The Future of European Contract Law: On Diversity and the Temptation of Elegance
Jan M. Smits
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI); University of Helsinki - Center of Excellence in Foundations of European Law and Polity
TOWARDS A EUROPEAN IUS COMMUNE IN LEGAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH, Michael Faure, Jan Smits and Hildegard Schneider, eds., Antwerpen (Intersentia), pp. 239-256, 2002
This paper considers the future of contract law in Europe. With the recent publication of the European Commission's Communication on European Contract Law, the debate on the feasibility and contents of a unified European contract law will probably broaden from a merely academic debate to a political one. The main tenet of this paper is that a proper political perspective on the future of European contract law cannot consist of a 'generalizing approach' such as the formulation and enactment of principles of European contract law. The future of contract law in Europe lies in recognizing tendencies of divergence in the law of contract, rather than in enacting general abstractions. This plea for a fragmented European contract law is preceded by a sketch of the historical development toward a general law of contract.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: Contract Law, Harmonisation, Europe
JEL Classification: K12Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 27, 2005 ; Last revised: August 15, 2010
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