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Comparative Law — Overview

This theme contains three subjects, namely: Comparative and European Corporate Law, Comparative Private Law and Comparative Public Law


Comparative and European Corporate Law

Publications

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Showing all 21 Comparative and European Corporate Law publications currently held in our database
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Journal Articles

2014

WG Ringe, 'Changing Law and Ownership Patterns in Germany: Corporate Governance and the Erosion of Deutschland AG' (2014) Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. XX/2014 [...]

German corporate governance and corporate law are currently undergoing a major change. The old “Deutschland AG”, a nationwide network of firms, banks, and directors, is eroding, ownership is diffusing and the shareholder body is becoming more international than ever. This paper presents new data to support this development and explores the consequences in governance and in law that have been taken or that need to be drawn from this finding. Consistent with market-based theoretical accounts on corporate law, it finds that the changes currently underway are mainly a response to global market pressure: German banks divested their equity stakes mainly as a consequence of increased international competition. The paper extends the model of market-led change by two important observations: first, market pressure is not the only driver of legal change, but the law itself in this case contributed to facilitating competition. Notably, a taxation law reform enabled and accelerated the competition process already underway. Legal rules and market competition may thus be understood as not operating in isolation, but as forces that can be working in dialog. Secondly, the paper highlights the importance of ownership structure as an important intermediate condition in the logical order between market competition and legal change.


2013

WG Ringe, 'Corporate Mobility in the European Union – a Flash in the Pan? An empirical study on the success of lawmaking and regulatory competition ' (2013) European Company and Financial Law Review 230 [...]

This paper discusses new data on regulatory competition in European company law and the impact of national law reforms, using the example of English company law forms being used by German start-ups. Since 1999, entrepreneurs have been allowed to select foreign legal forms to govern their affairs. The data show that English limited companies have been very popular with German entrepreneurs in the first years of the last decade, but also document a sharp decline from early 2006 onwards. This decline casts doubt over the claim that the German company law reform from November 2008 had ‘successfully fought off’ the use of foreign company forms. Moreover, by contrasting the German data with the corresponding developments in Austria, the paper further demonstrates that the latter jurisdiction sees a similar decline without having reformed its company law. Instead of exclusively relying on law reform as the causal reason for declining foreign incorporation numbers, the paper offers a number of alternative or complementary explanations for the striking developments. The findings are important for our understanding of (defensive) regulatory competition and successful lawmaking.


WG Ringe, 'Empty Voting Revisited: The Telus Saga' (2013) 28 Journal of International Banking and Financial Law 154 [...]

The recent conflict between Canadian telecommunications provider Telus and US-based hedge fund Mason Capital is the most recent illustration of ‘empty voting’ – a strategy whereby activist investors eliminate their risk exposure to shares in target companies to pursue idiosyncratic motives. As courts are struggling to find adequate solutions, regulators worldwide are called upon to provide reliable tools to this threat to shareholder voting.


WG Ringe, 'Independent Directors: After the Crisis' (2013) 14 European Business Organization Law Review 401 [...]

This paper re-evaluates the corporate governance concept of ‘board independence’ against the disappointing experiences during the 2007-08 financial crisis. Independent or outside directors had long been seen as an essential tool to improve the monitoring role of the board. Yet the crisis revealed that they did not prevent firms’ excessive risk-taking; further, these directors sometimes showed serious deficits in understanding the business they were supposed to control, and remained passive in addressing structural problems. A closer look reveals that under the surface of seemingly unanimous consensus about board independence in Western jurisdictions, a surprising disharmony prevails about the justification, extent and purpose of independence requirements. These considerations lead me to question the benefits of the current system. Instead, this paper proposes a new, ‘functional’ concept of board independence. This would redefine independence to include those directors that are independent of the firm’s controller, but at the same time it would require them to be more accountable to (minority) shareholders.


2012

Brian Cheffins, J Armour and Bernard Black, 'Delaware Corporate Litigation and the Fragmentation of the Plaintiffs' Bar' (2012) Columbia Business Law Review 427 [...]

Since 2000, a growing proportion of lawsuits against directors of public companies incorporated in Delaware have been filed outside Delaware. There has also been a large increase in the likelihood of litigation challenging M&A transactions involving Delaware targets, and the likelihood that suits involving the same transaction will be filed both in Delaware and elsewhere. In this Article we explore one potential cause for these trends—intensified competition between plaintiffs’ law firms. We trace the development of the plaintiffs’ bar from the 1970s to the present and identify three changes that plausibly contributed to the out-of-Delaware trend and a higher litigation rate: (1) stronger competition among plaintiffs’ lawyers specializing in securities litigation also affected the corporate law side of the plaintiffs’ bar; (2) changes in how the Delaware courts selected lead counsel encouraged non-Delaware filing by firms who were unlikely to win lead counsel status in Delaware; (3) potential obstacles associated with launching a suit in a jurisdiction other than Delaware become less of a concern to the plaintiffs’ bar. This Article draws upon data and insights developed more fully in a related policy-oriented paper: “Delaware’s Balancing Act”, 87 Indiana Law Review 1345 ( 2012), and a related empirical paper (“Is Delaware Losing its Cases”, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (forthcoming 2012)).


ISBN: 08980721

J Armour, Bernard Black and Brian Cheffins, 'Delaware\\\'s Balancing Act' (2012) 87 Indiana Law Journal 1345 [...]

Delaware’s courts and well-developed case law are widely seen as integral elements of Delaware’s success in attracting incorporations. However, as we show using empirical evidence involving reported judicial decisions and filed cases concerning large mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and options backdating, Delaware’s popularity as a venue for corporate litigation is under threat. Today, a majority of shareholder suits involving Delaware companies are being brought and decided elsewhere. We examine in this Article the implications of this “out-of-Delaware” trend, emphasizing a difficult balancing act that Delaware faces. If Delaware accommodates litigation too readily, companies, fearful of lawsuits, may incorporate elsewhere. But if plaintiffs’ attorneys find the Delaware courts unwelcoming, they can often file cases in other courts. Delaware could risk losing its status as the de facto national corporate law court, as well as the case flow that lets it provide the rich body of precedent that is part of Delaware’s overall corporate law “brand.” We assess how the Delaware courts and legislature, and Delaware companies, might respond to this threat to Delaware’s pre-eminence as the leading forum for corporate cases, as well as incorporations.


ISBN: 00196665

2011

J Armour and WG Ringe, 'European Corporate Law 1999-2010: Renaissance and Crisis' (2011) 48 Common Market Law Review 125 [...]

European corporate law has enjoyed a renaissance in the past decade. Fifteen years ago, this would have seemed most implausible. In the mid-1990s, the early integration strategy of seeking to harmonise substantive company law seemed to have been stalled by the need to reconcile fundamental differences in approaches to corporate governance. Little was happening, and the grand vision of the early pioneers appeared more dream than ambition. Yet since then, a combination of adventurous decisions by the Court of Justice, innovative approaches to legislation by the Commission, and disastrous crises in capital markets has produced a headlong rush of reform activity. The volume and pace of change has been such that few have had time to digest it: not least policymakers, with the consequence that the developments have not always been well coordinated. The recent 2007/08 financial crisis has yet again thrown many - quite fundamental - issues into question. In this article, we offer an overview that puts the most significant developments of this decade into context, alongside each other and the changing patterns of corporate structure in European countries.


ISBN: 0165-0750

Books

2010

WG Ringe and U Bernitz (eds), Company Law and Economic Protectionism - New Challenges to European Integration (OUP 2010) [...]

The financial crisis has brought about a revival of state protectionism across the globe. Most Western leaders have made a virtue of big government and state intervention; bail-outs and Sovereign Wealth Funds have been among the first responses to the economic contraction. Company law rules are one of the instruments frequently used to restrict or to discourage integration or to deter foreign investment. Examples for the new protectionism can be seen in a wide range of legislative and regulatory measures, for instance state measures preventing foreign takeovers, 'golden shares' or laws on foreign direct investment targeting Sovereign Wealth Funds, mainly from Asia. This book presents timely research by a number of company law and EU law experts into this field of law. The chapters cover a broad range of topics, spanning from takeovers/mergers over the one share-one vote debate through to the foreclosure of markets against Sovereign Wealth Funds.


2009

P Davies, R Kraakman, J Armour and L Enriques, The Anatomy of Corporate Law, Second Edition (OUP 2009) [...]

This book explains in detail how and why the principal European jurisdictions, Japan, and the United States sometimes select identical legal strategies to address a given corporate law problem, and sometimes make divergent choices. After an introductory discussion of agency issues and legal strategies, the book addresses the basic governance structure of the corporation, including the powers of the board of directors and the shareholders meeting. It proceeds to creditor protection measures, related-party transactions, and fundamental corporate actions such as mergers and charter amendments. Finally, it concludes with an examination of friendly acquisitions, hostile takeovers, and the regulation of the capital markets


ISBN: 978-0-19-956584-9

2006

WG Ringe, Die Sitzverlegung der Europäischen Aktiengesellschaft (Mohr Siebeck 2006) [...]

