Theory and Practice of Harmonisation
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Theory and Practice of Harmonisation

Edited by Mads Andenas and Camilla Baasch Andersen

Harmonised and uniform international laws are now being spread across different jurisdictions and fields of law, bringing with them an increasing body of scholarship on practical problems and theoretical dimensions. This comprehensive and insightful book focuses on the contributions to the development and understanding of the critical theory of harmonisation.
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Chapter 10: International Commercial Harmonisation and National Resistance – the Development and Reform of Transnational Commercial Law and its Application Within National Legal Culture

Maren Heidemann


Maren Heidemann* 1. Introduction 1.1 General Theory of Harmonisation A theory of harmonisation has to be based on sound analysis of the underlying concepts in both law and its language. While one difficulty in developing a coherent theory of harmonisation of laws is the fact that the term is used in the context of a specific area of EU legislative activity, an excellent starting point is the word harmony itself. The word appears in only slightly different versions in many languages across the world. The meaning depends on the context, but certainly includes a pleasant accord of circumstances. Going beyond this rather vague and seemingly random meaning of harmony one has to realise that harmony was an important element in all the classic Greek scientific disciplines, and therefore plays a part not only in the seemingly vague concept of musical harmony (which springs to mind first) but also in mathematics, physics, astronomy, philosophy and certainly medicine. The reason is that harmony describes a precise system of proportionality, of proportions as they occur in nature. Harmony is part of the laws of nature. An harmonious chord is built on an exact ratio between individual tones, ie, their amplitudes, for instance, the octave, the third and the fifth. This is a natural phenomenon which has been used in architecture and all arts throughout history. Harmony depicts the natural * University of London, UK. 180 International commercial harmonisation and national resistance 181 proportions of nature, such as the human body and even the universe....

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