The present handbook analyzes private law as it evolves in an increasingly integrated Europe. It contains a collection of new essays, including contributions on corporation law, trust, sales law, (fair and unfair) competition law, liability for services, environmental liability, products liability, personal injuries law, and periods of limitation. All essays touch upon policy issues related to the harmonization of private law in Europe. They are designed not only to offer a comprehensive overview of the different topics, but also to contribute to and nourish current controversial debates.
This two-volume reference book fills a gap in the comparative law literature. On the one hand, it offers quick and easy access to most discussions concerning European private law. On the other, the handbook addresses issues that appear to be largely overlooked by contemporary literature, despite their growing importance. Indeed, it purports (a) to examine current and possible future developments of European private law as they affect the lives of private, business, and public actors; and (b) to investigate what European private law is and could be, rather than what it ought to be. The handbook is thus not meant to simply describe substantive law, but instead to analyze and compare private law institutions in their cultural and social contexts. Its aim is to show how legal comparison can be used to study not only the evolution of European supranational rules, but also the role and functions European lawyers assign to national rules. Depending on history and geography, these national rules can serve as protective shields, factors of competition, off-springs of an immutable tradition, or a fertile ground for future developments.