The visit of Prof. Dr. André Prüm, 4-6 April 2023

In the framework of the Inter-University Cooperation Project, the University of Luxembourg is supporting teaching capacities at the Faculty of Law and Political Science (FLP) of the National University of Laos. In this regard the Inter-University Project invited Professor Dr. André Prüm to give a seminar on contract law.

The main objective of this 3-day seminar was to introduce the participants to the principles of contract law and specifically explore “the New Civil Code of Laos in light of International Practices”. The seminar was organized from 4-6 April 2023 at the Faculty of Law and Political Science in Vientiane.

The seminar focused on the definition of the contract from both domestic and international interpretation, freedom and enforceability of contracts, conditions for a valid contract, and contract performance. The Inter-University Project brought together lecturers from the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the National University of Laos, lecturers from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) of Vientiane, and Practitioners – namely lawyers, members of the Lao Bar Association; judges from Lao People’s Supreme Court; and prosecutors from the Lao Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor.

The first day of the seminar started with an opening remark and warm welcome from Assoc. Prof. Viengvilay Thiengchanxay, Dean of Faculty of Law and Political Science. The morning session of the seminar was dedicated to an introduction of the participants in order for Prof. Dr. Prüm to know the background of each participants, then Prof. Dr. Prüm started the lecture by recollecting the different legal tradition, especially drawing a distinction between civil law and common law systems. In the afternoon session, participants learned about the binding nature of contracts and compared of the specific article from the UNIDROIT principles of international commercial contracts (2016) with the New Civil Code of Laos.

The second day of the seminar was devoted to revisions and allowed participants to discuss their questions from the previous lesson with Prof. Dr. Prüm. This allowed for interactive discussions on the implementation of the New civil code of Laos, discussion also centered around the difference between Civil law and Common law traditions.

In the afternoon of the second day, FLP students and lecturers were invited to an open lecture on “Investor-State Arbitration”. This allowed students to learn more about the background and development of investor-state arbitration and many international treaties as well as the New York Convention and The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID Convention). The participants first explored foreign investment promotion laws in Laos. Prof. Dr. Prüm then explained the need for investor-state arbitration and the different recourses available to investors. He explained different recourses for investors in case of absence of an investment treaty and the difference in available recourses when a treaty has been signed. The participants looked at the relevant treaties signed by Laos DPR and learned about some international arbitration cases that have been brought under international treaties. The lecture concluded with the question of importance of arbitration laws to attract and secure foreign investment.

On the last day of the seminar, participants had the opportunity to learn more about offer and acceptance of a contract, void and voidable contracts and the effect of non-performance of a contract. At the end of the session, all participants were provided a certificate of attendance handed to them by Prof. Dr. Prüm.