The Complexity of Transnational Law: Coherence and Fragmentation of Private Law

University of Helsinki Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 1

18 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2010 Last revised: 18 Apr 2011

See all articles by Jan M. Smits

Jan M. Smits

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 1, 2010

Abstract

It is generally acknowledged that legal rules increasingly flow from different (national, European and supranational) sources. It is equally well established that this multiplication of sources deeply disturbs our idea of law as a coherent and unitary system. The aim of this contribution is to explore this increasing complexity for the field of private law. One aspect of this complexity is an undeniable fragmentation of law. This paper (written as the Netherlands report for the XVIIIth International Congress of Comparative Law 2010) pays special attention to how fragmentation of private law is perceived in the Netherlands and which strategies are adopted to remedy the problems it causes. The approach of the Dutch legislature in dealing with this fragmentation is to try to re-establish a coherent system. This is apparent from both the ways in which European directives are implemented and from the Dutch efforts to deal with the increasing complexity of private international law. European directives are implemented as much as possible inside the Dutch Civil Code in order to keep the private law system intact, even though this cannot take away the causes of increasing incoherence. Also the disperse rules on private international law are structured in a new Book of the Civil Code, even though it is no longer in the power of the national legislature to create a coherent system. This strategy of the Dutch legislature is clearly wrong because it is no longer in the power of a national legislature to create a coherent system through legislation. We should therefore seek new strategies to deal with the various legal regimes that exist on a national territory. The paper explores several of these strategies.

Keywords: Sources, Complexity of Law, European Private Law, Private International Law

Suggested Citation

Smits, Jan M., The Complexity of Transnational Law: Coherence and Fragmentation of Private Law (January 1, 2010). University of Helsinki Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1538187 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1538187

Jan M. Smits (Contact Author)

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, NL-6200 MD
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.jansmits.eu

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