civil au sein du système juridique français:
• La hiérarchie des normes en droit français
• Les conséquences liées à l’appartenance du système juridique français à la tradition romano-germanique
• La distinction entre droit public et droit privé
• La place du droit civil au sein du droit privé
• Les droits subjectifs

-Les sources du droit civil:
• Sources formelles : la loi et son application
• Sources informelles : la coutume et la jurisprudence

-L’organisation judiciaire:
• Les principes de la justice
• Le système de juridictions
• Le déroulement de la procédure

Titre II – Droit des personnes et de la famille :

-Droit des personnes:
• Notions et définitions de la personnalité juridique
• Moyens juridiques d’individualisation des personnes physiques
• Régime de protection des majeurs (sauvegarde de justice, curatelle, tutelle)
• Personnes morales

-Droit de la famille:
• Mariage, PACS et concubinage
• Filiation
• Effets de la parenté et de l’alliance

Titre III – Droit des biens :

-Notion de biens

-Propriété – Contenu et protection:
• Plénitude de la propriété
• Restrictions à la propriété
• Copropriété
• Protection de la propriété – possession

-Propriété – Modes d’acquisition:
• Occupation
• Accession
• Prescription acquisitive
• Contrat
• Sanction du droit de la propriété

*Note: Topics are susceptible to change and be re-ordered slightly.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
You are required to take an active learning approach during lectures and tutorials:

- Lectures: you must come prepared having read lectures' notes and handouts available on Brightspace BEFORE the class; during the lecture a friendly atmosphere will be encouraged and active participation will be expected.

- Tutorials: students must come prepared with their questions about the "commentaire d'arrêt" and, as appropriate, must have done the preparatory work in advance, as per the lecturer-tutor instructions.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Fiche d'arrêt (preparatory work and group presentation) Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Attendance: Attendance and participation in lectures and tutorials Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No


Assignment: Writing of a 1,500 words "commentaire d'arrêt" (case note). Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given on at least three occasions during T2 to students in LAW10430 French Private Law 1: - Prior to their "commentaire d'arrêt" submission, students will be given individual feedback on their "fiche d'arrêt". - Post-submission of their "commentaire d'arrêt", class feedback will be posted on Brightspace (indicative, not full model answers). Students will also have opportunities to self-assess their progress through activities available on Brightspace and during tutorials, where oral feedback will be provided.

Name Role
Cecile Le Gallou Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Andrew Woods Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Mon 15:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32 Wed 09:00 - 10:50