With the introduction of the new legal form of the European Company Statute ('Societas Europaea') at the end of 2004, European Community lawmakers have created an instrument which enables large European firms to choose a corporate structure which is based on the same standards in all of the European Community. One special advantage of this new legal form is the simplification of cross-border restructuring, in particular the transfer of the corporation's registered office to another country. However, the statutory provisions for this transfer are relatively restrictive and do take the creditors' and shareholders' request for protection into consideration. The book studies the extent to which these newly-created regulations for the transfer of a European Company’s seat comply with the requirements of an authentic legal form of European Community law, and in particular whether or not they are compatible with the basic freedoms stipulated in the EC Treaty.


ISBN: 978-3-16-149102-3

Chapters

2010

P Davies, E Schuster and E van de Walle de Ghelcke, 'The Takeover Directive as a Protectionist Tool?' in Ulf Bernitz and Wolf-Georg Ringe (eds), Company Law and Economic Protectionism - New Challenges to Economic Integration (OUP 2010) [...]

DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1554616

When the European Commission first proposed a harmonised legal framework for takeovers in the EU, its aim was to facilitate takeover bids in order to create a more effi cient and competitive corporate landscape and to further the single market. In the view of the Commission, a functioning market of corporate control required rebalancing the division of powers between shareholders and management in companies facing a takeover bid. Taking the UK, EU’s most active takeover market, as a model, the Commission proposed to assign the sole decisionmaking power regarding the bid to the shareholders, with management primarily playing an advisory role. This so-called board neutrality rule, however, caused much controversy among the member states, and it was one of the main reasons for the Takeover Directive’s notoriously long adoption history. Failing to achieve consensus on this topic, the Takeover Directive was finally adopted in a “watered down” version, without a mandatory board neutrality rule. Instead, a rather complicated system of “options” was introduced, both at member state and at company level. Although it was clear that this approach would not create the same barrier-free market for corporate control the Commission originally had in mind, it was still hoped that it would be a step in this direction. At the very least, it was certainly expected that this approach would retain the status quo. This paper examines how the implementation of the Directive changed the takeover rules applicable to European companies. To that end, we analyse the pre-implementation rules regarding management’s role in takeovers in all member states, and compare them with the current legal framework. We find that, instead of facilitating the Commission’s ideal of a comprehensive, mandatory board neutrality rule, the Directive has, in aggregate, likely had an opposite effect. We argue that there are signs of protectionist motives driving member states’ choices regarding board neutrality, and we fi nd that the system of company-level choices is ineffective in its current form. We propose a simplifi ed and more coherent board neutrality rule, solely based on shareholder decision making. Acknowledging that a system allowing management to prevent unwanted bids might have advantages over a pure board neutrality rule in certain circumstances, we argue that shareholders are in a better position to decide on the optimal rules for a particular company than legislators.


ISBN: 978-0-19-959145

WG Ringe, 'Deviations from Ownership-Control Proportionality—Economic Protectionism Revisited' in U Bernitz and WG Ringe (eds), Company Law and Economic Protectionism (OUP 2010) [...]

In the wake of the economic crisis of 2008/09 the debate about the desirability of control-enhancing mechanisms that deviate from the traditional one-share-one-vote standard has been reinvigorated. This debate can be seen in the discourse of policy makers and academics that advocate the introduction of multiple voting rights in an attempt to curb the short-termism that is perceived by many to have provided the prevalent business incentive prior to the financial crisis. Alongside such discourse there buds a renaissance in the use of golden shares, in the hope, inter alia, of protecting European industries against Sovereign Wealth Funds from the Middle and Far East. Most of these proposals appear to be ill-advised. In the continental European context, they would reinforce the existing blockholder-dominated share structures to the detriment of minority shareholders. But even in the UK, where the possible introduction of deviations from OSOV has been advanced, these suggestions have to be greeted with reservations. The current discussion seems to leave well-established legal and economic ground actively to support protectionist market forces.


2008

WG Ringe and D Zimmer, 'Kommentierung der Art. 7, 8 SE-VO' in M Lutter and P Hommelhoff (eds), SE-Kommentar (SE-VO, SEAG, SEBG, Steuerrecht) (Otto Schmidt Verlag, Cologne 2008) [...]

Annotated guide on the European Company Statute


Internet Publications

2013

P Bockli and others, 'Making Corporate Governance Codes More Effective: A Response to the European Commission\'s Action Plan of December 2012 ' (2013) [...]

This paper contains the European Company Law Experts' response to one of the main issues raised in the European Commission’s Action Plan of 12 December 2012, namely how to make corporate governance codes more effective. The concept of “codes’ effectiveness” has two meanings: effectiveness of the comply-explain mechanism (disclosure effectiveness) and level of adoption of the codes’ recommendations themselves (substantive effectiveness). The ECLE believes that it is of crucial importance to keep the advantages of regulation by codes while finding adequate improvements of the quality of the reports and the explanations. The relationship between the content of corporate governance codes and disclosure is discussed. A “culture of departure from code recommendations”, if well explained, is needed. The quality of corporate governance reports and the explanations should primarily be improved by incentives, but non-legal and legal sanctions may help. Improvements may also be possible by mobilizing private actors and/or by charging public or private agents and agencies with inspection and monitoring.


P Bockli and others, 'Response to the European Commission's Report on the Application of the Takeover Bids Directive ' (2013) [...]

This paper contains the European Company Law Experts' response to the report of the European Commission of 28 June 2012 on the application of the Takeover Bids Directive of 2004 and the reform initiatives announced. For evaluating these initiatives the rationale of the mandatory bid rule is relevant (exit rationale, control premium rationale and undistorted choice rationale). On this basis the paper discusses each of the concerns raised by the European Commission: 1) The concept of "acting in concert": The ECLE are of the opinion that a uniform concept for the Takeover Bids Directive, the Transparency Directive and the Acquisition Directive is not useful because of the different objectives of these Directives. As to the Takeover Directive it should be made clear that joint engagement activities of investors should not trigger a mandatory offer. 2) National derogations to the mandatory offer rule differ widely, but there are different types of derogations that pose different concerns. The ECLE recommend that the Directive should provide for a review process with respect to national derogations. 3) The ECLE believe that there are good reasons to close the loopholes against the “creep in” and the “creep on” acquisitions. 4) As to board neutrality and the break-through rule the ECLE believe that the default rules should be changed. The option rights should be given to the shareholders, not to the member states. The reciprocity rule is flawed. 5) The protection of the rights of employees should be addressed in a wider context and should not be taken up specifically for one type of transaction such as takeover bids.


2011

P Davies and others, 'Response to the European Commission’s Green Paper: The EU Corporate Governance Framework' (2011)

2010

P Davies, 'The European Private Company (SPE): Uniformity, Flexibility, Competition and the Persistence of National Laws' (2010) ECGI Working Paper 154/2010 [...]

In 2008 the European Commission put forward proposals for a European Private Company (SPE), following up on the adoption of the European Public Company legislation of 2001. Although speedy adoption of the SPE proposals was initially hoped for, subsequent negotiations among the member states have stalled, despite at least two revised drafts of the proposals having been produced by the Presidency of the European Council. This article seeks to identify the challenges posed to the national company laws of the member states by the Commission’s proposals for a ‘simple and flexible’ Community form of incorporation. It seeks to argue that the discussions among the member states have revolved mainly around the question of the appropriate role for mandatory rules in modern company law. Member states have been reluctant to see the SPE freed from mandatory rules to which their national companies are subject, because of the competition to their national laws which the SPE would generate. On the other hand, member states with few mandatory rules in their domestic law have been reluctant to see the SPE burdened with mandatory rules which do not apply to domestic companies, because otherwise their businesses will be deterred from taking up the new European form and obtaining its advantages. The article predicts that, of the possible legislative solutions to this confl ict, referring more of the rules applicable to the SPE to the national law of the state in which the SPE is registered is likely to be the dominant one, even though this will undermine both the uniformity and flexibility goals of the proposed legislation. It also considers how effective the ‘national law’ strategy is likely to be in the light of the Treaty provisions on freedom of establishment


Courses

The courses we offer in this field are:

Postgraduate

BCL

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from common-law backgrounds

Comparative Corporate Law

The course consists of a comparative study of major areas of the company laws of the UK, continental Europe (in particular, Germany) and the United States as well as an assessment of the work done by the European Union in the field of company law.

