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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Comparative and International Trust law (LAWS11243)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines the notion of ¿trust¿ from a functional perspective. It explores the essential nature of trusts, as well as their core features across a number of jurisdictions.
The course is not limited to any particular system of ¿trust law¿, and in particular it is not a course devoted to the common law understanding of the ¿trust¿ only, being international and comparative in its approach.

The course examines the different conceptual approaches that are taken to the ¿trust¿ across selected jurisdictions to demonstrate the flexibility and diversity of the concept.
European harmonisation projects, and other international trust instruments, are also considered alongside selected mainstream trust jurisdictions. The trust jurisdictions considered include England and Wales, the United States of America, selected ¿offshore¿ jurisdictions, mixed legal systems (such as Scotland, South Africa and Quebec) and civil law systems, including, for instance, Germany and France.

This course does not require any previous knowledge of trust law. However, it does presuppose a basic knowledge of EACH of the following: the law of obligations, property law, and insolvency law; some understanding of succession law and international private law is also desirable. It also presupposes familiarity with basic comparative law methodologies as well as a basic understanding of the concepts of civil law, common law and mixed legal jurisdictions.
Course description 1. Academic description

The aim of the course is to familiarise students with the advanced study of the law of trusts and to encourage them to analyse national solutions to the problems of conceptualising trust law in comparative perspective. Students will be encouraged in seminars to discuss problem areas and to suggest and evaluate the theories by which they may be resolved.

2. Outline content (the exact seminar topics can vary):

Introductory seminar
The notion of ¿trust¿ and its elements
The trust in English law
The trust in Commonwealth jurisdictions
The trust in the US
Trusts in ¿off-shore¿ jurisdictions

The trust in civil law jurisdictions (1)
The trust in civil law jurisdictions (2)
The trust in mixed legal jurisdictions
Trusts in European harmonisation projects

3. Student Learning Experience

The course will be taught by a series of 10 two-hour seminars, for which students will be provided in advance with reading lists, and questions to guide their development of ideas. Active participation in seminar discussions will be encouraged. All students will be required to give an oral presentation concerning a particular paper on the reading list or on a specific topic.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  29
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A critical knowledge and understanding of the conceptual approaches to the notion of ¿trust¿.
  2. An understanding of the core features of trusts across a number of jurisdictions.
  3. An appreciation of the comparative approach to the study of trusts.
  4. An ability to comment critically and engage in debate on the issues examined.
Reading List
The essential reading for each seminar is indicated on the handout accompanying the particular seminar. Handouts will be issued electronically on ¿LEARN¿ at least one week before each seminar.
Students are expected to read the assigned material prior to each seminar and to be able to discuss it in detail.

The literature on trust law is vast. Among the books that will be frequently used and referred to are:

* M Graziadei, U Mattei and L Smith (eds), Commercial Trusts in European Private Law (CUP 2005)
* D J Hayton (ed), Modern International Developments in Trust Law (Kluwer Law International 1999)
* D J Hayton (ed), Extending the Boundaries of Trusts and Similar Ring-fenced Funds (Kluwer Law International 2002)
* D J Hayton (ed), The International Trust (3rd edn Jordans 2011)
* R Helmholz and R Zimmermann (eds), Itinera Fiduciae: Trust and Treuhand in an Historical Perspective (Duncker and Humblot 1998)
* L Ho and R Lee (eds), Trust Law in Asian Civil Law Jurisdictions (CUP 2013)
* M Lupoi, Trusts: A Comparative Study (CUP 2000)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsTrusts,Foundation,Treuhand,Fiducie,Fideicomiso,Legal Transplants,Patrimony,Hague Trusts Convention
Course organiserDr Daniel Carr
Course secretaryMiss Lauren Ayre
Tel: (0131 6)50 2002
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