The New European Legal Culture - Ten Years On
Towards a European Legal Culture, G. Helleringer & K.P. Purnhagen (eds.), Baden-Baden: C.H. Beck-Hart-Nomos 2014, pp. 17-24.
Xinde ouzhou falü wenhua (《新的欧洲法律文化》), Zhongguo falü chubanshe (中国法制出版社（中国：北京）), M.W. Hesselink & L. Wei (transl.), [Chinese translation of The New European Legal Culture], Beijing: China Legal Publishing House 2010, pp. 1-16.
6 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2009 Last revised: 1 Apr 2014
Date Written: December 7, 2009
This is a postscript to The New European Legal Culture which was written for the Chinese translation almost a decade after the original essay was published. That essay argued that Europe was facing a shift from a rather formal, dogmatic and positivistic approach to a more substance-oriented and pragmatic approach to private law.
Ten years on, has the trend towards a new, less formal legal culture in Europe been confirmed or is there now a reverse tendency? As this paper points out, the picture is mixed: there are both examples of neo-formalism and new examples of a more substantive approach to private law. Four milestones and their implications for European legal culture are addressed: the sudden end of the postmodern era after 9/11, the failed European constitution and related neo-nationalism, the arrival of the new Member States, and the CFR process. Overall, today the neo-formalist tendencies seem to be stronger than a decade ago.
Keywords: legal culture, European private law, formalism
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