Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Public policy, good morals and social justice in European private law

On 26 and 27 October, the Groningen Centre for Law and Governance (GCL) organises a conference on the theme of 'Public policy, good morals and social justice in European private law':

'The focus of the session on Friday will be social-justice-inspired interpretations and applications of legal concepts of public policy and good morals as limitations to the validity of contracts and other acts of private autonomy (e.g. testaments). For what concerns contract law, the EU Commission, at least for the time being, does not seem to be willing to include a norm over immoral contracts or contracts contrary to public policy in its proposed Regulation on a Common European Sales Law (CESL). In the CESL preparatory works, a norm over illegality/immorality was proposed by scholars but this was not included in the Commission draft. Does this mean that there will be no European harmonisation of interpretations and applications of private law concepts of public policy and good morals altogether? Will this playing field for socio-economic justice in contract law remain the domain of national law? Or could perhaps some sort of European harmonisation take place through horizontal governance, especially horizontal judicial governance? A spontaneous, step-by-step convergence could be fostered by increasing judicial cooperation, especially if public policy and immorality norms are interpreted and applied in the light of the common European fundamental rights.

The Saturday session will be a round table on the comparison of the interpretation and application of public policy rules in private law, private international law and primary EU law in the light of EU fundamental rights and principles of social justice.'

More information regarding the programme will follow shortly on the conference website.

Conference visitors interested in questions of European private law might want to combine this event with (a part of) the Maastricht conference on 'EU law and the private sphere' that was announced on this blog earlier.

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