The three areas or jurisdictions selected for comparative study have, collectively, had a very significant impact on the development of company law throughout the world. An understanding of these thus assists students in understanding both the content of, and influences upon, many others. The approach taken is both functional and comparative, looking at a series of core problems with which any system of corporate law must deal, and analysing, from a functional perspective, the solutions adopted by the systems in question. The course seeks to situate these solutions in the underlying concepts and assumptions of the chosen systems, as these often provide an explanation for divergences. To this end, the course begins with a contextual overview of ‘systems’ of corporate governance, which material is then applied in the following seminars on more substantive topics. Such a comparative study is intended to enable students to see their own system of company law in a new and more meaningful light, and to be able to form new views about its future development. Finally, a study of the ways in which the European Union is developing company law within its boundaries is also important, not only as illustrating, by a review of the harmonisation programme, the benefits to be derived from a comparative study in practice, but also because it shows new ways in which corporate vehicles can be developed to meet particular policy objectives.

 The course assumes students have knowledge of the basic structure of corporate laws, such as would be gained from an undergraduate course (regardless of jurisdiction). MJur students who have previously studied company law in another jurisdiction may find it helpful to take Company Law at the same time.

The teaching group comprises Professor J Armour, Dr WG Ringe and Ms J Payne. Teaching consists of a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Guest lectures by visiting academics may also be given at various points.

MJur

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from civil law backgrounds.

Comparative Corporate Law

The course consists of a comparative study of major areas of the company laws of the UK, continental Europe (in particular, Germany) and the United States as well as an assessment of the work done by the European Union in the field of company law.

The three areas or jurisdictions selected for comparative study have, collectively, had a very significant impact on the development of company law throughout the world. An understanding of these thus assists students in understanding both the content of, and influences upon, many others. The approach taken is both functional and comparative, looking at a series of core problems with which any system of corporate law must deal, and analysing, from a functional perspective, the solutions adopted by the systems in question. The course seeks to situate these solutions in the underlying concepts and assumptions of the chosen systems, as these often provide an explanation for divergences. To this end, the course begins with a contextual overview of ‘systems’ of corporate governance, which material is then applied in the following seminars on more substantive topics. Such a comparative study is intended to enable students to see their own system of company law in a new and more meaningful light, and to be able to form new views about its future development. Finally, a study of the ways in which the European Union is developing company law within its boundaries is also important, not only as illustrating, by a review of the harmonisation programme, the benefits to be derived from a comparative study in practice, but also because it shows new ways in which corporate vehicles can be developed to meet particular policy objectives.

 The course assumes students have knowledge of the basic structure of corporate laws, such as would be gained from an undergraduate course (regardless of jurisdiction). MJur students who have previously studied company law in another jurisdiction may find it helpful to take Company Law at the same time.

The teaching group comprises Professor J Armour, Dr WG Ringe and Ms J Payne. Teaching consists of a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Guest lectures by visiting academics may also be given at various points.

MSc (Master's in Law and Finance)

Comparative Corporate Law

The course consists of a comparative study of major areas of the company laws of the UK, continental Europe (in particular, Germany) and the United States as well as an assessment of the work done by the European Union in the field of company law.

The three areas or jurisdictions selected for comparative study have, collectively, had a very significant impact on the development of company law throughout the world. An understanding of these thus assists students in understanding both the content of, and influences upon, many others. The approach taken is both functional and comparative, looking at a series of core problems with which any system of corporate law must deal, and analysing, from a functional perspective, the solutions adopted by the systems in question. The course seeks to situate these solutions in the underlying concepts and assumptions of the chosen systems, as these often provide an explanation for divergences. To this end, the course begins with a contextual overview of ‘systems’ of corporate governance, which material is then applied in the following seminars on more substantive topics. Such a comparative study is intended to enable students to see their own system of company law in a new and more meaningful light, and to be able to form new views about its future development. Finally, a study of the ways in which the European Union is developing company law within its boundaries is also important, not only as illustrating, by a review of the harmonisation programme, the benefits to be derived from a comparative study in practice, but also because it shows new ways in which corporate vehicles can be developed to meet particular policy objectives.

 The course assumes students have knowledge of the basic structure of corporate laws, such as would be gained from an undergraduate course (regardless of jurisdiction). MJur students who have previously studied company law in another jurisdiction may find it helpful to take Company Law at the same time.

The teaching group comprises Professor J Armour, Dr WG Ringe and Ms J Payne. Teaching consists of a combination of lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Guest lectures by visiting academics may also be given at various points.


People

Comparative and European Corporate Law teaching is organized by a Subject Group convened by:

John Armour: Hogan Lovells Professor of Law and Finance

in conjunction with:

Paul Davies: Allen & Overy Professor of Corporate Law
Jennifer Payne: Professor of Corporate Finance Law
Wolf-Georg Ringe: Departmental Lecturer

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Comparative Private Law

News

The Linklaters Chair in Comparative Law

photo of Stefan Vogenauer

The Faculty of Law is delighted to announce that the Professorship of Comparative Law, held by Professor Stefan Vogenauer, Director of the Institute of European and Comparative Law, has become the Linklaters Professorship of Comparative Law […]

Discussion Groups

These self-sustaining groups are an essential part of the life of our graduate school. They are organised in some cases by graduate students and in others by Faculty members and meet regularly during term, typically over a sandwich lunch, when one of the group presents work in progress or introduces a discussion of a particular issue or new case. They may also encompass guest speakers from the faculty and beyond.

Comparative Law Discussion Group

Publications

Showing all[*] publications sorted by type, then year, author, title  [change this]

Showing all 73 Comparative Private Law publications currently held in our database
Change to sort them by year | title | name OR
Show only Recent | Selected publications

Journal Articles

2013

M Chen-Wishart, 'Legal Transplant and Undue Influence: Lost in Translation or a Working Misunderstanding' (2013) 62 International and Comparative Law Quarterly (forthcoming) [...]

Is legal transplant possible? The stark bipolarity of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer attracted by such a question is much less interesting and revealing than the question: what shapes the life of legal transplants? The answer to the latter question is contingent on a wide range of variables triggered by the particular transplant; the result can occupy any point along the spectrum from faithful replication to outright rejection. This case study of the transplant of the English doctrine of undue influence into Singaporean law asks why the Singaporean courts have applied the doctrine in family guarantee cases to such divergent effect, when they profess to apply the same law. The answer requires an examination of the relationship between law and society, and between the formal and informal legal orders of the originating and the recipient society.


ISBN: 0020-5893

E Descheemaeker, 'De la structure de la responsabilité : réflexions comparatistes autour de Torts and Rights' (2013) Revue internationale de droit comparé 51 [...]

This review article examines Robert Stevens’ Torts and Rights, arguably the single most important work on English tort law published over the last decade. Professor Stevens’ thesis is that the English law of torts can be analysed throughout as the body of law that pertains to the violation of primary rights. This argument has far-reaching consequences, in particular when it comes to the transversal tort of negligence, which are of comparative significance. The present author explains the significance of Professor Stevens’ argument against the historical background of English law and proceeds to offer a criticism based on the allegedly defective understanding that the book has of the concept of rights.


2012

A Braun, 'Towards a Greater Autonomy for Testators and Heirs: Some Reflections on Recent Reforms in France, Belgium and Italy' (2012) Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 461

E Descheemaeker and others, 'Forum Privatrechtsharmonisierung: Eine europäische Öffentlichkeit?' (2012) Zeitschrift für Gemeinschaftsprivatrecht 286

2011

J Cartwright, '\\\\\\\'Choice is Good.\\\\\\\' Really?' (2011) 7 European Review of Contract Law 335 [...]

Discussion of the option 4 (the 'Optional Instrument') in the Commission's Green Paper on policy options for progress towards a European Contract Law for consumers and businesses (2010). [Paper first presented at SECOLA conference, Leuven, January 2011.]


ISBN: 1614-9920

2010

A Braun, 'Burying the Living? The Citation of Legal Writings in English Courts' (2010) 58 American Journal of Comparative Law 27

E Descheemaeker, 'La dualité des torts en droit français (délits, quasi-délits, et la notion de faute) [The Twofoldness of Wrongs in French Law: Delicts, Quasi-delicts, and the Notion of Fault]' (2010) 109 Revue trimestrielle de droit civil 435 [...]

Le Code civil contient une faille structurelle : son chapitre 4.3.2 (« des délits et des quasi-délits ») est censé, par construction, se rapporter à la responsabilité fondée sur un délit ou un quasi-délit, c’est-à-dire sur un acte fautif. Pourtant, ce chapitre contient des faits générateurs de responsabilité non-coupables : le contenu ne correspond donc pas au contenant. La cause, c’est que le droit français moderne a réécrit la dichotomie romaine entre obligations ex delicto et quasi ex delicto, lui faisant perdre son caractère exhaustif. Une conséquence en est que la notion de faute a été soumise à une force centrifuge considérable, tendant à la vider de sa condition historique de culpa.


ISBN: 0397-9873

2009

Simon Whittaker, 'A Framework of Principle for European Contract Law?' (2009) 125 Law Quarterly Review 616 [...]

