Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law
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Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law

Edited by Christian Twigg-Flesner

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law takes stock of the evolution of this fascinating area of private law to date and identifies key themes for future development of the law and research agendas. The Handbook is divided into three parts: first, authors examine a range of cross-cutting issues relevant to both consumer and contract law. The second part discusses specific topics on EU Consumer Law, and the final part focuses on a number of important subjects which remain current for the development of EU Contract Law.
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Chapter 7: Recent developments in the approximation of EU private international laws: towards mutual trust, mutual recognition and enhancing social justice in civil and commercial matters

Lorna E Gillies


The last 15 years have witnessed the development of a particular set of EU norms for determining jurisdiction and applicable law for cross-border contracts in disputes brought before the courts of a Member State. These norms have and continue to be devised in response to the increasing cross-border nature of commercial activities and the need for parties, especially weaker parties, to be able to 'access [social] justice', and for the EU to demonstrate and reflect 'global ethical values through new human rights'. In particular, the post-Lisbon era has witnessed the further advancement of a third wave of EU private international laws. These particular EU rules are illustrative of a set of'methodological, institutional and procedural' norms, intended to meet the objective of securing mutual trust and recognition in civil and commercial matters. The purpose of this chapter is to review recent legislative and interpretative developments in EU private international law and to consider future questions on the role of the third wave of EU private international laws as an emerging set of techniques for enabling access to social justice. Reflecting the three-wave development of private international law rules at EU level, Part I of this chapter considers how Treaty objectives act as the procedural underpinning in the approximation of national private international laws in furtherance of'optimal [EU] integration'.

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