This course focuses on the harmonistaion of private law both on a European as on an Interntional level.
Firstly, the different methods, mechanisms and restraints as well as the advantages and disadvantages of this process on different levels will be discussed. The emphasis will be put on the characteristics of harmonisation and on the instruments used to achieve that harmonisation (treaties, directives, soft law, e.a.). The greatest and most succesful efforts and achievements in this field wil be discussed. Attention will also be paid to other related and (partially) overlapping figures such as unifaction and convergency of laws.
Secondly, since important areas of international an European private law are already covered within the module of private autonomy by the advanced courses on family law and dispute settlement, this course will focus on the key domains of private law that are not yet addressed. This capita selecta will relate to fields of the law in which harmonisation has already had a significant impact (e.g. consumer law, contract law), as well as to areas of private law that still have not attained their full development (e.g. tort law, insurance law, property law).
Thus, this course focuses on the comparison of the law of obligations (contract & tort), property law and insurance law in different legal systems and on the harmonisation of law. Several (draft) instruments harmonising aspects of contract, tort, property and insurance law will be analyzed as well as leading (international) cases and jurisprudence on areas of private law that have already reached a certain level of harmonisation.
In doing so the recurring question on the position of party autonomy within this evolution will be analyzed. Especially in domains of private law where instruments of harmonised law merely provide an optional instrument (such as the Draft Common Frame of Reference) the importance of private autonomy is emphasized.