This article considers the scope, purposes and use of 'principle' by the contract law provisions of the Draft Common Frame of Reference


ISBN: ISSN 0023-933X

2008

Simon Whittaker, 'Burden of Proof in the Consumer Acquis and in the Draft Common Frame of Reference: Law, Fact and Things in Between' (2008) European Review of Contract Law 411 – 444

Simon Whittaker and C. Banfi del Rio (translator), 'El precedente en el Dercho ingles: una vision desde la ciudadela' (2008) 35 Revista Chilena de Derecho 37 [...]

This translates the author's earlier work 'Precedent in English Law: A View from the Citadel' which explains the rules and some of the working out of the precedent by English judges to a non-common law readership.


ISBN: 0726-0747

2007

E Descheemaeker, 'La question de la fusion de la common law et de l'equity en droit anglais. A propos de l'ouvrage Equity de Sarah Worthington' (2007) 41 Thémis 631 [...]

Abstract: English judge-made law, like Roman law in its own time, is divided into strict law and equity. Today, this division can be described as hysteretic, insofar as it is based on now by-gone causes. The issue is therefore bound to arise, 130 years after their procedural fusion, of the substantive fusion (or integration) between these two bodies of law. The present shorter article follows up on Professor Worthington’s recent Equity, in which the writer advocated this option and, for the first time, attempted to flesh it out in a methodical fashion. It sets out to examine the taxonomical argument for fusion. Its gist is that the concept of equity, being defined procedurally rather than substantively, is an intruder within the modern English legal landscape, which is dominated by substance-based categories. This means that the only option for equity is to disappear as an autonomous legal category.

English judge-made law, like Roman law in its own time, is divided into strict law and equity. Today, this division can be described as hysteretic, insofar as it is based on now by-gone causes. The issue is therefore bound to arise, 130 years after their procedural fusion, of the substantive fusion (or integration) between these two bodies of law. The present shorter article follows up on Professor Worthington’s recent Equity, in which the writer advocated this option and, for the first time, attempted to flesh it out in a methodical fashion. It sets out to examine the taxonomical argument for fusion. Its gist is that the concept of equity, being defined procedurally rather than substantively, is an intruder within the modern English legal landscape, which is dominated by substance-based categories. This means that the only option for equity is to disappear as an autonomous legal category.


ISBN: 0556-7963

Simon Whittaker, 'Form and Substance in the Reception of EC Directives into English Contract Law' (2007) 3 European Review of Contract Law 381 [...]

The author explores some of the difficulties facing English lawyers in implementing EC directives in the area of 'contract law' and compares them with those facing lawyers in systems with codified laws.


ISBN: 1614-9920

Simon Whittaker, 'La responsabilité pour le fait personnel dans l’avant-projet de réforme du droit de la responsabilité: donner voix aux silences du Code civil?' (2007) 2007(1) Revue des contrats 89 [...]

This article criticises the suggested reforms to French extra-contractual liability for fault contained in the L’avant-projet de réforme du droit de la responsabilité (2005) (the 'Avant-projet Catala').


ISBN: 978-2-275-02775-3

2006

A Braun, 'Professors and Judges in Italy: it Takes Two to Tango' (2006) 26(4) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 665

Simon Whittaker, 'On the Development of European Standard Contract Terms' (2006) 2 European Review of Contract Law 51 [...]

This article considers the desirability of the development of sector-specific European standard contract terms and puts forward four main reasons why such a development should be given a cool reception.


ISBN: 1614-9920

Simon Whittaker, 'Precedent in English Law: A View from the Citadel' (2006) 14 European Review of Private Law 705 [...]

This article attempts to explain the doctrine and practice of judicial use of precedent in English law to lawyers from other and especially non common law systems.


2005

Simon Whittaker, 'Contractual Control and Contractual Review in England and France' (2005) 13 European Review of Private Law 757 [...]

This article compares the use in English and French law of two techniques for the control of the content of contracts: (i) the insertion of standard terms into contracts by law and (ii) the control of the fairness of agreed contract terms. It examines the relationship between these two and considers the different mixtures of public and private law which are revealed.


ISBN: 0928-9801

Simon Whittaker, 'Un droit à la prestation plûtot qu’un droit à l’exécution? Réflexions sur l’exécution en nature et réparation en droit anglais' (2005) Revue des contrats 49 [...]

Explains the strategy of English law in relation to breach of contract in terms of a right to the subject-matter of the debtor's obligation rather than to performance of the contract by the debtor.


2000

A Braun, 'L’evoluzione del trust nel diritto consuetudinario sudafricano' (2000) Trusts & attività fiduciarie 358

Books

2010

H Beale, B Fauvarque-Cosson, S Vogenauer and JW Rutgers, Ius Commune Casebooks on the Common Law of Europe: Cases, Materials and Text on Contract Law (Hart Publishing 2010) [...]

lxxxiv + 1358 pp. This is the second edition of the widely acclaimed and successful casebook on Contract in the Ius Commune Series, developed to be used throughout Europe and aimed at those who teach, learn or practise law with a comparative or European perspective. The book contains leading cases, legislation and other materials from the legal traditions within Europe, with a focus on English, French and German law as the main representatives of those traditions. The book contains the basic texts and contrasting cases as well as extracts from the various international restatements (Vienna Sales Convention, UNIDROIT, Principles of European Contract Law and so on). Materials are chosen and ordered so as to foster comparative study, and complemented with annotations and comparative overviews prepared by a multinational team. The whole Casebook is in English. The principal subjects covered in this book include: General; Formation; Validity; Interpretation and Contents; Supervening Events; Remedies; Third Parties; The Tort/Contract Divide; Causation; Remedies; Fault and Unlawfulness; Liability for Others; Liability not based on fault as well as defences.


ISBN: 9781841136042

2008

J Cartwright and M Hesselink, Precontractual Liability in European Private Law (Cambridge University Press 2008) [...]

A volume within the Common Core of European Private Law: a comparative study of the legal nature of the precontractual phase and the liability which may follow a break-off of precontractual negotiations. The study comprises specialist reports from 16 national legal systems, and other perspectives, with Editors' introduction and conclusions.


ISBN: 9780521516013

Simon Whittaker and others, Principles of French Law (2nd edn, OUP 2008) [...]

This book is a general work introducing the French legal system and French substantive law to a non-French (and in particular common law) readership. S. Whittaker is one of the editors and wrote the section on civil procedure and the chapter on the law of obligations.


ISBN: 978-0-19-954138-6

2006

A Braun, Giudici e Accademia nell\'esperienza inglese. Storia di un dialogo (Mulino 2006) [...]

Abstract: A study of the rise of a legal academic profession in England and its relationship with the judiciary. The work investigates whether the role of legal scholarship can still be defined as one of the cardinal differences between the English and the continental legal traditions. The first part of the book traces the history of the formation of a community of legal academics in England from the nineteenth century to the present day, thereby reconstructing the role of the English universities in legal education (Chapter 1). Emphasis is placed on the impact the emergence of the community had on the development of both legal education (Chapter 2) and legal literature (Chapter 3), as well as on the transformation of English legal scholarship over the last three decades (Chapter 4). The second part of the book is dedicated to the study of the relationship between the community of legal academics and the judiciary and its development since the late nineteenth century. As well as an examination of the role and nature of the famous ‘books of authority’ (Chapter 5) and the impact of the traditional convention forbidding the ‘citation of living authors’ (Chapter 6), the second part of the book consists largely of an analysis of the way English judges communicate with the academic profession and the changes in the citation practice of English courts. Attention is also paid to the different ways legal academics assist judges in the decision-making process (Chapter 7). Furthermore, two particular branches of law, restitution and criminal law, are analysed in an attempt to show how academics have contributed to their development (Chapter 8). Finally, the developments in England are placed within the context of the role of academic lawyers in other European legal systems. This book has been reviewed in: (2008) 1 Revista Catalana de Dret Privat (Antoni Vaquer) (forthcoming) (2008) Rivista di diritto comparato pubblico ed europeo (Alessandro Torre) (forthcoming) (2008) 125 Zeitschrift für Rechtsgeschichte (Filippo Ranieri) (forthcoming) (2007) Anuario de Derecho Civil, Tomo LX, fasc. III, 1404 (Esther Arroyo i Amayuelas) (2007) 66 Cambridge Law Journal 474 (John Bell) (2007) 123 Law Quarterly Review 654 (Michele Graziadei) (2006) 55 American Journal of Comparative Law 197 (Patrick Glenn) Selected as one of the ‘Law Books of the Year 2007’ in Germany: (2007) 46 Neue Juristische Wochenschrift, 3332.

ISBN: 8815113487

A Johnston, H. Unberath and B.S. Markesinis, The German Law of Contract: A Comparative Treatise (Hart Publishing 2006) [...]

Recently the contract section of the German Civil Code was amended after one hundred years of un-altered existence. The German Law of Contract, radically recast, enlarged, and re-written since its first edition, now details and explains for the first time these changes for the benefit of Anglophone lawyers. One hundred and twenty translated contract decisions also make this work a unique source-book for students, academics, and practitioners. Along with its companion volume, The German Law of Torts, the two volumes provide one of the fullest accounts of the German Law of Obligations available in the English language. Through its method of presentation of German law, the book represents an original contribution to the art of comparison. An additional feature of the Contract volume is the way in which it reveals the growing impact which European Directives are having upon the traditional, liberal, contract model, thereby bringing German and English law closer to each other, especially in the area of consumer protection.


