The Institute of European and Comparative Law of the University of Oxford is organising a two-day conference on the involvement of EU law in private law relationships. Together with our speakers and conference participants we would like to examine how individuals become affected by the operation of EU law and its doctrines. This inquiry will be conducted at two levels: the substantive and the constitutional. At the substantive level we would like to establish where EU law intervenes in private law relationships and which instruments of EU law apply directly in national proceedings. At the constitutional level we would like to investigate the question of the appropriateness of EU law’s involvement in private law relationships and how this involvement could be normatively justified. Conference papers will address this issue by looking, on the one hand, at individual sectors of private law and, on the other, at more general concepts of EU law, such as the Internal Market freedoms and general principles of law, and at different modes of ensuring the effective application of EU secondary law. From these investigations we hope to draw broader descriptive and normative conclusions about the place of private autonomy in EU law and address directly the scope of policy objectives which are apt to legitimise the European Union’s as yet unsystematic tendency to serve as a source of its restriction.

The conference is partially funded by a conference support grant from the British Academy.

Full information about the conference, including the programme and booking details, can be found on the website: