French Private Law I

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
01 July 2024


Requisites for this module


LW206, LW208

Key module for

LLB M122 English and French Law (Maitrise),
LLB M123 Licence English and French Law (Double Degree)

Module description

This module will provide students with a first insight into French private law. It gives a general introduction to French Private Law and especially focuses on key aspects of the French legal system and family law (marriage, transsexuals, surrogacy). Key legal principles such as human dignity and privacy are also discussed.

This module focuses on the techniques of legal writing specific to French law and French legal culture, especially fiche d'arret and cas pratique.

Students will practice the reasoning necessary for these exercises that they have to understand and master before going to France.

Module aims

The module aims at engaging students in French legal writing and thinking, and at providing them with tools to learn to work effectively in French law alongside the English legal system.

At the end of the module, students will:

1. understand the specific requirements of French private law
2. be able to use the French civil code accurately
3. be able to discuss current legal and societal questions (such as transsexuality, medically assisted reproduction, adoption, relationships between the domestic Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights)
4. Be able to critically analyse current changes in French family law
5. Be able to develop their own legal thinking and analysis relating to the above topics
6. Master the methodology of the fiche d'arret and cas pratique

Module learning outcomes

Upon completion of the module, students should be familiar with French culture and have gained an understanding of the functioning of the French legal system.

They should also have mastered the skills to write a proper fiche d'arret and cas pratique

Module information

For the exam, only the French Civil Code (Dalloz) will be allowed. It is compulsory for students to purchase it (available on Amazon). Please note that in France, the books are generally updated over the summer (August/September). Please buy French Civil Code (Dalloz) (or any supplementary book you wish) in September to make sure you buy the latest edition available.

To achieve the module outcomes, students will have lectures that will transmit the necessary knowledge of the French legal system and culture, as well as tutorials that provide the opportunity to demonstrate understanding, reasoning and analytical skills, and to master the technique of the fiche d'arret and cas pratique.

Learning and teaching methods

This module is taught via weekly lectures and tutorials as well as pre-recorded videos and other learning tools available on the Moodle platform. The module teaching team will produce and make available on Moodle short guidance notes. The notes will also contain tips designed both to help you navigate the material to be covered in the lectures to equip you to analyse the required readings. You will be expected to have completed the required readings in advance of your tutorials. Your tutorials will enable you to discuss the material covered in lectures and the required readings, obtain feedback on your pre-class preparation and deepen your understanding of key concepts. To help you prepare in the best possible way for your tutorials, you will be completing regular small assessed activities to enable you to reflect upon and track your progress, understand what you are doing well, and give you clear feedback to help you manage your studies and your progress.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Practical   Continuous Assessment (LW112 Droit privĂ©)    100% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 210 minutes during Early Exams 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 210 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
20% 80%


Coursework Exam
0% 100%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Laure Sauve, email: lsauve@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Laure Sauve
The Law Education Admin Team - lawschoolug@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Marie-Luce Paris
University College Dublin
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
Of 878 hours, 54 (6.2%) hours available to students:
824 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Law School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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