Chapters

2014

J Cartwright, 'Equity's Connivance in the Evasion of Formalities' in E. Koops and W.J. Zwalve (eds), Law & Equity: Approaches in Roman Law and Common Law ( 2014) [...]

Examination of the consequences of the failure to comply with formality requirements in property transactions in English law, and comparisons with Roman law.


ISBN: 978900426219-5

2013

J Cartwright, ''Authenticity' and 'Authentic Instruments': The Perspective of English Law' in L. Aynès (ed), L'authenticité (La documentation Française 2013) [...]

Comparative discussion of English law and French law provisions regarding formalities for private law transactions (contract and property) with focus on the absence from English law of notarised and other 'authentic' instruments. Part of published proceedings of Commission on Authenticité established by the Conseil supérieur du notariat, France under the direction of Professor Laurent Aynès.


ISBN: 9782110095879

J Cartwright and M Schmidt-Kessel, 'Defects in Consent: Mistake, Fraud, Threats, Unfair Exploitation' in Gerhard Dannemann and Stefan Vogenauer (eds), The Common European Sales Law in Context (Oxford University Press 2013) [...]

Comparison of English law on defects in consent in the formation of a contract with German law and European private law (the proposed Common European Sales Law and the Draft Common Frame of Reference).


ISBN: 9780199678907

M Chen-Wishart and U Magnus, 'Termination, Price Reduction and Damages' in S Vogenaur, G Dannemann (eds), The Common European Sales Law and its Interaction with English and German Law (Oxford University Press 2013) (forthcoming)

S Vogenauer, 'Drafting and Interpretation of a European Contract Law Instrument' in G Dannemann and S Vogenauer (eds), The Common European Sales Law in Context: Interactions with English and German Law (Oxford University Press 2013) [...]

pp 82-119. A European contract law regime will not necessarily be drafted and interpreted in ways that correspond to the approaches of a particular national legal system. In this chapter I will assess the peculiarities of drafting (II.) and interpreting (III.) European rules against the background of English and German contract law. I will then explore how these aspects will influence the interaction of the European contract law regime, both as an ‘optional instrument’ and as a ‘toolbox’, with the domestic laws of these two Member States (IV.).


G Dannemann and S Vogenauer, 'Introduction: the European Contract Law Initiative and the ‘CFR in Context’ Project' in G Dannemann and S Vogenauer (eds), The Common European Sales Law in Context: Interactions with English and German Law (Oxford University Press 2013) [...]

pp 1-20. This book explores the interactions between a European contract law instrument and national legal systems, using English law and German law as examples. The purpose of this Chapter is to set out the background to our enquiry and the methodology we employed. The first Part gives an overview of the ‘European contract law initiative’ which has resulted in various drafts for a European contract law regime, culminating in the two instruments that are the focus of the following chapters: the European Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on a Common European Sales Law of October 2011 and one of its precursors, the 2009 Draft Common Frame of Reference. The second Part of this Chapter describes the Anglo-German research project which led to the present book. It will explain the overarching questions we set out to answer and the methodology employed by the authors of the various chapters.


Simon Whittaker and K Reisenhuber, 'Conceptions of Contract' in G. Dannemann and S. Vogenauer (eds), The Common European Sales Law in Context: Interactions with English and German Law (OUP 2013)

2012

A Braun, 'Testamentary Freedom and its Restrictions in French and Italian Law: Trends and Shifts' in R. Zimmermann (ed), Freedom of Testation/Testierfreiheit (Mohr Siebeck 2012)

2011

A Braun, 'Testamentary Formalities in Italy' in Kenneth G C Reid, Marius J de Waal, and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds), Comparative Succession Law Volume I: Testamentary Formalities (OUP 2011)

J Cartwright, 'Defects of Consent in Contract Law' in AS Hartkamp, MW Hesselink, EH Hondius, C Mak, CE du Perron (eds), Towards a European Civil Code, 4th edn (Kluwer Law International 2011) [...]

Comparative discussion of defects of consent (mistake, misrepresentation, fraud, duress, etc) in English, French and German contract law and under the Draft Common Frame of Reference.


ISBN: 978-90-411-3357-1

J Cartwright, 'La réception linguistique de l’avant-projet de réforme: traduire l’avant-projet en anglais' in Pierre Catala (ed), L’art de traduction: L’accueil international de l’avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations (Editions Panthéon-Assas 2011) [...]

Discussion of difficulties of translation of the l’avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations into English; publication of paper originally given at colloquium at the Senate, Paris, on 1 April 2008.


ISBN: 978-2-913397-99-6

Simon Whittaker, 'Traduire les concepts, c’est interpréter les différences: la structure analytique du droit des obligations, les sanctions de l’inexécution et “Remedies for Breach' in P. Catala (ed), L’art de la traduction, L’accueil international d l’avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations (Editions Pantheon-Assas, Paris 2011) [...]

This brief essay explains the problems encountered and solutions adopted in the transaction of a French civil law reform project, the Avant-projet de reforme du droit des obligations. The translation was undertaken jointly with John Cartwright


ISBN: 978-2-913397-99-6

2010

A Braun, 'Judges and Academics: Features of a Partnership' in J Lee (ed), From House of Lords to Supreme Court. Judges, Jurists and the Process of Judging (Hart Publishing, Oxford 2010)

C Hodges, S Vogenauer and M Tulibacka, 'The Oxford Study on Costs and Funding of Civil Litigation' in Christopher Hodges, Stefan Vogenauer, Magdalena Tulibacka (eds), The Costs and Funding of Civil Litigation: A Comparative Perspective (Hart Publishing 2010) [...]

pp 1-184


Simon Whittaker, 'Contracts for Services in English Law and in the DCFR' in R. Zimmermann (ed), Service Contracts (Mohr Siebeck 2010) [...]

This article explains and assess the category of 'contracts for services' in English law and its relationship to other contracts. It then compares this to the approach taken by the Draft Common Frame of Reference


Simon Whittaker, 'The development of product liability in England' in Simon Whittaker (ed), The Development of Product Liability (Cambridge University Press 2010) [...]

This essay explains the development of product liability in English law


2009

J Cartwright, 'Interpretation of English Law in Light of the Common Frame of Reference' in H. Snijders and S. Vogenauer (eds), Content and Meaning of National Law in the Context of Transnational Law (Sellier 2009) [...]

Discussion of how English courts may be faced with interpreting the Cmmon Frame of Reference, with particular reference to duties of good faith in negotiation and performance of contacts.


ISBN: 9783866531277

H Collins, 'Networks and Comparative Sociological Jurisprudence' in G-P Callies, A. Fischer-Lescano, D. Wielsch and P. Zumbansen (eds), Soziologische Jurisprudenz. Festschrift fur Gunther Teubner Festschriift (de Gruyter 2009)

S Vogenauer, 'The Avant-projet de réforme: an Overview' in J Cartwright, S Vogenauer and S Whittaker (eds), Reforming the French Law of Obligations: Comparative Observations on the Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription (the ‘Avant-projet Catala’) (Hart Publishing 2009) [...]

pp. 3-28


S Vogenauer, 'The Effects of Contracts on Third Parties: the Avant-projet de réforme in a Comparative Perspective' in J Cartwright, S Vogenauer and S Whittaker (eds), Reforming the French Law of Obligations: Comparative Observations on the Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription (the ‘Avant-projet Catala’) (Hart Publishing 2009) [...]

pp. 235-268.


Simon Whittaker and others, 'Translating the Avant-projet de réforme' in J. Cartwright, S. Vogenauer, S. Whittaker (eds), Reforming the French Law of Obligations (Richard Hart 2009)

Simon Whittaker, '\'Termination\' for Contractual Non-performance and its Consequences: French Law Reviewed in the Light of the Avant-projet de reforme' in J. Cartwrigh, S. Vogenauer, S. Whittaker (eds), Reforming the French Law of Obligations (Richard Hart 2009)

2008

J Cartwright, 'Analyse comparée de la responsabilité précontractuelle dans les droits européens' in O. Deshayes (ed), L’avant-contrat: Actualité du processus de formation des contrats (PUF, collection CEPRISCA 2008) [...]

Comparison of the approaches of different European legal systems to liability between parties during the negotiations for a contract. Published paper from conference on ‘L’avant-contrat’, Le Centre de droit privé et de sciences criminelles d’Amiens, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, 4 April 2007.


ISBN: 978-2-95187-128-1

J Cartwright, 'L’obligation de négocier? Un domaine de concurrence entre droit anglais et droit français des contrats.' in J. du Bois de Gaudusson and F. Ferrand (eds), La Concurrence des Systèmes Juridiques (Presses Universitaires d’Aix-Marseille 2008) [...]

