New Book on Pluralism and European Private Law

by: in Law

This week, the book based on the conference on pluralism in European private law, organised by Leone Niglia of the University of Exeter, was published by Hart Publishing. 

On 25 March 2011 Leone Niglia of the University of Exeter organised a small conference on pluralism in European private law. This was a very welcome initiative. While pluralist thinking had become well known in fields such as European constitutional law and international law, European private law was (and to a large extent still is) usually looked at from the perspective of the tension between diversity and harmonization or is placed in the context of multilevel lawmaking. Pluralist thinking in private law is lagging behind. This week the book based on the conference was published by Hart Publishing. It contains not only the contributions presented at the conference, but also a number of articles written by others. Authors include Leone Niglia, Hans Micklitz, Massimo La Torre, Norbert Reich, Bénédicte Fauvarque-Cosson, Nils Jansen, Ralf Michaels, Jan Smits, Brigitta Lurger, Fernando Gomez, Juan Jose Ganuza and Martijn Hesselink.

The following is taken from the book announcement: ‘This book seeks to bridge the gap between ‘public’ and ‘private’ law by looking at European private law from various pluralist positions and by investigating old and new ways in which to understand legal pluralism in general. It fills a gap in the wide literature on legal pluralism, as the first book entirely dedicated to offering an insight into legal pluralism from the vantage point of the private law domain. The book addresses critically issues such as what pluralism really means in private law and what conceptions of pluralism it embodies, including discussion about the outer boundaries of any of the pluralist understandings. Contributions address comparative, critical, historical, theoretical and normative aspects. The book provides an opportunity to engage innovatively with problematic conceptual issues that inform the work of European private law scholars, including the debate on the Common Frame of Reference.’

The editor is to be complimented on this initiative. Several of the papers presented at the conference were already widely discussed in the literature and another conference at which pluralism in European private law was on the agenda was recently held at the University of Lapland. The publication of this book will no doubt lead to further academic discussion.