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Full Harmonization in European Private Law: A Two-Track Concept

European Review of Private Law, Forthcoming

40 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2011  

Vanessa Mak

Tilburg Law School

Date Written: November 16, 2011


This article seeks to elaborate a new understanding of full harmonization in European private law as a two-track concept. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) applies it in two different ways, namely in a ‘result-oriented’ or in a ‘basis of liability’ manner. Connecting them to private law theory, these distinctly different approaches bring to mind a famous dichotomy between common law and civil law systems on the way in which they perceive the relation between rights, wrongs and remedies. The article proposes that a new understanding of the CJEU’s legal reasoning in light of private law theory can provide new insights for law-making in European private law.

Keywords: Full harmonization, private law theory, CJEU, unfair commercial practices, product liability

Suggested Citation

Mak, Vanessa, Full Harmonization in European Private Law: A Two-Track Concept (November 16, 2011). European Review of Private Law, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Vanessa Mak (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE

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