"Römisches Recht und Römische Kirche: Ein rechtshistorischer Streifzug (Roman Law and Roman Church. A Foray in the Field of Legal History)" Free Download
Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Kanonistische Abteilung (ZRG KA), Vol. 105, No. 1, pp. 159-179, June 2019
DOI: 10.1515/zrgk-2019-0006
Max Planck Private Law Research Paper No. 19/21

REINHARD ZIMMERMANN, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Deutsche Zusammenfassung: Dies ist der leicht ergänzte Text eines öffentlichen Abendvortrags aus Anlass des 42. Deutschen Rechtshistorikertages im September 2018 in Trier. Nach einem kurzen Überblick über die enorme Spannbreite der Disziplin der Rechtsgeschichte, konzentriert sich der Vortrag auf das Vertragsrecht und das Erbrecht und demonstriert den Einfluss von Rom auf die Entwicklung des europäischen Privatrechts – sowohl des heidnischen Roms der Antike als auch des Roms der christlichen Kirche.

English Abstract: This is the slightly amended text of a public lecture delivered at the invitation of the organizers of the 42nd German Legal History Conference in September 2018 in Trier. After briefly sketching the enormous range of the discipline of legal history, the lecture focuses on the law of contract and the law of succession; and it seeks to demonstrate the importance of Rome on the development of European private law: both the Rome of pagan antiquity and of the Christian Church.

"Materielle Gestaltungsmacht in der Rechtsdurchsetzung in der Volksrepublik China. Aufrechnung und Vertragsstrafen (Enforcing the Law in the People's Republic of China with Penalty Clauses and the Right of Set-Off)" Free Download
Rechtsdurchsetzung durch Vertragsstrafe und Aufrechnung, pp. 67-82, Martin Gebauer, Stefan Huber, eds., Mohr Siebeck, 2018
Max Planck Private Law Research Paper No. 19/23

SHIYUAN HAN, Tsinghua University - School of Law
KNUT BENJAMIN PISSLER, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Deutsche Zusammenfassung: Die Aufrechnung und die Vertragsstrafe sind im Recht der Volksrepublik China erst seit 1999 allgemein normiert. Die Vertragsstrafe hat als „Vertragsverletzungsgeld“ seine Wurzeln allerdings in früheren Rechtssetzungsakten, die (wie im ehemals sozialistischen Rechtskreis üblich) streng danach unterschieden, ob ein ausländischer Partner an den Vertragsbeziehungen beteiligt war oder nicht. Der chinesische Gesetzgeber hat ausweislich der veröffentlichten Gesetzgebungsmaterialien beim Entwurf des Vertragsgesetzes entsprechende Regelungen zur Aufrechnung und Vertragsstrafe im deutschen, italienischen, japanischen und taiwanesischen Recht zu Rate gezogen.

Für die Aufrechnung im chinesischen Recht ist festzustellen, dass die Regelungen zumindest teilweise nicht ausreichend detailliert sind und Lücken aufweisen. Solche Lücken sind vor allem in Mehrpersonenverhältnissen festzustellen, was nicht zuletzt darauf zurückzuführen ist, dass ein allgemeines Schuldrecht in der Volksrepublik China derzeit nicht kodifiziert ist.

Das Vertragsverletzungsgeld ist in China als Hybrid eines pauschalierten Schadenersatzes und einer Vertragsstrafe konzipiert, dem insofern eine Kompensationsfunktion und (ergänzend) eine Straffunktion zukommt. Soweit es nicht zur Kompensation für eine Nichterfüllung vereinbart wird, sondern den Schuldner zur Erfüllung anhält, unterliegt es einer (gerichtlichen oder schiedsgerichtlichen) Kontrolle.

English Abstract: Set-off and penalty clauses have been codified for all types of contracts in the People's Republic of China only since 1999. Contractual penalties in fact have their roots in "breach of contract damages" as set out in earlier legislation, which (as was typical in the former socialist realm) strictly differentiated between contractual relationships involving a foreign partner and those which did not. In drafting the Contract Law, the Chinese legislature, as evidenced by the published legislative materials, considered regulations on set-off and contractual penalties as found in German, Italian, Japanese and Taiwanese law.

In terms of set-off under Chinese law, the provisions are at least in part not sufficiently detailed and exhibit gaps. Such gaps are particularly evident in multi-party relationships, which is not least attributable to the People's Republic of China not presently having codified a comprehensive Civil Code with a chapter on the general law of obligations.

Breach of contract damages in China are conceptualized as a hybrid of flat-rate compensation and contractual penalty, giving them in this respect a compensatory function as well as a (supplementary) penalty function. Where breach of contract damages have not been agreed upon as a compensation for non-performance but rather as a means to reinforce performance, they are subject to review by a judicial or arbitral body.

"Comparing Islamic and International Laws of War: Orthodoxy, ‘Heresy,’ and Secularization in the Category of Civilians" Free Download
American Journal of Comparative Law (AJCL), Vol. 68, Forthcoming September 2020
Max Planck Private Law Research Paper No. 19/22

LENA SALAYMEH, Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

This article investigates how contemporary laws of war rationalize civilian deaths. I concentrate on two specific legal constructions in warfare: the definition of civilian/combatant and the principle of distinction. (The categories of civilian and combatant should be understood as dialogically constitutive and not entirely distinct. In addition, the category of “civilian? is a modern one and premodern legal sources often do not use one term to refer to noncombatants.) I focus on two significant parties in contemporary warfare: al-Q?ʿidah (aka Al-Qaeda) and the U.S. military. al-Q?ʿidah diverges from orthodox Islamic law on these two legal issues, while remaining within the Islamic legal tradition. To scrutinize the nature of this divergence, I compare al-Q?ʿidah’s legal reasoning to the legal reasoning of the U.S. military. I demonstrate that the U.S. military diverges from orthodox international law in ways that parallel how al-Q?ʿidah diverges from orthodox Islamic law. Specifically, both the U.S. military and al-Q?ʿidah elide orthodox categories of civilians and expand the category of combatant, primarily by rendering civilians as probable combatants. Based on this analysis, I argue that the legal reasoning of al-Q?ʿidah (and other militant Islamist groups) combines secular logics and Islamic themes; I call this fusion secularislamized law.

"The Significance of the Qualifying Declarations Under the Cape Town Convention" Free Download
Uniform Law Review (ULR), Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 42-57, March 2019
DOI: 10.1093/ulr/unz011
Max Planck Private Law Research Paper No. 19/20

THOMAS TRASCHLER, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

This article outlines and critically examines the relationship between the qualifying declarations and the economic advantages of the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment. It shows that the qualifying declarations operate rather differently from how they are perceived in academic literature and practice. Specifically, the article shows that the critical advantage of the Convention and the qualifying declaration is the potential to reduce enforcement risk relating to different States in a specific transactional setting and not, as some observers might wrongly perceive, from the Cape Town Discount. Thus, if States are not prepared to make the qualifying declarations, this should not deter them from ratifying the Convention and the Protocol. States and society may benefit from adoption of the Convention and its related protocols with partial — or even without — adoption of the qualifying declarations, bearing in mind of course the interdependency of the Convention’s remedies.


About this eJournal

The Max Planck Private Law Research Paper Series (editors: Prof. Holger Fleischer, Prof. Ralf Michaels, Prof. Reinhard Zimmermann) is an accepted paper series providing recent full text articles authored by scholars of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. Papers cover topics on foreign, European and international private law including commercial law, business law and procedural law as well as comparative legal history and the foundations for comparative law and legal harmonization. All papers in this series can be accessed at:

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