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The Politics of a European Civil Code

By Martijn W. Hesselink


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Here is a remarkable collection of essays on the ideologies and power struggles that inform the effort to Europeanize private law. In addition to a manifesto emphasising the role of social and distributive justice, nine articles by prominent European academic jurists offer analytic perspectives that take account of such significant factors as the following:

  • the politics of the Action Plan process;
  • the notions of coherence, social values and national tradition;
  • extension of the European unification debate to property law;
  • a code for the ordinary working people;
  • cultural diversity;
  • the legal basis for a European Civil Code;
  • the constitutional process and the role of fundamental rights;
  • a European social model

With its broad scope and depth of insight, this deeply informed and far-seeing collection makes a powerful contribution to the debate. It should not be overlooked by any student, scholar, or practitioner concerned with the nature of private law in Europe.

These essays were originally written as papers presented at a conference held in Amsterdam in January 2005

Resources DM Piece
Last Updated 04/17/2006
Update Frequency As Needed
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041124104
SKU 10058677-0001
Table of Contents

Chapter 1 A Technical ‘CFR’ or a Political Code? – An Introduction Martijn W. Hesselink I. A Technical ‘CFR’ II Or a Political Code? III. The Political Stakes IV. The Way Forward Chapter 2 Thoughts on Coherence, Social Values and National Tradition in Private Law Duncan Kennedy I. Coherence II. Social Values III. National Tradition IV. Conclusion Chapter 3 Political Issues in Property Law and European Unification Projects Brigitta Lurger I. European Contract Law as a Starting Point II. Property Law and EC Law III. The Nature and Characteristics of Property Law IV. Examples of Alternative Rules of Property Law V. Conclusions Chapter 4 A Workers' Civil Code? Principles of European Contract Law Evolving in EU Social and Economic Policy Hugh Collins I. The Idea of a Civil Code II. Social, Economic and Cultural Rights III. Social Rights in the Construction of the Civil Code IV. Conclusion Chapter 5 Cultural Diversity and the Idea of a European Civil Code Ruth Sefton-Green I. Introduction II. Is the Idea of a European Civil Code Desirable or Possible or Does the Presence of Cultural Diversity in Europe Offer Another Solution? III. Exploring the Existence of Cultural Diversity: An Open and Shut Case? IV. Conclusion Chapter 6 The Legitimacy of the Codification of Contract Law in View of the Allocation of Competences between the European Union and its Member States Jacques Ziller I. Federalism and Civil Codes: The German Case II. The Missing Competence of the European Union in Drafting a European Civil Code III. A Basis of Democratic Legitimacy for the Codification of Contract Law? IV. Conclusion: A Task for the Council of Europe? Chapter 7 The Civil Code within the European ‘Constitutional Process’ Stefano Rodotà Chapter 8 European Constitutionalism and Three Models of Social Europe Miguel Poiares Maduro I. Model 1: Economic Freedom and Social Non-Discrimination: Constitutionalizing Private Autonomy II. Model 2: Protecting the Social Model of the Member States III. Model 3: The Social Model of the European Union Chapter 9 The Politics of a European Civil Code Martijn W. Hesselink I. Introduction II. The Political Stakes in the Europeanization of Private Law III. The Action Plan Process IV. An Alternative Approach V. Annex Chapter 10 Social Justice in European Contract Law: A Manifesto Study Group on Social Justice in European Private Law I. Contract Law and the Future of II. The Technocratic Agenda for European Contract Law III. The Social Justice Agenda for European Contract Law IV. Conclusion