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The Institutional Framework of European Private Law

Edited by Fabrizio Cafaggi

Oxford University Press, 2006


The Institutional Framework of European Private LawThis volume explores the relationship between constitutional and regulatory questions on the one hand, and private law on the other hand, examining how European private law has developed under the influence of regional legal traditions and the EU acquis communautaire. It focuses on the multiple actors and institutions that today contribute to legal and cultural integration within a multi-level framework, involving Member States and subnational actors together with EU Institutions. It underlines the different roles of legislators, regulators and judges in building an integrated market which is consistent with fundamental rights and social policies. It also highlights the principles and institutions that may preserve national legal identities in the context of European legal and political integration, striking a difficult balance between harmonization and differentiation.

Within this framework the volume questions the current boundaries of European private laws and proposes a coordinated perspective which examines competition, regulation and private law alike. The book focuses in particular on competition and consumer law, and on tort and regulation. Attention is also drawn to the strategic role to be played by private international law. It is argued that the distinction between private and public law should be redefined by acknowledging a new balance between public institutions and private parties.

The collection contains several proposals for furthering the process of Europeanization of private law without losing the richness of existing western legal traditions as they have developed in previous centuries. It calls on European and national institutions to involve practitioners in devising new patterns of legal integration and in transforming European legal education.

This book is an original contribution to the scholarly and policy debates about the desirability and modes of Europeanization of private law, in a context in which the pressures of globalization and of national identities seem to question the chosen path of integration.


Table of Contents



Fabrizio Cafaggi, Introduction

Stephen Weatherill, European Private Law and the Constitutional Dimension

Horatia Muir Watt, Integration and Diversity: the Conflict of Laws as a Regulatory Tool

Walter van Gerven, Bringing (Private) Laws Closer to Each Other at the European Level

Angus Johnston and Hannes Unberath, Law at, to or from the Centre? The European Court of Justice and the Harmonization of Private Law in the European Union

Norbert Reich, Transformation of Contract Law and Civil Justice in the New EU Member Countries

Fabrizio Cafaggi, A Coordinated Approach to Regulation and Civil Liability in European Law: Rethinking Institutional Complementarities

Albertina Albors-Llorens, Consumer Law, Competition Law and the Europeanization of Private Law




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