The continuing headlong increase in cross-border legal issues of all
kinds raises a host of new issues for private law even as it reconfigures the
old issues, both in theory and in practice. In an effort to identify trends
and consolidate what we’ve learned in this important area, outstanding legal
scholars from nine European countries (plus Australia) convened at the
University of Helsinki in August 2006. This volume reproduces, in definitive
English texts, twenty-two of the papers presented at that conference.
The issues addressed cluster around four basic questions:
To what extent does the multiculturalism of the European Union hamper the
development of common private law rules?
Which rules that are specific for a particular state/region/culture need to be
To what extent can localism be met with variations in the application of
What problems for the common rules are posed by the fact that they are to be
implemented in a multilingual society?
While overarching concerns such as social justice, harmonization,
culture, and diversity pervade all the essays, such crucial practical
considerations as legal translation and regulation of advertising are not
neglected. The book will be welcomed by academics in the various fields of
private law everywhere, and will also be of uncommon interest to practitioners
in commercial and company law and to policymakers in many areas of government
regulation. The conference was organized by the PriME (Private Law in a
Multicultural and Multilingual European Society) research project at the
Department of Private Law and the Institute of International Economic Law
(KATTI) at the University of Helsinki.
Part I. Introduction. 1. Introduction: Harmonization and National
Cultures; T. Wilhelmsson.
Part II. Legal Culture and Societal Culture.2.
Legal Culture and the General Societal Culture; K. Tuori. 3. The
European Union, Law and Society: Making the Societal-Cultural Difference;
R. Sefton-Green. 4. European Tort Law and the Many Cultures of
Europe; C. van Dam. Part III. Private Law Post Socialism. 5. Is
the Socialist Legal Tradition ‘Dead and Buried’? The Continuity of Certain
Elements of Socialist Legal Culture in Polish Civil Procedure; R. Manko.
6. Contract Law in a Changing Society – Hungarian Experiences;
A. Menyhárd. Part IV. Cultural Diversity and
Harmonization. 7. Conflict and Compromise in the Harmonization of European
Law; L. Kähler. 8. Legal Culture as Mental Software, or:
How to Overcome National Legal Culture? J. Smits.
Part V. Cultural
Diversity and Social Justice. 9. Does Social Justice Require the
Preservation of Diversity in the Private Laws of Member States of Europe?
H. Collins. 10. The Common Frame of Reference/Optional Code and the
Various Understandings of Social Justice in Europe; B. Lurger. 11.
Exporting Economic Democracy – Social Justice and Private Law from the Point
of View of Non-European Countries; A. Somma.
Business Contracts. 12. Harmonized Contract Clauses in Different Business
Cultures; G. Cordero Moss. Part
VII. Consumer Protection. 13. The Average European Consumer – A Legal
Fiction? T. Wilhelmsson. 14. The Regulation of Comparative
Advertising and Cultural Variations; J. Bärlund. 15. The
Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and Marketing Targeted at Minors; K.
Viitanen. 16. Effective Enforcement and Different Enforcement
Cultures in Europe; P. Rott.
Part VIII. Credit. 17. Renting a Slave – European Contract Law
in the Credit Society; U. Reifner. 18. Security Rights and the
Lack of a Priority Debate: How to Proceed with Choice of Law and
Harmonization? T. Juutilainen.
Part IX. Harmonization and Language. 19.
On the Indeterminacy of Legal Translation; S. Lindroos-Hovinheimo. 20.
The Tower of Babel and the Interpretation of EU Law – Implications for
Equality of Languages and Legal Certainty; E. Paunio.
Part X. Local Multiculturalism. 21.
Multi-religious Societies and State Legal Systems: Religious Marriages, the
State and Implications for Human Rights; A. Scolnicov. 22. Can
Private Law Help to Save Multicultural Australia? B. Hocking, S. Guy.