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Department Private Law

Private law is the part of the law that regulates relations between citizens and businesses. It includes liability law, contract law, property law, company law, law of persons and family law, insolvency law and civil procedure.

The Private Law department at the UvA provides Bachelor's, Master's and postgraduate education and conducts international and national research in the field of private law. The department is, among others, responsible for the Dutch Master's programme Privaatrecht – including the tracks Commerciële rechtspraktijk and Privaatrechtelijke rechtspraktijk – Law & Finance and European Private Law. In addition, the department provides approximately half of the courses in the Dutch Bachelor's programme Rechtsgeleerdheid and some courses in the interdisciplinary English-language Bachelor's programme Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE).

New social developments are central

New social developments are central to the research and education of the Private Law Department. These include questions such as:

  • What is the role of private law in the social-ecological changes in society and, in particular, in the European 'Green New Deal'?
  • How does private law relate to processes of globalisation?
  • Conflicts of interest in the stock exchange company and the governance of not-for-profit organisations
  • The way in which public law rules impact on private law. For example, in the supply and network management of energy and water and in the application of financial laws and regulations.

Attention is also paid to concrete social issues such as:

  • How should liability for 'self-thinking' robots be regulated?
  • Is a producer of mobile phones obliged to provide software updates?
  • Is a company liable for human rights violations at suppliers abroad?
  • Can valid contracts be concluded on egg donation?
  • Should the development of out-of-court dispute resolution be encouraged or curbed? 

European and Dutch private law

  • The research of the staff members of the Private Law Department focuses on both European and Dutch private law. Many staff members take an active part in the European debate, for example in the areas of contract law, property law, private international law and consumer law. Other staff members focus their research more on the national debate. For example, in the field of civil procedural law, corporate law, insolvency law and law of persons and family law. Some staff members do both.
  • In addition, experiential learning is an important part of our teaching, for example in the courses that belong to the Amsterdam Law Practice. Naturally, the relationship with other disciplines is also taken into account. The emphasis is on the influence that European directives and regulations have on the field of Dutch private law.