This book revolves around major legal developments in the fields of European contract law and tort law from 1981 to today and examines whether similarities or divergences can be observed. It examines how opposing concepts such as weaker party protection (consumers as well as SME) and freedom of contract and fault principle are balanced. It also focuses on Europeanisation and constitutionalisation of both contract and tort law and the need to adjust the law in response to digitalisation and new technological, environmental or financial risks. Furthermore, the law of obligations nowadays emerges from very different sources and directions (top-down, bottom-up, but also crossing-over and diagonal). Norms of the law of obligations are not only being made by national legislators and courts, but also by European institutionalised lawmakers and (increasingly important) by private actors, organisations and networks. This book illustrates that the law of obligations evolves in a continuing process of waves. Contradictory tendencies in contract law alternate in focuses on the demands of the free market and the core value of party autonomy on the one hand and on the concept of fairness and weaker-party protection on the other hand. Tort law shows movements discarding former limitations of liability and embracing liability of wider scope and vice versa returns to more restricted approaches.
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The ‘Ius Commune Europaeum’ series focuses on the common foundations of the legal systems of the Member States of the European Union. It includes horizontal comparative legal studies as well as studies on the effect of EU law, treaties and international regulation within the national legal systems. All substantive fields of law are covered.
The series is published under the auspices of METRO, the Institute for Transnational Legal Research at the Maastricht University.
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Prof. Dr. J. Smits (chair - Tilburg University, the Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. M. Faure (Maastricht University and Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. E. Vos (Maastricht University, the Netherlands).