Justice Through European Private Law

14 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2016

See all articles by Chantal Mak

Chantal Mak

University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL); University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 25, 2016


To what extent should judges in civil cases take into account moral views in their adjudication of a case? The answer to this question depends on the way in which the relationship between law and morality is conceived of: If law is seen as a branch of political morality, judges should already take into consideration moral views when defining the legal question that is at stake in a case. If, on the other hand, law and morality are understood as related, but not completely overlapping, then societal moral views will be of lesser significance in deciding the legal question at issue. On the basis of examples taken from different European countries (the Netherlands, England, Spain) and the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, this text explores ideas of law, morality and justice that find expression in judgments in civil cases in the EU. It is submitted that, while judges should in principle not interfere with questions of personal morality, they may be required to acknowledge the implications of a society’s political morality for a specific private legal dispute.

Keywords: European Private law, justice, European Contract law

JEL Classification: K12

Suggested Citation

Mak, Chantal, Justice Through European Private Law (February 25, 2016). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2016-14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2744591 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2744591

Chantal Mak (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL) ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB

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