An Optional European Contract Law Code: Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted: 17 Dec 2007 Last revised: 26 Dec 2013

See all articles by Stefan Grundmann

Stefan Grundmann

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Law; European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Wolfgang Kerber

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics

Abstract

Should the EU introduce an Optional European Contract Law Code and what should it look like? By applying economic theories of federalism and regulatory competition (legal federalism), it is shown why an Optional Code would be a very suitable legal instrument within a two-level European System of Contract Laws. By allowing private parties' choice of law to a certain extent, it can combine the most important advantages of centralization and decentralization of competences for legal rules. Through differentiated analyses of three kinds of contract law rules (mandatory substantive rules, mandatory information rules and facilitative law), important conclusions can be reached: which kinds of contract law rules are most suitable to be applied on an optional basis (e.g. facilitative law) and which might be less so (e.g. a core of information regulations). Furthermore a number of additional general conclusions about the design and scope of an Optional EU Code and some conclusions in regard to sales law are derived.

Keywords: Contract law, European union, Legal federalism, Regulatory competition

JEL Classification: H7, K12 ,K33

Suggested Citation

Grundmann, Stefan and Kerber, Wolfgang, An Optional European Contract Law Code: Advantages and Disadvantages. European Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 215-236, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1074922

Stefan Grundmann

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Law ( email )

Unter den Linden 6
Berlin, D-10099
Germany

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

Wolfgang Kerber (Contact Author)

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Am Plan 2
Marburg, D-35037
Germany
+49 6421 2823921 (Phone)

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