Public University of Navarre

Academic year: 2020/2021
Double Bachelor's degree in Management, Business Administration and Law (international program) at the Universidad Pública de Navarra
Course code: 177825 Subject title: INTRODUCTION TO COMMON LAW SYSTEM
Credits: 3 Type of subject: Mandatory Year: 5 Period: 2º S
Department: Derecho

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Module/Subject matter




Main focus on (North) American legal system: general description, structure, legal sources, case law and Private International Law.

  • The nature, classification and sources of law.
  • Public Law: The Law of the Constitution.
  • The administration of the Law: the role of the Judge in the Common Law. The role of Lawyers in the Common Law.
  • Procedure and evidence.
  • Private Law: The Law of Contract, the Law of Torts, the Law of Property, Trusts and Family Law.


General proficiencies

  • English language skills (C.G.4)
  • Critical analysing skills (C.G.14)
  • Ability to recognize diversity and multiculturism (C.G.13)


Specific proficiencies

  • Ability to express in English using specific terminology [C.E.b.2]
  • Ability to describe the main concepts covered in the course [C.E.b.9]


Learning outcomes

  • Organize coherently the contents of the course
  • Write legal documents related to the contents of the course in a clear way, using precise terminology in English
  • Be aware of the diversity of the society and be able to adapt to new situations
  • Critically review the different Common Law institutions covered along the course
  • The student must be able to identify and describe specific Common Law issues
  • The student must be able to differentiate and compare Common Law and Spanish (civil law) institutions



Activity On-site class time Non-class time  
A-1 ¿ Expositive/participatory lectures 22    
A-2 ¿ Practical cases 8 18  
A-3 ¿ Debates and group assignments      
A-4 ¿ Work on the assignments      
A-5 ¿ Individual reading      
A-6 ¿ Individual study   25  
A-7 ¿ Exams or other evaluation tests 2    
A-8 ¿ Individual tutorship      
Total 32 43 75



Learning outcomes Evaluation system % final grade Second chance
R10,R186,R204,R213 Attendance and active participation 15% no
R10,R151,R186,R204,R213            Case resolution and presentation 35% no
R10,R151,R186,R204,R213 Final exam 50% yes



I: Precedents: history and originality of American Law

1.1 Colonisation.

1.2 Independence and Confederation.

1.3 1787 Constitution and Federalism.


II. The Constitution of the US:

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Structure.

2.3 Articles: government structure and shared powers.

2.4 Amendments: fundamental rights and freedoms.


III. American judicial system.:

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Federal courts.

3.3 Choice of court: jurisdictional issues.

3.4 State judicial system: some remarks.


IV. Sources of law:

4.1 Sources in US legal system vs. Sources in Spanish legal system

4.2 The role of the case law: introduction.

V. Development of common law and the case law as reference:

5.1 Common Law: introduction.

5.2 Study and analysis of the case law.

5.3 Stare Decisis rules.


VI. Corporate Law in the US:

6.1 Introductory remarks.

6.2 Typology.

6.3 Comparative law.


VII. Dispute resolution in the US:

7.1 Introductory remarks.

7.2 Alternative dispute resolution:

    a) Arbitration.

    b) Mediation. 

7.3 US procedural law:

    a) Civil procedures.

    b) Criminal procedures.

    c) Appeals.


VIII. European PIL and American PIL ¿ a comparative analysis:

8.1 Introductory remarks.

8.2 Role of the US in the main international rules and instruments:

   a) Commercial law.

   b) Maritime law.

   c) Judicial cooperation.

   d) Family law.

8.3 International commercial arbitration and the US.

a) The US Code and the Federal Arbitration Act

b) 1958 New York convention.

c) 1965 Washington convention.



Access the bibliography that your professor has requested from the Library.


  • DOMINO, J.C., Civil Rights and Liberties in the 21st Century. Routledge, 2018.
  • BRADLEY. C., International Law in the US. Legal System, Oup, USA, ,2013.
  • FINE,Toni M., An introduction to the Anglo-American legal system, Global Law Collection, Pamplona,Thomsom Aranzadi,2011.
  • TARDIF, Eric, Sistemas jurídicos contemporáneos. Derecho comparado.Limusa 2012.
  • SEROUSSI, Roland, Introduction aux droits anglais et américain, Paris, Dunod,2008.
  • ALCARAZ, Enrique, CAMPOS, Miguel Angel y MIGUELEZ, Cynthia. El inglés jurídico norteamericano, Ariel, 2007. 




The course is given in English and most of the materials in class will be in English.



Public University of Navarre. Campus Arrosadia. Aulario.