The Common Frame of Reference for European Private Law—Policy Choices and Codification Problems

61 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2008 Last revised: 16 Dec 2019

See all articles by Horst Eidenmueller

Horst Eidenmueller

University of Oxford; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Florian Faust

Independent

Hans Christoph Grigoleit

Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich - Faculty of Law

Nils Jansen

University of Muenster

Gerhard Wagner

Humboldt University School of Law; University of Chicago Law School

Reinhard Zimmermann

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Date Written: Winter 2008

Abstract

At the beginning of the year, the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR) was published. The text is the result of the work of a broad range of private law scholars from the Member States of the European Union, and it presents itself as an ‘academic’ document, committed to the precepts of scholarship rather than politics. Notwithstanding its unwieldy name, the text is nothing less than the draft of the central components of a European Civil Code. The following article aims to inform the reader about this potentially important document and to initiate further academic debate about it. Following an overview of the genesis and content of the DCFR (Part 1), the discussion focuses on whether, and to what extent, it is based upon consistent and convincing core aims and values (Part 2). The article then proceeds to address, more specifically, the significance of private autonomy, and it examines the extent to which the proposed rules satisfy the requirements of legal certainty and legal clarity (Part 3). Thereafter, the DCFR is measured against the criteria of internal consistency and systematic integrity (Part 4). Also (Part 5) the question is asked whether the Draft critically reflects and convincingly integrates the sources on which it is based (that is the Lando Commission's Principles of European Contract Law and the Acquis Principles, as well as the private law traditions of the Member States). Also deserving of attention is the inclusion of more than 120 definitions of central concepts of private law, which are not to be found in this form or level of detail in either the Lando Principles or the national private laws (Part 6).

Keywords: Common Frame of Reference; CFR; European Private Law; Principles of European Contract Law; PECL; Acquis Principles

Suggested Citation

Eidenmueller, Horst G. M. and Faust, Florian and Grigoleit, Hans Christoph and Jansen, Nils and Wagner, Gerhard and Zimmermann, Reinhard, The Common Frame of Reference for European Private Law—Policy Choices and Codification Problems (Winter 2008). Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 28, Issue 4, pp. 659-708, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1315599 or http://dx.doi.org/gqn031

Horst G. M. Eidenmueller (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Florian Faust

Independent

No Address Available
United States

Hans Christoph Grigoleit

Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich - Faculty of Law ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany
+49 (0)89 / 2180 - 1471 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jura.uni-muenchen.de/personen/grigoleit_hans/index.html

Nils Jansen

University of Muenster ( email )

Institut für Rechtsgeschichte
Universitätsstraße 14-16
Münster, D-48143
Germany

Gerhard Wagner

Humboldt University School of Law ( email )

Unter den Linden 9
Berlin, 10099
Germany

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Reinhard Zimmermann

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law ( email )

Mittelweg 187
Hamburg, 20148
Germany

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