Articles Developments in PIL Law teaching Scholarship

Van Hoek on Teaching Private International Law

Aukje van Hoek (Professor of Private International Law and Civil Procedure at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) has made available on SSRN a new research paper dedicated to Teaching Private International Law – A View From the Netherlands. A version of this paper is a forthcoming publication in Xandra Kramer and Laura Carballo Piñeiro, Research Methods in Private International Law, a Handbook (Edward Elgar).

This paper is very interesting for those teaching Private International Law around the world as it provides an insight into how the topic is approached and what choices are made for students in the Netherlands in familiarising them with a topic that is reputably very technical and relying on various layers of rules – national, European, and international. Although the context may be very different from the European one, such contributions can be a point of inspiration for other colleagues tackling this topic for their students around the world, not only on the topic of Private International Law itself, but also on the pedagogical approach to teaching and evaluating the students in line with the objectives of the course.

The abstract of the contribution reads as following:

This contribution discusses the choices facing academics who teach private international law. It builds on the theory of constructive alignment – a theory which is explained in paragraph 3. The author demonstrates that in order to reach depth of understanding, choices have to be made as to the comprehensiveness of topics to be discussed. In paragraph 4 to 6 the author describes different approaches to the teaching of private international law and the concurrent choices as to topics to be discussed and materials to be used. Which choices are eventually made when developing a specific course, will depend on the staff teaching the course and the ‘Umfeld’ in which the course is situated. This Umfeld consist of the societal context, the sources of private international law which are relevant in practice, the overall university system and the programme goals toward which the course contributes.