The Future of European Contract Law: On Diversity and the Temptation of Elegance

TOWARDS A EUROPEAN IUS COMMUNE IN LEGAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH, Michael Faure, Jan Smits and Hildegard Schneider, eds., Antwerpen (Intersentia), pp. 239-256, 2002

19 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2005 Last revised: 15 Aug 2010

See all articles by Jan M. Smits

Jan M. Smits

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

Abstract

This paper considers the future of contract law in Europe. With the recent publication of the European Commission's Communication on European Contract Law, the debate on the feasibility and contents of a unified European contract law will probably broaden from a merely academic debate to a political one. The main tenet of this paper is that a proper political perspective on the future of European contract law cannot consist of a 'generalizing approach' such as the formulation and enactment of principles of European contract law. The future of contract law in Europe lies in recognizing tendencies of divergence in the law of contract, rather than in enacting general abstractions. This plea for a fragmented European contract law is preceded by a sketch of the historical development toward a general law of contract.

Keywords: Contract Law, Harmonisation, Europe

JEL Classification: K12

Suggested Citation

Smits, Jan M., The Future of European Contract Law: On Diversity and the Temptation of Elegance. TOWARDS A EUROPEAN IUS COMMUNE IN LEGAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH, Michael Faure, Jan Smits and Hildegard Schneider, eds., Antwerpen (Intersentia), pp. 239-256, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=803144

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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