Between Property Law and Contract Law: The Case of Securities

Matthias Haentjens

Leiden University - Leiden Law School


The Future of European Property Law, 2012
Hazelhoff Research Paper Series No. 2
Leiden Law School Research Paper

Grotius and Von Savigny made a strict distinction between property law interests and contract law interests. This distinction still influences current European law systems, both continental and Anglo-Saxon. The Draft Common Frame of Reference (“DCFR”) also seems to build on the same distinction. Yet a harmonisation of the private law rules concerning securities transfers would necessarily have to include both contract law and property law. First, in the case of book-entry securities, the object of the transaction is hard to classify as either purely contractual, or proprietary in nature. This holds equally true for similar, “modern” assets such as carbon credits, i.e. emission rights, and intellectual property rights. Second, specific rules of securities law notwithstanding, contractual and property law aspects of a transfer are virtually inseparable under the general private laws of most jurisdictions, including the DCFR. Thus, more generally, and as stated above, property law harmonisation must accompany contract law harmonisation – and vice-versa.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: Securities, financial law, property law, contract law, Draft Common Frame of Reference, DCFR, harmonisation

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Date posted: May 15, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Haentjens, Matthias, Between Property Law and Contract Law: The Case of Securities (2012). The Future of European Property Law, 2012; Leiden Law School Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2436906

Contact Information

Matthias Haentjens (Contact Author)
Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
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