Comparison of the different approaches of French and English law to the acceptance (or not) of an obligation to negotiate during the precontractual phase. Published paper from conference on ‘La concurrence des systèmes juridiques’, Institut de droit comparé Edouard Lambert, Lyon, 20 October 2006


ISBN: 9782731406245

2007

A Braun, 'Revocability of Mutual Wills' in Kenneth G C Reid, Marius J de Waal and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds) (eds), Exploring the Law of Succession: Studies National, Historical and Comparative (Edinburgh Studies in Law, vol. 5, Edinburgh University Press 2007)

S Vogenauer, 'Gli effeti di contratti verso i terzi: L’Avant-projet du réforme in una prospettiva comparatistica' in M Andenas et al (ed), Liber Amicorum Guido Alpa: Private Law Beyond the National Systems (British Institute of International and Comparative Law 2007) [...]

pp. 1000-1036. A comparative analysis of the provisions on contracts for the benefit of third parties in the French 'Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription' (2005)


ISBN: 978-1-905221-28-8

Simon Whittaker, 'A 'Period of Grace' for Contractual Performance' in M. Andenas, S. Diaz Alabart, Sir Basil Markesinis, H. Micklitz and N. Pasquini (eds), Liber Amicorum Guido Alpa, Private Law Beyond the National Systems (British Institute of International and Comparative Law 2007) [...]

This article (which is an updated version of a paper published in a group of conference papers in Spain in 2002) deals with the question whether a court can give a contractual party further time to perform a contractual obligation (looking at French and English law).


ISBN: 978-1-90522210-28-8

Simon Whittaker, 'The Interpretation of Concepts in European Private Law' in K. Boele-Woelski and W. Grosheide (eds), The Future of European Contract Law (Wolters Kluwer 2007) [...]

This short article contrasts the interpretative style of the ECJ with more traditional (and conceptual) styles of 'European private lawyers' and then illustrates this contrast by reference to the decision of the ECJ in EasyCar v OFT


ISBN: 978-90-411-2699-3

Simon Whittaker, '\'Contributory Fault and Mitigation; Rights and Reasonableness: Comparisons between English and French Law' in L Tichy (ed), Causation in Law ( 2007) [...]

This article compares the different treatment of a claimant's failure to mitigate his/her own harm in French and English law.


ISBN: 80-85889-93-2

2006

S Vogenauer, 'Sources of Law and Legal Method in Comparative Law' in M Reimann, R Zimmermann (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (Oxford University Press 2006) [...]

Chapter of Handbook.


ISBN: 199296065

Simon Whittaker, 'The Terminologies of Civil Protection: Rights, Remedies and Procedures' in B. Pozzo and V. Jacometti (eds), Multilinqualism and the Harmonization of European Law (Kluwer 2006) [...]

This work is also published in Italian as ‘‘La Terminologia della Tutela Civile: Diritti, Rimedi e Procedure’ in B. Pozzo and V. Jacometti (eds.), Le politische linguistiche delle istituzioni comunitarie dopo l’allargamento (2006) The work looks at the terminology describing the rights of parties in a contractual context in English, French and EC law and how this terminology reflects different ways of thinking about the appropriate response of the law to failure to perform


ISBN: 90-411-2532-9

Simon Whittaker, 'Theory and Practice of the 'General Clause' in English Law: General Norms and the Structuring of Judicial Discretion'' in S. Grundmann and D. Mazeaud (eds), General Clauses and Standards in European Contract Law ( 2006) [...]

This article explains how an English lawyer would see the notion of a 'general clause' and then gives three types of examples of such a very broad legal norm from English law.


ISBN: 90 411 2432 2

2005

Simon Whittaker, 'A Few Observations on the Plurality of Debtors and on their Release' in A Vaquer (ed), La Tercera Parte de Los Principios de Derecho Contractual Europeo, The Principles of European Contract Law Part III (Tirant lo blanch, Valencia 2005) [...]

analyses the provisions of the Principles of European Contract law on the plurality of debtors (joint and several liability) from the point of view of English law and French law.


2004

Simon Whittaker, 'Consumer Law and the Distinction between Public and Private Law' in J.-B. Auby and M. Freedland (eds), La distinction du droit public et du droit privé: regards français et britanniques/ The Public Law/Private Law Divide: une entente assez cordiale (Ed. Panthéon Assas 2004) [...]

A brief article exploring how consumer protection relates to the distinction between public and private law (with reference to French and English law)


ISBN: 2-913397-28-X

Edited books

2013

G Dannemann and S Vogenauer (eds), The Common European Sales Law in Context: Interactions with English and German Law (Oxford University Press 2013) [...]

lxvii + 789 pp. European Contract Law unification projects have recently advanced from the Draft Common Frame of Reference (2009) to a European Commission proposal for an optional Common European Sales Law (2011) which is to facilitate cross-border marketing. This book investigates for the first time how CESL and DCFR rules would interact with various aspects of domestic law, represented by English and German law. Nineteen chapters, co-authored by British and German scholars, examine such interface issues for eg pre-contractual relationships, notions of contract, formation, interpretation, and remedies, extending to non-discrimination, third parties, transfers or rights, aspects of property law, and collective proceedings. They go beyond a critical analysis of CESL and DCFR rules by demonstrating where and how CESL rules would interact with neighbouring areas of English and German law before English and German courts, how domestic traditions might influence the application, which aspects might motivate sellers and buyers to choose or reject CESL, and which might serve as model for national legislators. The findings are summarized in the final two chapters.


ISBN: 978-0-19-967890-7

2010

J Cartwright, S Vogenauer and S Whittaker (eds), Regards comparatistes sur l\'avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription (Société de législation comparée (Droit privé comparé et européen, vol 9) 2010)

C Hodges, S Vogenauer and M Tulibacka (eds), The Costs and Funding of Civil Litigation: A Comparative Perspective (Hart Publishing 2010) [...]

xviii + 562 pp. This book contains the first major comparative study of litigation costs and methods of funding litigation in more than 30 jurisdictions. It was linked with the most comprehensive review of the costs ever carried out in England and Wales by Lord Justice Jackson in 2009 and benefited from the assistance of leading practitioners around the globe. The study analyses the principles and rules that relate to paying courts, witnesses and lawyers, and the rules on cost shifting, if any. They also note the major ways in which litigation can be funded, identifying the global trend on contraction of legal aid, the so far limited spread of contingency fees, and the growing new phenomenon of private third party litigation funding. The study also presents the results of nine case studies of typical claim types, so as to give a first overview comparison of which countries' legal systems are cheaper or more expensive. The book further contains national chapters with in depth analysis contributed by scholars in 18 jurisdictions (Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, England & Wales, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan and USA) and a further chapter on Latin American jurisdictions.


ISBN: 1849461023

Simon Whittaker (ed), Introduction to fault in product liability (Cambridge University Press 2010) [...]

This forms the introduction and general overview of the work which I also edited on the historical development of product liability in 6 European laws. It forms part of a wider AHRD project on Legal Development (the first stage of which focussed on the development of liability for fault) run by John Bell and David Ibbetson of Cambridge.


ISBN: ISBN 978-0-521-49429

2009

J Cartwright, S Vogenauer and S Whittaker (eds), Reforming the French Law of Obligations (Hart Publishing 2009) [...]

Edited volume of comparative reflections on the Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription, based on papers from colloquium held in March 2007. Articles by J. Cartwright at pp. 51-70 (‘Negotiation and Renegotiation: An English Perspective’), pp. 359-380 (‘Reforming the French Law of Prescription: An English Perspective’); and pp. 409-411 (Summary of discussions); jointly with S. Whittaker at pp. 425-444 (‘Translating the Avant-projet de réforme’) and translation of the Avant-projet into English (pp. 479-915, odd numbered pages). Whole volume edited by J. Cartwright, S. Vogenauer and S. Whittaker


ISBN: 9781841138053

J Cartwright, S Vogenauer and S Whittaker (eds), Reforming the French Law of Obligations: Comparative Observations on the Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription (the ‘Avant-projet Catala’) (Hart Publishing 2009) [...]

The 2005 Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription, also dubbed the Avant-projet Catala, suggests the most far-reaching reform of the French Civil code since it came into force in 1804. It reviews central aspects of contract law, the law of delict and the law of unjustified enrichment. There is currently a very lively debate in France as to the merits or the demerits of both the particular draft provisions and the general idea of recodification as such. This volume (xx + 930 pp) is the first publication to introduce the reform proposals to an English speaking audience. It contains the official English translation of the text, and distinguished private lawyers from both England and France analyse and assess particularly interesting aspects of the substantive draft provisions in a comparative perspective. Topics covered include negotiation and renegotiation of contracts, la cause, the enforcement of contractual obligations, termination of contract and its consequences, the effects of contracts on third parties, the definition of la faute, the quantification of damages, and the law of prescription. The volume also contains an overall assessment of the draft provisions by one of the most senior French judges who chaired the Working Party on the Avant-projet, established by the French Supreme Court, the Cour de cassation.


