The continuing headlong increase in cross-border legal issues of all kinds raises a host of new issues for private law even as it reconfigures the old issues, both in theory and in practice. In an effort to identify trends and consolidate what we’ve learned in this important area, outstanding legal scholars from nine European countries (plus Australia) convened at the University of Helsinki in August 2006. This volume reproduces, in definitive English texts, twenty-two of the papers presented at that conference.
The issues addressed cluster around four basic questions:
- To what extent does the multiculturalism of the European Union hamper the development of common private law rules?
- Which rules that are specific for a particular state/region/culture need to be preserved?
- To what extent can localism be met with variations in the application of common provisions?
- What problems for the common rules are posed by the fact that they are to be implemented in a multilingual society?
While overarching concerns such as social justice, harmonization, culture, and diversity pervade all the essays, such crucial practical considerations as legal translation and regulation of advertising are not neglected. The book will be welcomed by academics in the various fields of private law everywhere, and will also be of uncommon interest to practitioners in commercial and company law and to policymakers in many areas of government regulation. The conference was organized by the PriME (Private Law in a Multicultural and Multilingual European Society) research project at the Department of Private Law and the Institute of International Economic Law (KATTI) at the University of Helsinki.
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Part I. Introduction. 1. Introduction: Harmonization and National Cultures; T. Wilhelmsson. Part II. Legal Culture and Societal Culture.2. Legal Culture and the General Societal Culture; K. Tuori. 3. The European Union, Law and Society: Making the Societal-Cultural Difference; R. Sefton-Green. 4. European Tort Law and the Many Cultures of Europe; C. van Dam. Part III. Private Law Post Socialism. 5. Is the Socialist Legal Tradition ‘Dead and Buried’? The Continuity of Certain Elements of Socialist Legal Culture in Polish Civil Procedure; R. Manko. 6. Contract Law in a Changing Society – Hungarian Experiences; A. Menyhárd. Part IV. Cultural Diversity and Harmonization. 7. Conflict and Compromise in the Harmonization of European Law; L. Kähler. 8. Legal Culture as Mental Software, or: How to Overcome National Legal Culture? J. Smits. Part V. Cultural Diversity and Social Justice. 9. Does Social Justice Require the Preservation of Diversity in the Private Laws of Member States of Europe? H. Collins. 10. The Common Frame of Reference/Optional Code and the Various Understandings of Social Justice in Europe; B. Lurger. 11. Exporting Economic Democracy – Social Justice and Private Law from the Point of View of Non-European Countries; A. Somma. Part VI. Business Contracts. 12. Harmonized Contract Clauses in Different Business Cultures; G. Cordero Moss. Part VII. Consumer Protection. 13. The Average European Consumer – A Legal Fiction? T. Wilhelmsson. 14. The Regulation of Comparative Advertising and Cultural Variations; J. Bärlund. 15. The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and Marketing Targeted at Minors; K. Viitanen. 16. Effective Enforcement and Different Enforcement Cultures in Europe; P. Rott. Part VIII. Credit. 17. Renting a Slave – European Contract Law in the Credit Society; U. Reifner. 18. Security Rights and the Lack of a Priority Debate: How to Proceed with Choice of Law and Harmonization? T. Juutilainen. Part IX. Harmonization and Language. 19. On the Indeterminacy of Legal Translation; S. Lindroos-Hovinheimo. 20. The Tower of Babel and the Interpretation of EU Law – Implications for Equality of Languages and Legal Certainty; E. Paunio. Part X. Local Multiculturalism. 21. Multi-religious Societies and State Legal Systems: Religious Marriages, the State and Implications for Human Rights; A. Scolnicov. 22. Can Private Law Help to Save Multicultural Australia? B. Hocking, S. Guy.