The law degrees at IE University are unique in many ways. Here national laws are dialects of a common legal language. In the key field of private law, we have realised how fruitful it is to use the European principles of the law of contracts and property. These principles are not something esoterical, for senior students alone, but a perfect learning tool for junior students.

The European Commission has expressly endorsed this innovative approach by granting IE University the European Module “Towards a Common Private Law of Europe” within the prestigious Jean Monnet Programme, under the direction of Professor Marco de Benito.

In the Module, the common private law of Europe is addressed transversally through four different courses: European Legal History, EU Law, Contracts, and Property. This transversal stance is supplemented by seminars and publications.

A world of difference separates the traditional and the IE way. With us, the students learn “offer and acceptance,” “vices of consent,” “personal security,” “transmission of property…” by reference to the common European principles (mainly the DCFR) and through comparison to the Código civil, the Code civil, or the BGB.

In this way, students develop a much more sophisticated, cosmopolitan understanding of the law, and incorporate the comparative standpoint naturally into their future legal practice.


Professor of Law, IE University

Dr. iur. (Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid)
European legal history; comparative procedural law; international arbitration

Francisco de Elizalde

Professor of Law, IE University

Dr. iur. (Universidad de Navarra)
Comparative private law; contracts; property


Professor of Law, IE University

Dr. iur. (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
European and international antitrust law; EU internal market law

Professor of Law, IE University

Dr. iur. (KU Leuven)
European legal history; history of church-state relations; legal theory