ISBN: 978-1-84-113805-3

Internet Publications

2009

Simon Whittaker, 'La protection du consommateur contre les clauses abusives en Grande Bretagne' (2009) Commission des clauses abusives, France

2007

J Cartwright and S Whittaker, 'Proposals for Reform of the Law of Obligations and the Law of Prescription; English translation of Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription (2005)' (2007) [...]

Official translation into English of the Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription. Revised translation (2008) is published in J. Cartwright, S. Vogenauer and S. Whittaker: Reforming the French Law of Obligations (Hart Publishing, 2009)


Simon Whittaker and John Carwright, 'Proposals for Reform of the Law of Obligations and the Law of Prescription; English translation of Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription (2005)' (2007) [...]

This translation (running to c. 100,000 words covers the proposed changes to the French Civil Code's law of contract, civil liability, unjustified enrichment and prescription, together with the introductory preambles and notes. At present it is published on the French Ministry of Justice Website (we were invited by the organiser of the project to make the translation for this purpose), but we shall republish it with notes etc and essays from 16 or so French and other colleagues later this year.


Case Notes

2006

J Cartwright, 'Cour de Cass, Ass Plén, 6 décembre 2004: English case note' (2006) 14 European Review of Private Law 789 [...]

Comparative (English/French law)case note on recent leading decision in French law on the transfer of the benefit of a rent guarantee.


ISBN: 0928-9801

Reviews

2010

E Descheemaeker, 'Review of J. Cartwright, S. Vogenauer and S. Whittaker (eds.), Reforming the French Law of Obligations. Comparative Reflections on the Avant-projet de réforme du droit des obligations et de la prescription (the ‘Avant-projet Catala’)' (2010) 73 Modern Law Review 1086

2006

E Descheemaeker, 'Review of Sarah Worthington, Equity' (2006) 58 Revue internationale de droit comparé 1025

2004

E Descheemaeker, 'Review of Eltjo Schrage (ed.), Negligence. The Comparative Legal History of the Law of Torts' (2004) 56 Revue internationale de droit comparé 261

2002

E Descheemaeker, 'Review of Peter Birks (ed.), English Private Law' (2002) 54 Revue internationale de droit comparé 869

Courses

The courses we offer in this field are:

Undergraduate

FHS - Final Year (Phase III)

The degree is awarded on the basis of nine final examinations at the end of the three-year course (or four years in the case of Law with Law Studies in Europe) and (for students who began the course in October 2011 or later) an essay in Jurisprudence written over the summer vacation at the end of the second year. Note: the Jurisprudence exam at the end of the third year is correspondingly shorter. This phase of the Final Honour School includes the first and second term of the final year; the Final Examinations are taken in the third term of the final year.

Comparative Private Law

Comparative Law is one of the most fascinating subjects in the legal syllabus. Comparative lawyers examine the differences and similarities of legal rules and doctrines across various legal systems. Students of comparative law soon realise that many of the legal issues that they have examined in the first two years of their degree are resolved in a very different manner in foreign jurisdictions.

English private law in particular has certain features that exist in a radically different shape, or are not present at all in other jurisdictions. These include the doctrine of consideration, the specific structure of tortious liability and the entire law of trusts.

An awareness of such differences is vital for students if they wish to be prepared for the challenges of legal practice in a globalised world, where many of them will be faced with cross-border dealings on a daily basis. It also enables them, at a time when they are approaching the end of their degree, to build on the knowledge of English private law that they have been able to acquire in their first and second year. Studying comparative private law allows them to draw together various threads of the wider discourse on the foundations of private law and to reflect critically on the English law by comparison with other legal systems. 

The course focuses on a number of selected topics, drawn from the areas of contract (the conception of contract; performance, non-performance and remedies), tort (the structure of extra-contractual liability; product liability), land law (ownership, title and possession) and trusts (trust and fiduciary devices). English law is mostly compared to the private laws of France and Germany, the two most influential jurisdictions within the Western legal tradition other than England and the US.

Teaching is provided throughout Michaelmas and Hilary. For each of the selected topics there is an introductory lecture and a two-hour class contrasting English law with the solutions found in other jurisdictions. Lectures and classes are followed by tutorials. Instead of producing four or more standard length tutorial essays students write two extended essays of 4,000-5,000 words on a topic of their choice (one in Michaelmas and one in Hilary). They receive four (one-to-one) tutorials overall: for each of the two essays there is a tutorial discussing the proposed plan of research and another one discussing the result.

The teaching also includes a general lecture series provided throughout Michaelmas. This gives a general overview of the discipline of comparative law and provides a theoretical and methodological framework for the actual comparison to be made in the classes and tutorials.

Students work with a wide range of materials including primary sources, such as cases and statutes, and legal writings drawn from articles and textbooks. All materials are made available in English, so no knowledge of foreign languages is required.

Postgraduate

BCL

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from common-law backgrounds

European Private Law: Contract

European Private Law is an emerging and dynamic subject. It concerns the gradual approximation and harmonisation of the national private laws of the European Union's Member States, one of the most fascinating contemporary developments in the law. The Europeanisation of private law has two dimensions. One is fairly imminent and extremely relevant to legal practice. It concerns the implications of existing legislation and case-law emanating from the organs of the EU for national private laws. The other is more forward-looking and rather of a scholarly nature. It relates to a number of academic proposals for common European rules and principles in the area of private law, based on thorough comparative research. Thus European Private Law combines issues from at least three branches of legal scholarship, ie European Law, (national) Private Law and Comparative Law.

The course attempts to combine these disciplines, constantly approaching particular problems from a European point of view as well as from the perspective of various national private laws, thus necessarily adopting a comparative approach. The course first considers fundamental questions relating to the desirability, the constitutional legitimacy and the feasibility of the harmonisation of Private Law in Europe. An overview of the existing state of European Private Law, the imminent developments and the long-term proposals by various groups of academics is provided. The main part of the course consists in the study of a limited number of specific substantive issues taken from one of the core areas of private law, the law of contract. These are studied, as far as possible, with reference to primary materials, ie legislation and case law, and are likely to include topics such as pre-contractual liability, formation of contract, third parties in contract, mistake, good faith, standard terms, supervening events, breach of contract and remedies. Examples from national legal systems will mainly be drawn from English, French and German law. If, however, another legal system offers an interesting and original solution this will also be taken into account.

This approach already indicates that the course does not aspire to cover the whole of contract law with all its, say, constitutional and procedural implications, in all or even the most important European legal systems, but is rather of a more topical nature. The search is for – common or diverging – solutions to legal problems arising in all legal systems (including EU law and recent proposals for further harmonisation). These are looked at both from a rather technical point of view and with respect to the underlying principles so that a balance between ‘black letter’ law and general policy issues is struck. Participants will thus be in a position to evaluate the status quo of European contract law(s), the potential for further harmonisation and the methodological implications of this process. The principal objective of the course is to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding in the area of European Private Law and to discuss and assess critically at an advanced level the legal and policy issues arising therefrom. Participants may expect to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of contract law, basic knowledge of the major European traditions in this area of the law and the ability to master a wide range of strongly heterogeneous sources – all of which are competences and skills of increasing importance in a Europe growing together.

MJur

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from civil law backgrounds.

Comparative Private Law (also part of the BA course)

Comparative Law is one of the most fascinating subjects in the legal syllabus. Comparative lawyers examine the differences and similarities of legal rules and doctrines across various legal systems. Students of comparative law soon realise that many of the legal issues that they have examined in the first two years of their degree are resolved in a very different manner in foreign jurisdictions.

English private law in particular has certain features that exist in a radically different shape, or are not present at all in other jurisdictions. These include the doctrine of consideration, the specific structure of tortious liability and the entire law of trusts.

An awareness of such differences is vital for students if they wish to be prepared for the challenges of legal practice in a globalised world, where many of them will be faced with cross-border dealings on a daily basis. It also enables them, at a time when they are approaching the end of their degree, to build on the knowledge of English private law that they have been able to acquire in their first and second year. Studying comparative private law allows them to draw together various threads of the wider discourse on the foundations of private law and to reflect critically on the English law by comparison with other legal systems. 

The course focuses on a number of selected topics, drawn from the areas of contract (the conception of contract; performance, non-performance and remedies), tort (the structure of extra-contractual liability; product liability), land law (ownership, title and possession) and trusts (trust and fiduciary devices). English law is mostly compared to the private laws of France and Germany, the two most influential jurisdictions within the Western legal tradition other than England and the US.

Teaching is provided throughout Michaelmas and Hilary. For each of the selected topics there is an introductory lecture and a two-hour class contrasting English law with the solutions found in other jurisdictions. Lectures and classes are followed by tutorials. Instead of producing four or more standard length tutorial essays students write two extended essays of 4,000-5,000 words on a topic of their choice (one in Michaelmas and one in Hilary). They receive four (one-to-one) tutorials overall: for each of the two essays there is a tutorial discussing the proposed plan of research and another one discussing the result.

