The development of private international law in the European Union: a study on the contribution of Art.81 TFEU and the CJEU's case law on the free movement of companies and Union citizens to a specific identity for EU conflict of laws
21 March 2019
Universiteit Antwerpen, Stadscampus - Promotiezaal Grauwzusters - Lange Sint-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerpen (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus
Organization / co-organization:
Faculty of Law
Prof. dr. Johan Meeusen
PhD defence Aleksandrs Fillers - Faculty of Law
Traditionally, private international law and conflict of laws as one of its elements were part and parcel of domestic law. Due their domestic pedigree, conflict-of-laws rules varied from one state to another as every state espoused its own approach to the determination of the law applicable to cross-border relations, with only a marginal number of conflict-of-laws rules being unified by international conventions. Things changed as the European integration strengthened and also left its traces in areas traditionally governed by domestic conflict of laws. The Europeanisation of conflict of laws, which initially was slow, has accelerated in the last two decades. Currently, the European Union (EU) has adopted extensive secondary legislation that replaces entire layers of domestic conflict-of-laws rules, making conflict of laws to a great extent a branch of EU law. However, it is not only the EU legislature that has rendered many domestic conflict-of-laws rules obsolete. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) as well has intervened and rendered many judgments that interpreted the European fundamental freedoms in a way that they strongly interact with some of the remaining domestic conflict-of-laws rules, hence substantially modifying their functioning within the EU.
The unparalleled development of European conflict of laws poses an obvious question: is it fundamentally different from domestic conflict of laws and, if so, then what is its specific identity? The objective of the Ph.D. thesis is to study the specific identity of EU conflict of laws in two particular areas. Firstly, the thesis aims to answer whether and in what sense Article 81 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which serves as the basis for EU secondary legislation regarding judicial cooperation in civil matters, determines the specific identity of EU conflict-of-laws rules adopted by means of secondary legislation. Secondly, the thesis aims to answer whether the EU conflict-of-laws regime that the CJEU has created regarding the free movement of companies and of Union citizens carries any specific identity that would distinguish it from traditional conflict-of-laws rules.
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