European Master of Laws in Law and Economics

Course content

This programme offers the unique opportunity for interdisciplinary studies of law and economics. It provides students with an advanced understanding of the economic effects of divergent laws.
For law students knowledge of the specific regulations of their home country is too narrow a base for counseling firms that are active in interstate trade. Additionally, knowledge of the economic effects of legal rules has become indispensable for understanding their clients' commercial needs.
Similarly, economics students will profit from an accurate understanding of the institutional legal framework of market economies.
Hence, for both lawyers and economists, knowledge of the other discipline and international contacts are crucial for a successful future career.

Borders in Europe are becoming less and less meaningful. For law studies, internationalisation creates a specific problem. The legal systems in the different European countries became increasingly divergent due to the increasing importance of specific regulations regarding areas such as social security, industrial policy, protection of the environment, equal treatment of minority groups etc.

The economic analysis of law, often briefly called 'law and econo­mics', is certainly a good candidate as a standard for relevant comparison of law. Economics should be able to develop thoroughgoing and systematic insights into law, on the explanatory as well as on the normative level.

The Master in Law and Economics allows students to compare the legal institutions of their country and to evaluate them on the basis of a solid analytical framework in the hope for a new European 'ius commune' in which insights of Law and Economics are to play an important role.

Course structure

The study programme comprises three kinds of courses. In order to make law students more familiar with basic economic reasoning, some courses are more economic in orientation. Other courses deal with comparative law in order to internationalise the legal background of the students. Most courses deal directly with the economic analysis of the most important branches of private, public, international and European law. The references to law in the courses will be of a comparative kind, due to the all-European character of the programme and the international composition of the audience.

Student mobility
The programme covers one academic year, for which successful students will receive 60 credits. The academic year is divided into three terms. The unique international and interdisciplinary character of the EMLE Programme is secured through an intensive co-operation between lawyers and economists at no less than eight European Universities and three non-European partners.

Students may study at up to three different universities but cannot spend all terms in the same location.
– In the first term courses will be offered at the universities of Rotterdam, Hamburg and Bologna.
– In the second term students will study at the universities of Ghent, Hamburg or Rotterdam.
– In the third term courses are offered in Aix-en-Provence, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Vienna, Warsaw, Mumbai and Haifa.
A bilateral exchange agreement exists between the University of Rotterdam and the University of California at Berkeley (3rd term).

> Master’s dissertation

The master’s dissertation is a requirement for every candidate to obtain a master’s degree. The master’s dissertation is an original piece of research work. It aims to develop and strengthen the research capacity skills of the students. The student selects a topic and is given guidance by a promoter or supervisor. The master’s dissertation consists of a critical bibliography review part, a theoretical reflection and an original analysis of the topic.

Career perspectives

Law and economy interact in many ways. Private law assists individuals and groups willing to enter into agreements in a free market. Public law seeks to correct the outcomes of a free market system by means of economic and social regulation.
Economists should be informed about the legal environment in which economic activities must be conducted. Lawyers should be aware of the economic effects of current legal rules and the expected outcome under a different legal regime.

The master programme prepares students for a professional career, for example, in public organisations, in multinational law firms or consultancy firms. Graduates are also well prepared for doctorate research in a PhD programme.