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The University of Southampton

Southampton launches European property law course

Published: 14 December 2007

With Europe developing as a market in terms of land, through continental and cross-border transactions, movement of individuals from one country to another and the growth of second homes, a good knowledge and understanding of land law is vital.

The University of Southampton is leading the way in the field of European land law, with the launch of the first postgraduate course in English devoted specifically to land law in its European and comparative aspects.

Professor Peter Sparkes, of the University's School of Law and author of European Land Law (Hart, 2007), comments: 'The free movement of individuals within the EU has led to significant growth in people buying first or second homes in other member states. A good example of this is the huge expatriate community of Britons in Spain and the large numbers of second home owners.

'Property owners are significantly affected by the evolution of European civil law, which is moving towards harmonisation of substantive rules for contracts, family law, succession and trusts. However, at present it appears that the United Kingdom will sit outside these developments, so while there is likely to be a unified civil law across the continent, this may not be the case here. All Britons with homes abroad, and all those who advise second home owners, will need to be fully aware of these developments.

'This new course offers a unique blend of challenging and up to the minute units, all of which should be of interest to anyone involved professionally in the European property market.'

The course will appeal to solicitors advising private and commercial cross-border clients; associated professionals such as bankers, estate agents and development advisers; academic comparative lawyers from the UK and English speakers from Europe, and recent Law graduates from UK and European universities.

Through research-led teaching, students will study and compare the land laws of Europe, in particular: European land law (the law of EEA-30), land laws of Europeans states, secured commercial financing, trusts succession and private taxation and the legal regulation of fraud and money laundering.

The LLM degree is offered on either a full-time basis (over 12 months) or part-time (over 24 months). Students will study in a leading research school ranked 5* in the 2003 Research Assessment Exercise, with access to extensive electronic and print holdings in the Hartley law library.

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