The Constitutionalization of European Contract Law: Judicial Convergence and Social Justice
European Review of Contract Law, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2006
14 Pages Posted: 17 May 2012
Date Written: February 2006
A form of contract law constitutionalization known by most European legal systems is the horizontal effect of fundamental rights and constitutional principles. This paper presents a comparative overview of fundamental rights adjudication in the private law of ten EU Member States. It draws attention to the spontaneous judicial convergences in contract law, which enable us to speak of the common ‘fact patterns’ of horizontal effect.
This paper aims to demonstrate two theses: first, this horizontal effect is a pan-European phenomenon, not necessarily linked to a particular national legal culture. Second, horizontal effect in contract law is not politically neutral but inspired, at least in its application by national courts, by policies of social justice.
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