The teaching also includes a general lecture series provided throughout Michaelmas. This gives a general overview of the discipline of comparative law and provides a theoretical and methodological framework for the actual comparison to be made in the classes and tutorials.

Students work with a wide range of materials including primary sources, such as cases and statutes, and legal writings drawn from articles and textbooks. All materials are made available in English, so no knowledge of foreign languages is required.

European Private Law: Contract

European Private Law is an emerging and dynamic subject. It concerns the gradual approximation and harmonisation of the national private laws of the European Union's Member States, one of the most fascinating contemporary developments in the law. The Europeanisation of private law has two dimensions. One is fairly imminent and extremely relevant to legal practice. It concerns the implications of existing legislation and case-law emanating from the organs of the EU for national private laws. The other is more forward-looking and rather of a scholarly nature. It relates to a number of academic proposals for common European rules and principles in the area of private law, based on thorough comparative research. Thus European Private Law combines issues from at least three branches of legal scholarship, ie European Law, (national) Private Law and Comparative Law.

The course attempts to combine these disciplines, constantly approaching particular problems from a European point of view as well as from the perspective of various national private laws, thus necessarily adopting a comparative approach. The course first considers fundamental questions relating to the desirability, the constitutional legitimacy and the feasibility of the harmonisation of Private Law in Europe. An overview of the existing state of European Private Law, the imminent developments and the long-term proposals by various groups of academics is provided. The main part of the course consists in the study of a limited number of specific substantive issues taken from one of the core areas of private law, the law of contract. These are studied, as far as possible, with reference to primary materials, ie legislation and case law, and are likely to include topics such as pre-contractual liability, formation of contract, third parties in contract, mistake, good faith, standard terms, supervening events, breach of contract and remedies. Examples from national legal systems will mainly be drawn from English, French and German law. If, however, another legal system offers an interesting and original solution this will also be taken into account.

This approach already indicates that the course does not aspire to cover the whole of contract law with all its, say, constitutional and procedural implications, in all or even the most important European legal systems, but is rather of a more topical nature. The search is for – common or diverging – solutions to legal problems arising in all legal systems (including EU law and recent proposals for further harmonisation). These are looked at both from a rather technical point of view and with respect to the underlying principles so that a balance between ‘black letter’ law and general policy issues is struck. Participants will thus be in a position to evaluate the status quo of European contract law(s), the potential for further harmonisation and the methodological implications of this process. The principal objective of the course is to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding in the area of European Private Law and to discuss and assess critically at an advanced level the legal and policy issues arising therefrom. Participants may expect to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of contract law, basic knowledge of the major European traditions in this area of the law and the ability to master a wide range of strongly heterogeneous sources – all of which are competences and skills of increasing importance in a Europe growing together.


People

Comparative Private Law teaching is organized by a Subject Group convened by:

Stefan Vogenauer: Linklaters Professor of Comparative Law

in conjunction with:

Alexandra Braun: Associate Professor of Law
John Cartwright: Professor of the Law of Contract
Hugh Collins: Vinerian Professor
Luca Enriques: Professor of Corporate Law
Angus Johnston: Professor of Law
Rodrigo Momberg Uribe: Career Development Fellow in Comparative Law
Andreas von Goldbeck: DAAD Lecturer in German and European Union Law
Simon Whittaker: Professor of European Comparative Law

Also working in this field, but not involved in its teaching programme:

Maris Köpcke Tinturé: Fellow and Tutor in Law, Worcester College & Lecturer in Law, Brasenose College
Dorota Leczykiewicz: Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow
Wing Winky So: DPhil Law student
Petra Weingerl: DPhil Law student

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Comparative Public Law

Publications

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Showing all 9 Comparative Public Law publications currently held in our database
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Journal Articles

D O'Brien and S Wheatle, 'Post-Independence Constitutional Reform In The Commonwealth Caribbean And A New Charter Of Fundamental Rights And Freedoms For Jamaica' [2012] Public Law 683 (forthcoming)

P Eleftheriadis, 'Constitutional Reform and the Rule of Law in Greece' (2005) 28 West European Politics 317 [...]

A critical analysis of the last ten years of constitutional developments in Greece


ISBN: 0140-2382

Chapters

P P Craig, 'Judicial Review of Questions of Law: A Comparative Perspective' in S Rose-Ackerman and P Lindseth (eds), Comparative Administrative Law (Edward Elgar 2011)

P P Craig, 'Executive Accountability and the Contestability of the Executive Domai' in L Verhey, P Kiiver & S Loeffen (eds), Political Accountability and European Integration ( 2009)

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Rule of Law in Modern Greece' in Kevin Featherstone (ed), Politics and Policy in Greece: The Challenge of Modernisation (Routledge, London 2006)

Internet Publications

Derek O’Brien and S Wheatle, 'The Commonwealth Caribbean and the Uses and Abuses of Comparative Constitutional Law' (2011) UK Constitutional Law Blog

Others
Presentation/Conference contributions

M R Freedland, 'Government by Contract Re-examined-- Some Functional Issues', paper presented at Oxford University Press 123 [...]

A chapter on the law and practice of government contracting in 'Law and Administration in Europe - Essays in Honour of Carol Harlow, edited by P Craig and R Rawlings.


ISBN: 0-19-926537-2

Courses

The courses we offer in this field are:

Postgraduate

BCL

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from common-law backgrounds

Comparative Public Law

Judicial protection against unlawful (and sometimes lawful) legislative and administrative acts or rules is of concern to individuals and companies in a variety of contexts. This course covers the central aspects of procedural and substantive judicial review under the public law of England, France and the European Union. The course will consider these issues against the constitutional framework which exists in the three systems. Throughout the course the emphasis will be on making comparisons between the different systems. To facilitate this each of the topics studied will be analysed within the same week's work.

The principal course objective is to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the law in this area, and to be able to discuss at an advanced level elements of public law as they are evolving in England, France, and in the EU.

It is possible to undertake the course exclusively on the basis of English language materials, but the ability to read French is an advantage, since some of the secondary sources on French law are only available in the French language. There are, however, translations of the French case law used in the course.

Advice on this and other aspects of the course is available from the course convenor, Professor P P Craig (St. Johns College). The course is taught by Professor P P Craig, S. Boyron and Dr A Young.

Teaching is primarily through lectures and seminars in Michaelmas and Hilary terms. Tutorials will be available in Trinity Term. The structure of the course is as follows. In Michaelmas Term there will be lectures which deal with the central aspects of procedural and substantive review in the three systems. The lectures are designed to lay the foundations for eminar discussion that will take place in Hilary Term, and the first half of Trinity Term. The lectures and seminars will cover the following topics: the constitutional foundations of the three systems; procedural review; review for jurisdictional error; improper purposes; irrationality; proportionality; legitimate expectations; equality; and fundamental rights; damages ctions, including damages for losses caused by lawful governmental action.

MJur

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from civil law backgrounds.

Comparative Public Law

Judicial protection against unlawful (and sometimes lawful) legislative and administrative acts or rules is of concern to individuals and companies in a variety of contexts. This course covers the central aspects of procedural and substantive judicial review under the public law of England, France and the European Union. The course will consider these issues against the constitutional framework which exists in the three systems. Throughout the course the emphasis will be on making comparisons between the different systems. To facilitate this each of the topics studied will be analysed within the same week's work.

The principal course objective is to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the law in this area, and to be able to discuss at an advanced level elements of public law as they are evolving in England, France, and in the EU.

It is possible to undertake the course exclusively on the basis of English language materials, but the ability to read French is an advantage, since some of the secondary sources on French law are only available in the French language. There are, however, translations of the French case law used in the course.

Advice on this and other aspects of the course is available from the course convenor, Professor P P Craig (St. Johns College). The course is taught by Professor P P Craig, S. Boyron and Dr A Young.

Teaching is primarily through lectures and seminars in Michaelmas and Hilary terms. Tutorials will be available in Trinity Term. The structure of the course is as follows. In Michaelmas Term there will be lectures which deal with the central aspects of procedural and substantive review in the three systems. The lectures are designed to lay the foundations for eminar discussion that will take place in Hilary Term, and the first half of Trinity Term. The lectures and seminars will cover the following topics: the constitutional foundations of the three systems; procedural review; review for jurisdictional error; improper purposes; irrationality; proportionality; legitimate expectations; equality; and fundamental rights; damages ctions, including damages for losses caused by lawful governmental action.


People

Comparative Public Law teaching is organized by a Subject Group convened by:

Paul Craig: Professor of English Law

in conjunction with:

Simon Whittaker: Professor of European Comparative Law
Alison Young: Associate Professor of Law

Also working in this field, but not involved in its teaching programme:

Michal Bobek: Research Fellow
Menelaos Markakis: DPhil Law student

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