Convergence of Private Law in Europe: Towards a New Ius Commune?
Jan M. Smits
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI)
COMPARATIVE LAW: A HANDBOOK, Esin Örücü & David Nelken, eds., pp. 219-240, 2007
Oxford: Hart Publishing
This contribution - a chapter in a well-known textbook on comparative law - discusses several of the questions which the emergence of a European private law raises. First, attention is paid to the need for convergence of private law: what are the reasons usually given for harmonising or unifying private law and are these reasons in any way convincing? Secondly, the question is raised how convergence of private law takes place at present. Thus, unification by treaties and harmonisation through Directives are discussed, together with the far-ranging idea of creating a European civil code. A third question is whether convergence of private law is at all possible. Some have argued that the differences among the 28 private law systems we have in Europe (27 national systems and Scots law) are too large to come to any real convergence. Finally, various other methods to reach (further) convergence of private law in Europe will be considered. Should the European Union continue with the present harmonisation process by issuing European directives or should other methods (also) be used to reach more convergence of law? For instance, such wide-ranging pleas have been made for promoting a European legal science and education and for convergence of law through competition of legal systems.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Convergence; private law; ius commune; comparative law
JEL Classification: K10
Date posted: March 20, 2008 ; Last revised: May 15, 2008